Carlos, the Dawn Is No Longer beyond Our Reach: The Prison Journals of Tomas Borge Remembering Carlos Fonseca, Founder of the FSLN


96 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-919573-24-X






Reviewed by Nicholas Pashley

Nicholas Pashley was a bookseller and a freelance writer and editor in Toronto.


Tomas Borge, Nicaragua’s Minister of the Interior, is the last surviving founder of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), the organization established in 1961 to overthrow the Somoza regime in that country. In 1976, Borge was languishing in a Nicaraguan prison when the news came that Carlos Fonseca, Borge’s friend since childhood and leader of the FSLN, had been killed in combat. This book is Borge’s tribute to Fonseca, written in prison some three years before the Sandinistas finally achieved power.

Fonseca, by this account, was the sort of man no guerrilla movement should be without. Intelligent, compassionate, brave, and extremely handy, he was the sort of leader who, coming upon his cohorts instructing peasants in the use of firearms, would remind them to teach their students to read as well. An activist intellectual, Fonseca provided a link between the surviving followers of the national hero Augusto Cesar Sandino and the young revolutionaries who appeared in the wave of popular unrest in the sixties.

Carlos, the Dawn Is No Longer beyond Our Reach is Borge’s personal account of Fonseca’s life and political career, his deportations, his imprisonments and escapes, his brushes with death, and his eventual demise in the hills of the country he lived and died for. This is not a scholarly study of the Sandinista movement on Nicaraguan history — written from memory in prison without access to reference works, the book contains occasional inaccuracies, which are noted in the text. It also does not pretend to present a balanced, unbiased view of Nicaraguan politics. These are the words of a committed Sandinista and member of the current government, and they come with all the passion one would expect. This English-language edition also provides a detailed and useful chronology of Fonseca’s life.


Borge, Tomas, “Carlos, the Dawn Is No Longer beyond Our Reach: The Prison Journals of Tomas Borge Remembering Carlos Fonseca, Founder of the FSLN,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024,