The Dictatorship Of Anastasio Somoza Essay, Research Paper
The Sandinistas assumed power on July 19, promising to maintain a mixed economy, a nonaligned foreign policy, and a pluralist political system. On Jan. 23, 1981, the Reagan administration suspended U.S. aid, charging that Nicaragua, with the aid of Cuba and the Soviet Union, was supplying arms to rebels in El Salvador. The Sandinistas denied the charges. Later that year, Nicaraguan guerrillas known as Contras, began a war to overthrow the Sandinistas. The elections were finally held on Nov. 4, 1984, with Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista junta coordinator, winning the presidency. The war intensified in 1986 87, with the resupplied Contras establishing themselves inside the country. Negotiations sponsored by the Contadora (neutral Latin American) nations foundered, but a peace plan sponsored by Arias, the Costa Rican president, led to a treaty that was signed by the Central American leaders in Aug. 1987.
Violetta Barrios de Chamorro, owner of the opposition paper La Prensa, led a broad anti-Sandinista coalition to victory in the presidential and legislative elections of 1990, ending 11 years of Sandinista rule. After a year in office, however, President Chamorro found herself besieged. Business groups were dissatisfied with the pace of reforms; Sandinistas, upset with what they regarded as the dismantling of their earlier achievements, threatened to take up arms again. In Feb. 1991 the president brought the military under her direct command. By early 1993 relations between the president and the coalition that backed her had soured over charges of corruption and the continuing influence of the Sandinistas on the government and the army. Former Managua mayor and Conservative candidate Arnoldo Aleman won the 1996 election. His closest rival was former president and Sandinista Daniel Ortega.
In 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated Nicaragua, killing more than 9,000 people, leaving 2 million people homeless, and causing $10 billion in damages. Many Nicaraguans fled to the U.S., which had extended an immigration amnesty program, lasting until July 1999, to Nicaraguans.