Nicaragua in 20th Century

Nicaragua in 20th Century

During the beginning of the 20th century, the country was characterized by political instability and armed interventionism by the United States. In addition, during this time, some discrepancies arise with Honduras due to territorial problems, since the rights over the Mosquito Coast had not been clearly defined with that country. The dispute was solved the 24 of March of 1928 with the signing of the Esguerra-Barcenas Treaty.

One of the important figures of the first half of the 20th century was Augusto Nicolás Calderón Sandino, better known as Augusto César Sandino, a general of peasant origin, who when liberals and conservatives reached the Blackthorn Pact continued the fight against US intervention. The last interview that General Sandino gave was on February 3, 1933, with a journalist from the newspaper La Prensa.: Adolfo Calero Orozco, one day after signing the “Peace Agreements” with President Juan B. Sacasa, which involved the dissolution of his Army and, in practice, the signing of his death warrant. The death of Augusto César Sandino was ordered at seven o’clock in the evening at the director’s office of the National Guard and was executed at approximately eleven o’clock at night, on a property in the Larreynaga neighborhood, then peripheral to Old Managua, on 21 December. February of 1934.


Somocismo was a dictatorial system of domination and oppression that was supported by a political, military, economic and social structure in Nicaragua. Its founder was General Anastasio Somoza García in 1934 and it lasted until 1979 with the fall of his youngest son Anastasio Somoza Debayle.. The Somocista regime became a family dictatorship where high military and political positions were reserved for relatives of the Somoza family, such as the Debayle and Sacasa. At the beginning of the Somocista dictatorship, General Somoza García, married to the aristocrat Salvadora Debayle, eliminated the unemployment rate, showy buildings were raised in the city of Managua, the capital, such as: hotels, casinos, the National Palace, the Banco Nacional de Nicaragua, the National Stadium, the Communications Palace, the Military Casino, the Monumental Tribune, among others, in addition to granting Nicaraguan women the right to vote in 1956.

After Somoza Garcia’s death the 29 of September of 1956 and the earthquake in Managua of the 23 of December of 1972 the regime fell further into corruption during the administrations of their children. The dictatorship promoted the incorrect distribution of wealth in Nicaragua, a country located in Central America according to Medicinelearners. While a few lived very well, in general people of the Caucasian race and a few mestizos, the workers and peasants lived without rights protected. During the Somozism, the construction of the Pan-American Highway and the promotion of cotton are recorded- which brought the desertification and impoverishment of the western lands, thanks to monoculture -for exportation, making Nicaragua the richest country in Central America -in macroeconomic terms-; in this period there is an exponential increase and consolidation of illiteracy, absolute and relative, in addition to the collapse of the few data recorded on health, malnutrition and infant mortality.

In addition, Somoza militarized the country to maintain control of the pockets of possible insurgents born of social discontent. That would last until the fall of the regime in 1979.

Sandinista government

The FSLN manages to overthrow Somoza Debayle the 19 of July of 1979, the opposition Sandinista National Liberation supported economically and militarily by several countries like Mexico, Argentina and Panama as well as nations left as Cubaand the Soviet Union, made social, expropriating the upper class of the country in general. However, the Sandinista stage resulted in the continuation of the east-west conflict between the two powers of the Cold War.

Counterrevolutionary militias (known as Contras) armed and financed by the United States Government were formed, even after the electoral victory of Sandinismo in 1984. Many Nicaraguans emigrated to the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Canada, Mexico., Western European countries and Australia during the civil war escaping from political persecution and the poor economic state of the country at that time.

Later stage

General elections were held in February 1990 under the supervision of several international observers. Violeta Chamorro, opposition candidate of the National Opposition Union and widow of journalist Pedro Joaquín Chamorro, won the elections with the support of the United States, defeating the Sandinista leader and then president Daniel Ortega. Chamorro initiated a program of national reconstruction that established the monetary reform, the reduction of the army and the demobilization of the contra.

His government began a long process of privatization and liberation of the economy, applying neoliberal policies, that is why the Banking, Mines, transportation, health, and education were privatized. This model of government facilitated a boom in private companies, allowing the exploitation of workers, the chastity of food products, housing, education, sports, health. The rapid impoverishment of the population and the accelerated enrichment of businessmen, raised the indexes of illiteracy, corruption and drug trafficking throughout the national territory.

In 1996 new elections were held in which Arnoldo Alemán, candidate of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party, won. During the months of September and October 1998, the alleged practices of nepotism at the highest levels of the State by relatives and close associates of the president of the Republic.

All the accusations fell into the background when Hurricane Mitch struck at the end of October 1998.through the Nicaraguan territory. Almost 4,000 people died in Nicaragua alone, 5,000 were disappeared and more than a million people were affected. Added to all this was considerable material and economic damage that further devastated the already poor Nicaraguan economy. After the disaster, and partly as a result of it, the country had to face a serious political and social crisis in 1999. This was caused by the purge, initiated by the Alemán government, of the sectors linked to Sandinismo in the Nicaraguan Army. This was joined by the protests of students and workers in demand of their demands, which, given the violent nature they sometimes adopted and the harsh response of the forces of order, put the country on the brink of civil war.

In legislative and presidential elections held on 4 of November of 2001, the victory went to Enrique Bolaños of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party.

In 2006 new elections were held, which were won by the candidate of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, Daniel Ortega, who agreed to his second term as president.

In November 2011, Ortega was reelected for a new presidential term.

On November 6, 2016, the presidential elections were held where the FSLN won with its candidate Daniel Ortega, reelected for the third consecutive time, obtaining his fourth term by obtaining 72.5% of the votes [1] [2] [3 ] . The PLC obtained 15% of the votes; the PC, 2.3%; the ALN, 4.3%; APRE, 1.4%; and the PLI, with 4.5% of the votes.

In the presidential elections with 99.8% of the boards scrutinized (14,552 of 14,581 JRV), 2 million 578 thousand 445 votes were cast; invalid votes 90,246 (3.5%); and valid votes 2 million 488 thousand 199.

In the election of national deputies, with 99.75% of the boards scrutinized (14 thousand 545), 2 million 578 thousand 834 votes were cast; invalid votes 104,912 (4.1%); and valid votes 2 million 453 thousand 922.

The FSLN obtained 66.8% of the votes; the PLC, 14.7%; the PC, 4.3%; ALN, 5.6%; APRE, 2.2%; PLI, 6.6%.

In the case of departmental deputies, with 99.75% of the boards scrutinized, 2 million 546 thousand 356 votes were cast; invalid votes 104 thousand 401 (4.1%); and valid votes 2 million 441 thousand 945.

The FSLN obtained 65.7% of the votes; the PLC, 15.3%; the PC, 4.5%; YATAMA, 1.2%; ALN, 5.6%; APRE, 2.9%; and the PLI, 4.8%.

For the election of deputies to the Central American Parliament, with 99.75% of the boards scrutinized, 2 million 537 thousand 449 votes were cast; invalid votes 98,961 (3.9%); and valid votes 2 million 438 thousand 488.

The FSLN obtained 68.6% of the votes; the PLC, 14.13%; the PC, 4.3%; ALN, 5.5%; APRE, 1.8%; and the PLI, 5.7%.

Nicaragua in 20th Century