Nicaragua: Part I

Whew! Here I am! Sorry this has been so long in coming–I’m still getting lots of homework that’s due the next day…

The first thing I thought when our land bus (the TransNica line) arrived in Managua was “Wow, it’s hot.” I loved it. For once, I could actually feel my fingers and toes…
We were picked up by some sort of a school bus from the bus station, and were driven to a seminary-type place called the Centro Nehemias. The Centro was affiliated with several church groups and Intercultural relationship organizations, and we stayed there because they encouraged international travel. Very nice place. Because it was evening, we divied up the rooms and went to bed.

The next day (Tues), we had a charla (a short lecture) and went sight-seeing a little in the bus from the Centro. Nicaragua is very political.

POLITICS:
The Nica government has suffered many uprisings and has been overthrown many times. The general timeline of important events can be seen on the BBC website timeline (we were given this article to read, and I was able to recover it online as well). But, here’s a passage you might find interesting:

Independence:
1838 – Nicaragua becomes fully independent.
1860 – British cede control over the country’s Caribbean coast to Nicaragua.
1893 – General Jose Santos Zelaya, a Liberal, seizes power and establishes dictatorship.
1909 – US troops help depose Zelaya.
1912-25 – US establishes military bases.
1927-33 – Guerrillas led by Augusto Cesar Sandino campaign against US military presence.
1934 – Sandino assassinated on the orders of the National Guard commander, General Anastasio Somoza Garcia.
Somoza family dictatorship:
1937 – General Somoza elected president, heralding the start of a 44-year-long dictatorship by his family.
1956 – General Somoza assassinated, but is succeeded as president by his son, Luis Somoza Debayle.
1961 – Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) founded.
1967 – Luis Somoza dies and is succeeded as president by his brother, Anastasio Somoza.
1978 – Assassination of the leader of the opposition Democratic Liberation Union, Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, triggers general strike and brings together moderates and the FSLN in a united front to oust Somoza.
Sandinista revolution and US subversion:
1979 – FSLN military offensive ends with the ouster of Somoza.
1980 – Somoza assassinated in Paraguay; FSLN government led by Daniel Ortega nationalises and turns into cooperatives lands held by the Somoza family.
1982 – US-sponsored attacks by Contra rebels based in Honduras begin; state of emergency declared.
1984 – Daniel Ortega elected president; US mines Nicaraguan harbours and is condemned by the World Court for doing so.
1987-88 – Nicaraguan leadership signs peace agreement and subsequently holds talks with Contra; hurricane leaves 180,000 people homeless.
Post-Sandinista era:
1990 – US-backed centre-right National Opposition Union defeats FSLN in elections; Violeta Chamorro becomes president.
1996 – Arnoldo Aleman elected president.
2000 – FSLN win Managua municipal elections.
2001 November – Liberal party candidate Enrique Bolaños beats his Sandinista party counterpart, former president Daniel Ortega, in presidential election.
2002 March – Opposition Sandinista party re-elects Daniel Ortega as its leader despite his three consecutive defeats since 1990.
2002 August – Former president Arnoldo Aleman charged with money laundering, embezzlement during his term in office.
2003 December – Arnoldo Aleman jailed for 20 years for corruption. A year later he is transferred to house arrest.
2006 April – Free trade deal with the US comes into effect. Nicaragua’s Congress approved the Central American Free Trade Agreement (Cafta) in October 2005.
2006 October – President Bolaños unveils plans to build a new ship canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
MPs approve a tough new bill that bans abortions, including in cases where the mother’s life is at risk.
2006 November – Ex-president Daniel Ortega is returned to power in elections.

Please note that these have been copied and pasted. I’ve also omitted some facts that were irrelevant to this post. For more information, check the link above.

I am off to eat lunch. I will continue to write afterward.

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