ISSN 2410-5708 / e-ISSN 2313-7215

Year 11 | No. 31 | June - September 2022

Nicaragua's historical relations with the United States and its involvement in the national context (1937-1963)


Submitted on August 10, 2021 / Accepted on May 09, 2022

Kelvin David Pavón Moya

National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, Managua

Student of the History career



Section: Health and Social services

Scientific Articles

Keywords: International relations, cold war, foreign policy, subaltern sectors.

Review article from a monographic investigation in what would be the second chapter that supports such documentation. 1


The purpose of this article is to analyze the diplomatic, historical, political-economic functions between the U.S. and Nicaraguan governments, particularly during the period known as the Somoza military dictatorship (1937-1963), offering a deep analytical vision of the events with the greatest impact on the national society. The method used in this research is deductive and inductive, analysis-synthesis through the reading, filing, and analysis of various academic sources located in digital repositories such as Scielo, Dialnet, and La Referencia, as well as physical spaces such as the Salomón de la Selva Central Library and the Center for the Diffusion of the Humanities (CDIHUM). The technique used in this text is the documentary review, which allowed the collection of information to state the concepts that support the study of the phenomena referred to the subject. In a conclusion we have that the implementation of foreign policies by the U.S. government in Nicaragua gave a result: first, separatist liberal-conservative groups as well as anti-imperialist sympathizers, both armed groups to fight against the prevailing system. Also, during this period different measures were taken to strengthen this relationship, and, secondly, the installation of U.S. companies in the territory in favor of their interests resulted in the exploitation of the underprivileged classes. All this would have been a plan orchestrated by the U.S. to neutralize communism in its eagerness to expand into the world in the context of the Cold War.


U.S. foreign policy has devised various strategies to have greater influence in the economic, political, military, and historical-cultural spheres in various regions of the world. In this case, the study deals with the coming to power of Anastasio Somoza García and even Luis Somoza, who recently mentioned characters were at the service of the imperial nation. That is, both characters denoted a closeness to the White House during their presidential terms; using a repressive government in different areas of Nicaraguan society. In the context of the Cold War, the United States was determined to put an end to the socialist movements or left-leaning groups that were demonstrating in the Latin American region; exemplifying the case of Cuba, since this government represented a threat to the security of Washington D.C.

On the other hand, Nicaragua saw the birth of rebel or leftist organizations that demanded structural change in the country, marginalized sectors were exploited and those who represented a strong opposition were beaten by the National Guard in the worst case were eliminated. So, it is of the utmost importance to know this transcendental period of our history; sunk in the misfortune of totalitarian governments to have a critical and assertive vision of the processes occurred even more in the year just ended (2021) with a presidential election in between, as the White House still shows interest in exercising dominance for the Central American nation from its hegemonic vision.


During the rise to power of Anastasio Somoza García, a project was in force that supported cooperation between the countries of the American continent, created by the then president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. The policy established a series of rules and alliances at the economic and political level, without resorting to military intervention as the main principle in the countries of Latin America, it became known as “the Good Neighbor Policy”. This measure came after a series of antecedents, which were the crucial triggers in the implementation of the policy, among them: The Great Depression (1929), the annulment of the Platt Enmienda in Cuba (1934), and the withdrawal of the military corps in Nicaragua and Haiti.

On the other, the previous speakers: Havana Conference (1928) and the Seventh Inter-American Conference held in Montevideo (1933) expressed the cordiality of applying soft and beneficial relations with neighboring countries to put an end to the interventions, the source of so much bitterness and fear.

The speech issued by Roosevelt emphasized conveying American solidarity, Prozapas (2018) argues:

This role as a model for the world was in turn related to the conception of America as a continent in which peace reigned and in which religious convictions subsisted, beyond confessional differences. (p.6)

Consequently, the U.S. government undertook to improve relations on the international scene with Latin American countries that suffered an American intervention, initiating expansionism of U.S. economic credits, improvement in the system of inter-American legal norms, and in the same way, respecting the sovereignty of Latin American countries. Finally, he favored a new multilateral interpretation of the 2Monroe Doctrine was a diplomatic coercive measure in the face of the possible ideological advance of fascism and Nazism in developing countries.

Highlight that by this time the US had just suffered a deep economic crisis, the precipitous fall of the stock market known as The Crash of 293 being an integral part of the Great Depression, which led to the ruins of many investors, also affected Western European countries, as if it were a domino effect. The only thing left was the closure of business and banker shares. What began as a simple decline in the prices of the New York Stock Exchange, in the fall of 1929. This led the United States to restructure its political perspective at the endogen and exogenous levels.

However, the use of this policy in the Latin American region produced serious cultural alterations, which meant a robbery of the identity of the original peoples by an American lifestyle “American way of life. Large advertising investments in the media of American origin were noticed in Latin American countries, leaving the American feeling in their products plasmado. To achieve the fruit that this generated in the American economy. (Pinto et al., 2012) argue:

In this context, both Brazilian and Argentine citizens have learned to replace the tropical fruit juices that were on all tables, with a drink of strange and artificial flavor called “Coca-Cola” [...] They also began to change the national ice cream for one manufactured in American industries. In the same way, they incorporated foreign words into their language. (p.7)

There is no doubt that the United States used its way of life through its cultural, communication, and business machinery; Americanization was a cunning tactic that brought him enormous economic benefits and social influence.

However, as far as Nicaragua is concerned, the financial crisis harmed the economic sector, bringing with it serious social pressures that will have a direct impact on the less favored classes, specifically on the Nicaraguan workforce. Romero argues that coffee was the main export product before 1929 and later ceased to be so. Well, the United States was the main buyer. Resulting in a loss in export currencies of 50% in percentage terms (1987, p. 173)

The influence of U.S. policies and the Somocista regime’s close financial ties to the White House

In this sense, the new conjuncture conditioned and accelerated the seizure of presidential power by the Chief Director of the National Guard, Anastasio Somoza García. In Washington, they welcomed unrestricted support for this character through the National Guard to maintain stability in the Central American country. To such an extent that the US army itself supervised the elections of 1928 and 1932 in Nicaragua, in search of credible, transparent, and democratic elections, added to this by guaranteeing power to the Liberal Party.

From 1935 Somoza García would have greater followers in the leadership of the Nationalist Liberal Party and in the Guard itself. For which he focused on holding the highest office in the country. Taking over through military force and taking over the political institutions of the country, he dealt the final blow that expelled the then-president, Juan Bautista Sacasa on June 6, 1936.

Once the band that accredited him as the new President of the Republic was received in January 1937, with the demagogy that characterized him, he expressed himself to the Nicaraguan people and congressmen promising: internal peace, orderly democracy, social justice, education, work and a renewal of the State and reforms to the Political Constitution of Nicaragua. This is part of their government program. He was looking for a way out of international trade, where the previous president showed sharp political, administrative, and economic gaps.

These ideas landed well in the government of the United States to finance a capitalist current administration. Thus, Nicaragua became one of the main partners of the imperial nation. The same words of President Roosevelt reaffirmed the importance of Somoza in power not only for the Nicaraguan nation but the other Central American nations. “Maybe Somoza is a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch.”

Centeno describes Somoza’s image as an authoritarian being in various ways, stating:

Corrupt in its entirety, it appropriated the estates of its political adversaries, became the main producer of sugar and coffee in the country, as well as entered the cement, textile, and metallurgy businesses, owned by maritime companies. He was a great anti-communist and had the undeniable support of US imperialism. (2014, p.25)

The decade of the 40s turned out to be very prosperous for the economy of Somocismo, in such years they used enrichment tactics, allowing the dominant social sectors, also to accumulate capital, without being in a frontal clash with them. The main sectors of the economy began to be monopolized by the Somoza family.

During the Second War, the dictatorship made available to the American government, the port of Corinth, being evicted the small owners, who were relocated to unhealthy sites, said port was used as a US naval base. At the same time, he declared war on the Germans living in Nicaragua, taking over much of their property.

On the other hand, the American war industry monopolized the wealth of the country. The U.S.-dominated National Bank regulated exploitation and export through the Rubber Development Corp. While the National Guard provided part of the labor forces, both in the exploitation and in the construction of the airfields.

The lines of business were carried out by American miners, and the smuggling of cattle to Costa Rica and Panama was carried out from the cattle ranches that were owned by the Somoza both in the north and center (Boaco, Chontales, Matagalpa) and in the Pacific. The hoarding of means of maritime and air transport, and economic penetration in industry and finance, are indicators that explain the formation of Somoza capital.

To such an achievement, Somoza García controlled the air trade with his American merchants and allowed the birth of the Nicaraguan Airline (LANICA). Already in 1946, the Somoza family appears among the main coffee exporters, next to the Mercantile Company of Ultramar, Calley-Dagnall and Co, Ltd, José Ignacio González, Santiago Callejas, and others.

Domination in the political sphere and repression as a form of intimidation.

The Somoza dictatorship, while beginning to monopolize the economic sectors, gave “sticks” to the middle-class sectors, to the extent that it was encircling their political apparatuses, forcing them to agree but always, in conditions of subordinates.

In terms of political parties, through a series of pacts, Somoza García called the traditionalist Conservative Party, offering them eight seats in the Constituent Assembly, which would be established that year 1947. Conservatism had no alternative but to lend itself to the dictatorial game, dissolving the National Congress and establishing the Constituent Assembly.

Because the rival political parties gave the “go-ahead” as representatives of the “general will” the Constitution of 1911 was repealed and the presidential term would be extended to six years. The National Guard would be the watchdog in its fulfillment.

In his eagerness to “legalize” its continuity, Somoza supported the constitutional reform project in 1943. This project was intended to leave the doors open for re-election in 1947. This was clear sabotage of “Nicaraguan democracy” by shackling the bureaucratic and state system.

In 1944 Somoza’s political ambitions to remain in power for several years were noticeable, but within the leadership of the Nationalist Liberal Party germinated objectives independent of the regime, these opposition deputies were imprisoned in Managua and León immediately.

These would be the first manifestations of a divisionist nature, at that time “tacho” tried to avoid a rupture within the Liberal Party, which would trigger a possible political crisis would be. And in this way, he would maintain a reliable image with the US embassy “without interference”.

On the contrary, it provoked a social explosion in the months of June and July; Protests on the streets of Managua were crowded with demonstrations made up of university students, and the young people were from campuses in Managua, León, and Granada. All in the framework of solidarity in support of the Guatemalan student movement, after the overthrow of Jorge Ubico who had taken over that country. The protesters numbered about 2,000 people. Hours later, the National Guard was present, imprisoning around 500 students.

Somoza’s political ambitions either broke or clashed with the party’s principles. That is why the demonstrations represented the unity and solidarity of the student movements in Central America, and at the same time encouraged the ideology of opposition groups. As Walter puts it, the slogans that were heard reflected a fundamentally political opposition to the regime. From the mobilization of the students, most of the extraction of middle or high layer, the protest caught the attention of a conservative and liberal dissident group. (2004, p. 2013)

In July 1944, a group of women rose in protest for the release of the detainees, at the same time a group of workers would join the struggle. As Córdoba puts it, R. the will to struggle of the workers shows us the way in 1944, 1945, and 1947 on insurrectionary struggles in the west of the country through the leader Francisco Parajón, who commanded a workers’ militia. (1983, p.65).

But the outlook was stormy for the protesters. The National Guard lashed out with heavy blows, tortured workers and students, and closed the Central University. Even Somoza oversaw some imprisonments. However, the nature of anti-Somoza expressions in the streets awakened the consciousness of conservative and liberal political groups.

The National Guard was allowed to handle internal affairs to its leisure to “guarantee” peace, with the Regime’s consent. All this added to the multiple benefits that loyalty to the dictator Ferrero meant, he adds:

The salaries of its members were added, and they received a considerable improvement. The impunity to commit abuses provided them with substantial benefits such as an absolute lack of sanctions and total permissiveness in their management and private businesses [...] All in general, officers and rank-and-file officers took advantage of their positions, especially in immigration, customs, and social. (2009, p.6).

The agitations for workers and students had repercussions within the political parties, a group of the Liberal Party and opponents met to analyze the situation, they had in mind a democratic change. Leader Carlos Pasos, who led the main opposition to Somoza, addressed a crowd of 20,000 people with a speech containing anti-dictatorial comments. Then the “crowd” proceeded to demonstrate in the streets shortly after advancing a few blocks, the National Guard appeared to stop such an advance, the people present had no alternative but to disperse by fear of being captured.

In the face of such riots, Anastasio Somoza was a little flexible, assured that the elections of 1947 would be fair and guaranteed freedom. Even knowing that the coming months were the presidential elections, therefore, he was willing to sacrifice his political future for the sake of the unity of the Liberal Party, he said that the government’s actions did not merit such behavior and that they had obeyed exclusively the interest of minorities in subverting public order. Consequently, people who insisted on continuing to create problems would be treated with the rigidity that a crime deserves.

Meanwhile, in Washington, the new president Harry Truman did not want the continuity of Somoza García, since he began to be questioned inside and outside Nicaragua, and made every effort to prevent his re-election. His ambassador to Nicaragua, Fletcher Warren, was in charge of making him understand that he should not run again. Somoza managed to convince him that the National Guard saw him “as a father” and that he had only accepted that his supporters would nominate him as a candidate to keep her under control. Somoza proposed that he and the United States elect a new president who would agree on American interests.

Ferrero adds that the U.S. State Department strongly rejected the proposal that evidenced the manipulation and demonstrated its distance by refusing to provide him with the warplanes and weapons he had requested. (2012, p.10)

Finally, “tacho” before the pressure of the United States ended up renouncing his candidacy, although not to the leadership of the National Guard. Opinions were divided in the country. Ambassador Warren concluded that the majority supported him and that, if he did not represent himself, someone backed by him should do so to have the armed forces in his favor because, in his opinion, the most important issue in Nicaragua was not the president, but the control of the National Guard.

In this way, in the face of so many incessant proposals by Somoza, the United States accepted the political reality of the Central American country in choosing the new president. The opposition in the face of possible fraud, elected the conservative, Enoc Aguado.

It should be noted that despite the efforts of President Harry Truman to remove Somoza García’s stay in the government, he did not prevent Nicaragua from joining the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR), signed in 1947. An organism of a military nature in the face of external “aggression”. The argument of the U.S. military was to take the right to intervene to curb the development of communist political activities anywhere on the continent. Similarly, the Organization of American States (OAS) was born; a political and diplomatic institution subordinated to Imperialism.

The candidate for the Liberal Party was Leonardo Arguello. Who took over the irreversible electoral fraud. However, shortly after being newly elected president of the Republic would come as a surprise being dismissed by a coup d’état by Anastasio Somoza García himself. So, during the years from 1947 to 1950, there were ephemeral presidents, retaining the diplomatic aid of the United States and in turn, Tacho avoided the violation of the Political Constitution.

Thus would come the decade of the 50s with strong cracks in the political and legal system. On the other hand, in the commercial plane in the first years of the 50s a new stage of production occurred, as González explains:

In the period 1950-to 1966, there was a process of substitution of traditional types of production in Nicaragua, which allowed cotton to become the main export item. Industrial growth was determined by foreign capital, concentrated in manufacturing. Thus the percentage of investment from 1950 to 1969 rose to 54%. (2009, p.235).

Previously foreign investment ranged between 25% and 30%, it was with this stage that it rose. Thus, the Nicaraguan economy in the period between 1950 and 1960 had a growth rate of 5.2 per 100 per year. In the following decade, Nicaragua led the Central American economies in terms of growth, reaching an annual growth rate of 6%. This take-off was made on two aspects: the bonanza in prices in the international market and the close relations with successive US governments (Romero et al., 2002).

Another valuable fact that allows us to understand and ratify the monopoly economic situation during this time is the following:

The cotton boom in the fifties and then the opportunities created by the Central American Common Market for industrial development gave rise to the emergence of a local bourgeoisie, which constitutes several rival groups of the clan” (Rouquié, 1984, p.181). Indefinite accounts, the Nicaraguan economy obtained a growth rate above the Central American nations.

Likewise, with the Pact of the Generals of 1950 between Somoza and Emiliano Chamorro, it originated an enormous benefit for the liberal and conservative oligarchy. However, the phase of reconciliation between the liberal and conservative elite did not last long; in 1954, the dates of the general elections, the conditions where it was marked by popular discontent, repression, corruption, and fraud were protagonists. The strategy of the conservatives was to overthrow Somoza, dismantling the bi-party system, but it did not turn out as they expected, once again the dictator won the victory and applied his repressive instrument to the opposition groups.

In 1956 the Leonese poet Rigoberto López Pérez, a young opponent, before being shot by the National Guard in an act held at the Casa del Obrero de León, shot in the humanity of Anastasio Somoza García, who died days later. He died in a hospital in Panama, thus initiating the beginning of the end of the dictatorship.

Luis Somoza and the birth of the guerrilla armed forces.

On the death of Anastasio Somoza, his eldest son, Luis Somoza, came to take over as president. So the line of succession of the dynasty was guaranteed as if it were a royal family in the style of the old monarchies. That same year (1956) it is important to highlight the words of the then president of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower, declared: “The nation and I personally, mourn the death of President Somoza that produced by the cowardly attack of a murderer. President Somoza constantly maintained in public and private his friendship with the United States, a friendship that remained until the moment of his death.”

Consequently, the speech Luis Somoza publicly revealed by reusing the safest formula to please the United States that communism was “a threat against God, property, family, order, and customs.” Eisenhower did not hesitate to maintain the inherent relationship between the two nations.

In 1958, the anti-Somoza sectors faced a repressive scale, which manifested itself in a particular way in the persecution of sectors of the left and new political forces, including the independent liberals. This repression led to the disappearance in less than a year of the National Union of Popular Action (NUPA) and the newborn Nicaraguan Christian Social Party (NCSP), also the National Renewal, and Republican Mobilization and Central American Unionist (PUCA) party, were affected and their leaders imprisoned.

Luis Somoza did not sit idly by and repressed fiercely in the first years of government, at least three attempts to overthrow him were not possible. Consequently, in the main cities, he began a political activity on the part of the Patriotic Youth and the Populist Movement. There was also an expansion of trade union activity where the General Confederation of Workers would be fragmented, this emergence of the popular mass fed the hypothesis of the opposition bloc, serving as a stimulus to the front of the armed struggle.

It should be noted that the national hierarchy was composed as follows, the ruling class (imperialist bourgeoisie (industrial, commercial, and financial), medium local bourgeoisie), middle class (intellectuals, landlords, urban rentiers, civil and military bureaucracy), finally, the dominated class (wage earners, agro-industrialists, urban proletariat, peasants, urban underemployed, students).

Because the Cuban guerrilla movement (M-26-7) led by Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara and their outstanding victories against the government of Fulgencio Batista and subsequent exile of the latter character in 1959, vitalized the optional circumstances of armed resistance in Nicaraguan territory, under the ideology of Augusto C. Sandino and his army defending national sovereignty, therefore, Carlos Fonseca Amador, Tomás Borge, Silvio Mayorga, Germán Pomares, and Santos López among others founded the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) in 1961.

Indeed, the Cuban Revolution inaugurated a phase of the history of the Latin American left and its ideology is the center, as it would write (Debray, 1970, p.3) Cuba appeared like thunder amid skepticism and legality. It showed that the victory of an anti-imperialist revolution in Latin America was possible at that very moment (referring to the context of the Cold War). Thanks to the Cuban model, greatly influenced guerrilla groups in the Central American region.

The same words on the part of Commander Tomás Borge the victory of the armed struggle in Cuba was more than a joy [...] it was the opening of countless curtains... Fidel was for us the resurrection of Sandino, the answer to our doubts. (Borge, 1982, as cited in Puig, 2002).

However, before the creation of the FSLN, there were already guerrilla groups that emerged in the country or settled in neighboring countries (Honduras or Costa Rica), such is the case of the Guerrilla Movement of General Ramón Raudales in 1958 fighting against the Somoza regime, so it organized two columns of 40 men that penetrated Nueva Segovia through Teotecacinte on September 15. The guerrillas were also composed of: Colonel Julio Alonso Leclaire, Chief of Staff, Colonel EDSNN Heriberto Reyes, Chief of Operations, Colonel EDSNN Hilario Salinas, Captain Alejandro Martínez, Captain Manuel Baldizón, Lieutenant Harold Martínez, Lieutenant Luis Moncada, Lieutenant Aldo Díaz Lacayo, Lieutenant Virgilio Godoy, Adolfo Evert, Ramón Romero, Julio Velásquez, Mario Avilés, among others.

Another guerrilla group is the Conservative Guerrilla of Olama, Boaco, and Los Mollejones, Chontales, carried out in May 1959 was led by Napoleon Ubilla Baca and settled in the training camp from where the battalion left in the direction of the Pacific of Nicaragua. Similarly, the Guerrilla of El Chaparral started in June 1959, was directly supported by Commander Ernesto Guevara, who appointed former Nicaraguan military officer Rafael Somarriba as chief. Organized from Honduran lands.

The journalist Manuel Díaz y Sotelo organized an armed movement against Anastasio Somoza García in 1959, forming the column “General Augusto C. Sandino”, The rebel group penetrated the national territory through El Espino in July, without being detected by the National Guard. The Guard reinforced the barracks of Estelí, Ocotal, and León and decided to pursue them.

In the same way, was born the so-called Chale Haslam (1959). The guerrilla movement was named after its leader. As Barbosa puts it:

It developed in the mountains of Matagalpa, particularly in the area of Las Bayas, Pancasán, and El Bijao. Unlike other guerrilla movements, it was organized in the interior of the country and had greater support from the peasantry. In addition, he coordinated with Julio Alonso’s guerrillas, but their existence was short-lived due to the assassination of the guerrilla leader. (2007, p. 49)

The structures of the guerrilla groups were built at the time of the political crisis of the regime, where initially they were formed by sympathizers of conservatism, former guards, and also peasants who came from the founding of the FSLN and its consolidation of it would begin to swell their ranks with other guerrilla groups already existing. The ideology that was taken would have been that of Marxism-Leninism, which spread especially to the new fighters; understanding the armed struggle as the only effective way to end the Somoza dictatorship and to achieve the proletarian revolution and taking as the interpretation and inspiration of Sandino.

A memorable fighter is a founder of the FSLN, Carlos Fonseca Amador, who shone for his unwavering leadership, establishing himself as a born figure of the resistance and a revolutionary father.

For some 20 years, Fonseca was the central ideological figure and strategic leader of the revolutionary movement in Nicaragua. ... Until his death, Carlos Fonseca played, even in prison or exile, a crucial role in organizing the FSLN’s daily work, recruiting cadres, expanding political influence, and planning its military operations. This is established (Zimmerman, 2012, p. 18)

The popular slogan and the economic gap

In parallel, the popular struggle spread in the student sector, with the Nicaraguan Democratic Youth (JDN) organization, its objectives were to reach the youth opposed to Somoza by awakening the collegial consciousness, then they painted revolutionary slogans on the walls and supported the demonstrations of the Cuban Revolution. Although the life of the group would be short and then give way to another, the Nicaraguan Revolutionary Youth (NRY) which had contacts with Nicaraguan exiles in Venezuela, in commemoration of the twenty-sixth murder of Sandino.

In 1960, however, the leaders of the NRY contacted the new student group, the Nicaraguan Patriotic Youth (NRY) whose activists included two young people from the capital’s working-class, these characters were, Julio Buitrago and José Benito Escobar, who later would-be leaders of the FSLN. In addition to the outstanding young Ajax Delgado under the cry To die for the homeland is to live. This youth organization had a brief life. Ratifying the second stage of school rebellion.

The slow construction of the FSLN was parallel to the growing student mobilization, which had originated at the University of León (UNAN), where the demonstrations of the plans had taken place. The effervescence of the public university had surprised Luis Somoza, who reacted quickly and wanted to counteract it. To this end, he promoted the creation in 1960 of a private university of the Jesuit Fathers, in Managua and on the grounds of the Somoza family itself, the Central American University (UCA), fervently thinking that it was the counterpart of the “communist” UNAN.

The Sandinista guerrillas would begin the history of fighting in the mountains of the north and center of the country that were nourished by young students between the decades of the 60s and 70s. While the FSLN won few victories on the military level, it led to the deaths of multiple comrades. It was from here that the mystique of the mountains was generated in the heat of war.

This last stimulus to the thickening of the Protracted People’s War and its rapprochement with leaders of the Guatemalan guerrillas, once Carlos Fonseca was in 1965 in that country, thus being born guerrilla columns throughout the Pacific. Well, they wanted to emulate the scenarios of the Vietnam War.

Moreover, economic and state relations with the US government were once strengthened with the acquisition of new military equipment and highly qualified spying strategies, within the context of the Cold War4 and curb the communist advance in the region promoted by the Head of State of the Soviet Union, Nikita Krushchev . Luis Somoza did not want Nicaragua to become the next Cuba, that is why the stubborn military worked in conjunction with advisers to the US government.

Military maneuvers were reflected in the Bay of Pigs invasion that began from the Nicaraguan coast in Puerto Cabeza. Faced with this situation, the OAS expressed itself since it considered an obvious violation of continental security since a nearby country accepted foreign interference.

It is evident the role of foreign agents in the development of the events in Central America, after the Cuban revolutionary outbreak which led to modify U.S. policy, the above is supported by (Cardenal et al., 1998) who express:

For the United States, the Central American region and the Caribbean area were, since the time of the Doctrina Monroe (1823) its backyard. It is not surprising, then, that the emergence of revolutionary movements in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala, within the framework of the cold war, was perceived as a direct threat to their interests and caused the immediate interference of this actor in the Central American conflicts (p.33).

In contrast to the economic sphere, President John F. Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress oxygenated Nicaragua’s public coffers, under U.S. interests. Taking into account Ferrero was put into practice in Nicaragua with the approval of local merchants and industrialists. The funds were delivered in the form of loans to various autonomous and municipal entities in negotiations with the National Development Institute (NDI). (2010, p. 329) However, they were used for the construction of housing for public employees’ adept to the regime and non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the National Guard, and, on a minuscule scale for workers and basic services.

This exacerbated the problem in the marginalized class, during his presidential term the national economy faced a precarious situation. Although, it is an indisputable fact that the 1950s and 1960s saw a cotton boom in Nicaragua. In the departments of Chinandega and León, the landowners and the state itself stripped the peasants in the most fertile areas of access to land and this transformation would spread to other parts of the country.

Between 1960 and 1963, protests increased among peasants. Wages were not enough. Amid the news of economic progress, workers in the new factories and displaced peasants did not consider that their quality of life had improved substantially. The crisis manifested itself in the closure of shops and; the dismissal of workers even the most solvency houses and banks that could not before the high request for loans and the cost of living in Nicaragua became the highest in Central America.

When Luis Somoza created the Central Bank of Nicaragua in 1960, he incorporated the country into the Central American Common Market (MERCOMUN), his economic policy was praised, since in the first years he facilitated foreign investment and provided an increase in GDP. But the economic boom was for such a minority sector that, in 1961, 90% of industrial workers earned less than 500 córdobas a month, which was the minimum wage to meet the needs of a family.

Hence the massive demonstration on May first , 1961, which led to the government having to establish a minimum wage and legalize strikes in 1962. However, the agro-export elite did not collaborate with the government’s program: it refused to pay the minimum wage and persecuted the unions, so, between 1960 and 1964, almost one million salaried Nicaraguans participated in 28 strikes, demanding an inalienable labor reform, which never came.


Luis Somoza, like his father, considered that repression and pacts with foreign agents (mostly American) would serve as a coefficient for the disarticulation of the popular sectors. For this reason, el regime committed the expropriation of landowners, without any remuneration to those affected. In short, the pro-imperialist oligarchy feared losing part of the land “acquired” by the founder of the dynasty, and the peasants found themselves with a stingy and arbitrary reform.

The excessive use by force of the National Guard was conceived to keep the Somoza in power and of course, the political, economic, and legal arbitrariness took advantage of them. At the same time, international agreements and economic reforms were a failure, rather they fed the revolutionary ideology.

Likewise, the image of Luis Somoza took advantage of the situation to ally with the Catholic Church. He consolidated relations with President Dwight D. Eisenhower as did his father, with John F. Kennedy at first was a fragile communication, however, he changed to a close collaboration after the attacks on Cuba, he conditioned the country into a capitalist bastion in Central America in the framework of the Cold War.

U.S. companies began in this period to settle in Nicaraguan territory, which not only monopolized the new manufacturing facilities but also came to control a large number of industries established in the country. The raw material for the “domestic” industry was, for the most part, imported from the United States, as were technology, facilities, transportation, etc. In essence, Nicaragua’s contribution to the industrialization process lay in cheap labor for entirely U.S. manufacturing.

Finally, from my position, U.S. foreign policy throughout Nicaraguan history has tried and at different times has succeeded in having control of the political, economic, and social life of our country. It is important to know the operating way Washington has been operating for decades to understand how it works internationally because the vision of the U.S. government to interfere in our internal affairs still survives: Since the fall of the Somoza dictatorship in 1979 years later it financed counterrevolutionary armed groups, then in the neoliberal stage it pressured and suffocated the national economy and led to indebtedness to organizations. international, and until reaching the current government, Government of Reconstruction and National Unity (GRUN) where they have figured as an antagonist through manipulation and media war as a tool of a “soft coup”, proof of this was seen with what happened in April 2018. That is, over the decades they have violated the sovereignty of our people by preventing the development of the country.


1. The writing is born from orientations established in the class of Internship of Professionalization II concerning the monographic thesis (in the process). It is attached a research line Geopolitics, Security and National Defense of the Faculty of Humanities and Legal Sciences belonging to the Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN-Managua), was worked during the month of March to July 2021 having the only author already mentioned.

2. It was an American political proclamation, attributed to President James Monroe in 1823. Its purpose was to defend the newly emancipated republics of Latin America from the European threats, specifically from the Holy Alliance and England. Through this proclamation, the U.S. would begin to intervene in internal affairs in the hemisphere. His famous phrase “America for Americans” highlighted America’s true interest. See a Zuluaga, N. (2008). Freedom and democracy as instruments of domination. In: Of the knowledge of emancipation and domination (pp. 239-259). CLACSO. http://biblioteca.clacso.edu.ar/clacso/gt/20160224044143/13nieto.pdf

3. The so-called “Great Economic Depression” initiated in the United States was one of the most important events of the interwar period, which would contribute to the outbreak of World War II. Read Lopez, E (2009). CRACK OF 1929: Causes, development, and consequences. International Review of the World of Economics and Law, (1), 1-16. http://www.revistainternacionaldelmundoeconomicoydelderecho.net/wp-content/uploads/CRACK-DE-1929-Causas-desarrollo-y-consecuencias.pdf

4. The Cold War was a world stage of political, economic, technological-military, and social character from 1947 to 1991 two hegemonic powers fought for greater dominance in several regions of the planet, on the one hand, the capitalist bloc of the UNITED States and the communist bloc of the USSR. See Béjar, M (2015). History of the contemporary world (1870-2008). La Plata: EDULP. (Chair books. Social). In Academic Memory.

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