Washington, Somoza and the Sandinistas: Stage and Regime in US Policy toward Nicaragua 1969-1981

Washington, Somoza and the Sandinistas: Stage and Regime in US Policy toward Nicaragua 1969-1981

by Morris H. Morley
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521450810

ISBN-13: 9780521450812

Pub. Date: 02/25/1994

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

This study makes extensive use of personal interviews and recently declassified U.S. government documents to cast fresh light on various aspects of American policy toward Nicaragua during the period from dictatorial to revolutionary rule. It concludes with a provocative argument rejecting the notion that there was a dramatic policy shift in the transition from Carter…  See more details below

Overview

This study makes extensive use of personal interviews and recently declassified U.S. government documents to cast fresh light on various aspects of American policy toward Nicaragua during the period from dictatorial to revolutionary rule. It concludes with a provocative argument rejecting the notion that there was a dramatic policy shift in the transition from Carter to Reagan. This is the first book to place U.S. policy during the Somoza crisis in a compelling and rigorous analytical framework. American policy toward the crisis of the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua centered on the goal of securing a change of regime that ensured the continuity of the existing state institutions, especially the National Guard. The Carter administration's willingness to dump Somoza after decades of U.S. support for the family dynasty was triggered by the appearance of a mass-based social movement led by radical nationalist guerrillas posing a challenge to both the regime and the state. Determined to prevent a Sandinista-dominated victory over the dictatorship, the White House actively supported those sectors of the opposition movement perceived as most supportive of U.S. interests in Nicaragua and prepared to coexist with the Somoza state. The failure to broker the desired outcome did not weaken the centrality of the state-regime distinction in American policy deliberations on Nicaragua. Rather, it testified to the fact that Washington is not omnipotent - it cannot assume that what it "wills" it can "realize". In the absence of a viable alternative, the Carter administration adopted a policy of conditional accommodation with the new Sandinista-dominated regime and state, and began formulating strategies - political, economic, covert - to promote a political base within the regime that could eventually challenge the state.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521450812
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
02/25/1994
Pages:
455
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.98(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1Introduction: Permanent and transitory interests in U.S. foreign policy1
2Washington and the Somoza dynasty: From consolidation to crisis of a client dictatorship33
3Supporting Somoza: Substance and symbol in American policy during the Nixon-Ford era62
4The Carter administration and Nicaragua: Human rights and the politics of accommodation88
5The Carter administration and Nicaragua: Mediation and the politics of frustration120
6Washington ruptures a historic relationship: Dumping the dictator to save the state172
7The Carter administration and revolutionary Nicaragua: Containing Sandinista power218
8Conclusion308
Bibliography319
Index329

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