Nicaragua: A History of US Intervention & Resistance

Nicaragua: A History of US Intervention & Resistance

by Daniel Kovalik
Nicaragua: A History of US Intervention & Resistance

Nicaragua: A History of US Intervention & Resistance

by Daniel Kovalik


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This book explores the pernicious nature of US engagement with Nicaragua from the mid-19th century to the present in pursuit of control and domination rather than in defense of democracy as it has incessantly claimed. In turn, Nicaraguans have valiantly defended their homeland, preventing the US from ever maintaining its control for long.

While there were intermittent US forays into Nicaragua in the 1850s, sustained intervention in Nicaragua only began in 1911 when the US invaded Nicaragua to put a halt to a canal project connecting its Atlantic and Pacific coasts to be partnered with Japan – a project the US wanted to control for itself.

The US Marines subsequently invaded Nicaragua a number of times between 1911 and 1934 to try to maintain control over it, only to be repelled by peasant guerillas led by Augusto Cesar Sandino. The Marines left for good only after the US had set up the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza, who then lured Sandino to Managua on the promise of a peace deal and murdered him in cold blood.

Successive generations of Somozas would rule Nicaragua with an iron hand and critical US support until finally, in 1979, the latest iteration was ousted by the Sandinistas – a movement inspired by Sandino and motivated by a unique philosophy merging Christianity and Marxism.

Led by Daniel Ortega, the Sandinistas established democracy in Nicaragua with the country’s first free and fair elections in 1984. Once again, the US attempted to subvert democracy by organizing Somoza’s former National Guardsmen into a terrorist group known as the Contras. Directed and funded by the CIA, the Contras would terrorize Nicaragua for nearly 10 years.

In 1990, the Sandinistas stood for early election and the war-weary voters selected Violeta Chamorro. The Sandinistas relinquished office peacefully stepped, ceding the government to Chamorro.

For 17 long years, from 1990 to 2007, neo-liberal governments, beginning with Violetta Chamorro, governed Nicaragua. Backed by the US, these governments neglected the people, leaving almost half of the country un-electrified, without decent education or health care, and in poverty.

When Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas returned to power in 2007 through elections, they immediately established free health care and education, built infrastructure throughout the country, and began to eradicate poverty. Now, almost 100% of the country is electrified; poverty and extreme poverty have been greatly diminished.t

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781949762600
Publisher: Clarity Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/15/2023
Pages: 332
Sales rank: 701,009
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Dan Kovalik graduated from Columbia Law School in 1993, and currently teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He served as in-house counsel for the United Steelworkers for 26 years. He has written extensively on the issue of international human rights and U.S. foreign policy for the Huffington Post, Counterpunch and RT News, and has lectured throughout the world on these subjects. He is the author of several books, including The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela, How the US Is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil, which includes a Foreword by Oliver Stone.

Read an Excerpt

How did I become interested in Nicaragua and why does it matter so much to me that I have now written a book about it? In the 1980s, very few would ask such a question, because in 1979, Nicaragua, and the Sandinista Revolution were big topics in conversation and even a subject of popular culture. The Clash’s last album was entitled, “Sandinista.” The Rolling Stones had a song about the Sandinista Revolution on their album “Emotional Rescue” entitled, “Indian Girl,” which mentions the pitched battles in the town of Masaya between the guerillas and Somoza’s National Guard. There was also a popular film starring Nick Nolte and Gene Hackman about the Sandinista Revolution, entitled Under Fire. Now those days are long gone, and for many are a distant memory – if they ever knew about that at all.
My first encounter with Nicaragua and the Sandinista Revolution was in the Fall of 1979. I was eleven years old and attending a small Catholic junior high school, St. Andrew’s, in Milford, Ohio, a small town outside Cincinnati. At the start of the school year, two new students enrolled: Juan and Carlos Garcia. They were from Nicaragua but, as I would come to understand later, did not fit the usual profile of a Nicaraguan, at least in the 1970s. They were very big – both in height and weight. Juan, who was in my class, eventually played center on our basketball team. And they both spoke English very well.
At one point, I asked Juan what brought him to Milford to attend school. He told me that he had left his home country of Nicaragua because there was a revolution over the summer which had toppled his father who was president at the time of the revolt. Apparently, Juan and Carlos were the sons of the dictator, Anastasio Somoza, though that name meant nothing to me. I didn’t understand then what had taken place in Nicaragua with the revolution or what was taking place even at that time, but the story of the toppling of a government which caused these two boys to flee their country created a lasting impression on me, igniting a lasting curiosity about Nicaragua and Central America – a region which would be in the news almost daily for the next decade.
Meanwhile, Somoza would soon be gunned down in Uruguay by Argentine revolutionaries, and just as suddenly as they appeared in my school, Juan and Carlos left at the end of the year. I never heard from them again.
The other world event that impacted me greatly at this time was the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero

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