Anastasio Somoza Portocarrero

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Anastasio Somoza Portocarrero
Born February 01, 1951
Miami, Florida
Nationality Nicaraguan, American
Education Harvard University
United States Military Academy
Occupation Servicemen, businessman
Title Colonel
Parents Anastasio Somoza Debayle
Hope Portocarrero

Anastasio Somoza Portocarrero (born 1951) is a Nicaraguan heir, Colonel and businessman.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Anastasio Somoza Debayle was born on February 01, 1951[1] in Miami, Florida, United States.[2] A member of the Somoza family, he is a son of former Nicaraguan president Anastasio Somoza Debayle and Hope Portocarrero.[3] Also known as El Chigüín—"daddy's kid"—Somoza Portocarrero had been the heir apparent to the Somoza dynasty prior to the ouster of his father by the Sandinistas in 1979.[4] By early 1978 Somoza Portocarrero had reportedly taken on the appellation "apprentice dictator" and assumed full control of the Somozas' estimated $1 billion business empire,[5] however by mid-1979 the family had fallen from power and would be forced into exile.

He was educated in the United States, including at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Career[edit]

He became a Colonel in the Nicaraguan military, which was run by his family.[3][5] He played an active role in the armed forces during the Sandinista insurrection, and the National Guard unit which he commanded "was accused of widespread human-rights violations in the final days of the civil war."[4]

In early 1980, the new Sandinista government formally accused Somoza Portocarrero of masterminding the 1978 assassination of opposition journalist Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal,[6] and a June 1981 trial that convicted nine people of the crime implicated him in absentia.[7] In 1980, Sandinista officials also issued a warrant for Somoza Portocarrero's arrest on charges that he embezzled $4 million in governmental funds (via dummy corporations) while his father was still in power.[8] He was living in Miami at the time[8] (having been given asylum by the United States), was not extradited, and thus never stood trial.[9]

Reports that Somoza Portocarrero might return to Nicaragua in 2000 after over twenty years in exile led to an uproar in that country. Former Sandinista President Daniel Ortega suggested that Somoza Portocarrero "will be able to enter Managua, but I doubt he will be able to leave because the people will confront him with gunshots." Sitting President Arnoldo Aleman—whose own political party in part grew out of the old Somoza party—said that Nicaraguans "reject the announced visit of Somoza Portocarrero, whom public opinion considers one of those principally responsible for the destruction, suffering, violations and spilling of blood dramatically suffered by Nicaraguans throughout their history."[3] Somoza Portocarrero had planned to return for a political rally but ultimately canceled the visit.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Although other sources (Somoza and the Legacy of U.S. Involvement by Bernard Diedrich, page 140) list December 18, 1951 as his birthdate.
  2. ^ 'Somoza and the Legacy of U.S. Involvement, Bernard Diedrich, 140
  3. ^ a b c Aleman, Filadelfo (2000-03-30). "Report of possible visit by son of former dictator causes uproar in Nicaragua". Associated Press Worldstream. 
  4. ^ a b c Garvin, Glenn (2000-05-07). "Somoza family seeking to regain seized Nicaragua property". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  5. ^ a b Riding, Alan (1978-02-19). "Untitled". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ "Young Somoza accused in Chamorro killing". Associated Press. 1980-01-15. 
  7. ^ "Jury in Nicaragua Convicts Nine in Publisher's Slaying". The New York Times. 1981-06-11. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  8. ^ a b Bonilla, Oswaldo (1980-10-14). "Issue arrest warrants for Somoza's son". United Press International. 
  9. ^ Molinski, Michael (1990-08-17). "President Chamorro seeks pardon for killers of husband". United Press International. 

See also[edit]