||This article is missing information about the Contra War. (April 2013)|
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (February 2013)|
|Part of the Central American crisis|
|Somoza Regime (1961–1979)||FSLN|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Anastasio Somoza Debayle
Eden Pastora (1982–1984)
| Daniel Ortega
Eden Pastora (1961–1981)
The Nicaraguan Revolution (Spanish: Revolución Nicaragüense or Revolución Popular Sandinista, also RPS) encompassed the rising opposition to the Somoza dictatorship in the 1960s and 1970s, the campaign led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, FSLN) which led to the violent ousting of that dictatorship in 1979, and the subsequent efforts of the FSLN, which governed from 1979 until 1990, to reform the society and economy of the country along socialist lines. The revolution played a substantial role in foreign policy for Nicaragua, Central America and the Americas. The concurrent Nicaraguan Civil War, waged between the FSLN and the Contras, was one of the proxy wars in the Cold War.
Estimates of death tolls vary, but according to a report from the Peace Research Institute Oslo, the best estimate for the number of deaths is 10,000 during the Sandinista revolution (1978–1979) and 30,000 during the Contra war (1981–1989).
Origins of the Nicaraguan Revolution 
Nicaragua the Nation—Independence 
Nicaragua's history has been characterized by two things, instability and oppression. Nicaragua began as a colony of Spain in the early 16th century; it was during the time in which many Central and South American countries were being colonized. Before Nicaragua became a colony, it was home to many indigenous people and after it was colonized many of these people were sold into slavery by the Spanish government. The colonized nation was hurt by this oppression so much that “a population of approximately 2 million indigenous people was reduced to 8,000 in only 35 years under Spanish rule”1. It is no surprise that there would be tension between the Spanish rule and the citizens of Nicaragua. In the year 1821, the tension became too much and the nation of Nicaragua declared its independence from Spanish rule. “There were several factors that made the colonies decide to split from Spain: the independence of regions in the north (from England), the French revolution that brought new ideals, the strong control and tax system imposed on the region by the Spanish crown, and the progressive weakening of this same government”2. The independence of other nations helped make the decision that Nicaragua should also declare and find its own independence. However, after declaring its independence Nicaragua was not entirely free. The nation suffered from a lot of foreign interference.
U.S. Intervention in Nicaragua Affairs—the Walker Affair 
Even after Nicaragua’s independence from Spain, Mexico and then from the United Provinces of Central America, the country was still plagued with many interferences from other nations. One of the most prominent countries that would intervene in Nicaraguan affairs would be the United States. The 1840s Gold Rush made many in the United States interested in finding a quicker route to the west. However, Great Britain had always been present in the coast of Nicaragua, this created tension between the two countries. To diffuse the potential conflict between the two nations the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty was signed, in which both sides “agreed that neither would claim exclusive power over a future canal in Central America nor gain exclusive control over any part of the region”5. Many Nicaraguans because of the financial benefits a canal might bring to the country once it was finished originally accepted this treaty. The canal, however, remained under the United States and Great Britain control, Nicaragua was not involved in this operation, which made the government of this nation lose control of its own affair. The United States further implemented themselves in Nicaraguan affair with the Walker affair. The Walker affair was brought forth when after the independence of Nicaragua; there was a “continuous conflict over power by the strong cities of León and Granada, and their political parties (León housed the liberal and Granada the conservatives)”6. It was the Liberal, who were losing the struggle to unseat the Conservatives turned for help to a San Francisco-based soldier named William Walker.
William Walker is said to be “commonly known as a filibuster or an adventurer seeking to take control of Latin American Nations with the purpose of making them a part of the U.S.”7. Walker sailed in “June 1855 from California to Nicaragua with a small band of armed Californians. After some initial military setbacks, he and his Liberal allies took Granada in October and set up a coalition government…”8. By 1856, he had declared himself the president, re-instituted slavery, and made English the official language. This proved the notion that he wanted to annex Nicaragua to the United States to be true. It is said that Walker wanted the annexation to the Americas south in order to protect the slavery re-institution he had created in Nicaragua. Walker was quickly disliked due to his overwhelming power and control of the Nicaraguan army. This started the process to expel Walker and his army from Nicaragua, it proved to be a long and costly process. During this time, the colonial city of Granada was burned and thousands of Central Americans lost their lives. “The final battle of what Nicaraguans called the "National War" (1856–57) took place in the spring of 1857 in the town of Rivas, near the Costa Rican border. Walker beat off the attacks of the Central Americans, but the strength and morale of his forces were declining, and it would be only a matter of time until he would be overwhelmed.”9The National War ironically made for the cooperation between the Liberal and Conservative parties, which were the parties that first brought Walker to Nicaragua.
After declaring its independence from Spain, Nicaragua then joined “the United Provinces of Central America [which] was a short-lived nation comprising the present-day countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica”3. This United Provinces of Central America was formed during the 1800s where many Central American countries declared its independence from the weakened Spain government. Even so this formation was not perfect and it eventually would dissolve. The United Provinces of Central America was formed in an attempt to join the Mexican empire by the Captaincy General of Guatemala but “efforts by Mexico to control the region were resisted all over Central America. Separatist feelings throughout the isthmus grew, however, and five of the United Provinces of Central America--Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua--declared their independence from Mexico in July 1823”4. The federation dissolved in 1837, and a Constituent Assembly formally declared Nicaragua's independence from the United Provinces of Central America on April 30, 1838.
Nicaraguan Government before the Revolution 
After the defeat of William Walker, Nicaragua “the Conservative Party ruled in Nicaragua from 1857 to 1893, a period of relative economic progress and prosperity sometimes referred to as the "Thirty Years." A railroad system connecting the western part of Nicaragua with the port of Corinto on the Pacific coast was built, and roads and telegraph lines were extended”10During this time a railroad passageway was built in Panama, which took the pressure away from Nicaragua to have a railway built in their country. Panama became the attention of other outside countries that had wanted the railway to be installed in Nicaragua, due to this during the Conservative period the government did not have to worry about outside interferences too much. These “Thirty Years” came out to be very peaceful and very prosperous for the Nicaraguan government. At this time coffee also became the main export and the government acknowledged this with the passing of laws that favored cheap labor of the coffee famers as oppose to the elites that would exploit the farmers or favor the rich. This in many ways shortened the gap between the rich and the poor, leading to less tension between the two groups.
The Liberal Regime 
The peace and stability that the Conservative party had accomplished during the “Thirty Years” would not last long. “In 1893 the Liberal, under the leadership of Jose Santos Zelaya, joined dissident Conservatives in ousting the Conservative government of Roberto Sacasa”11. Sacasa was elected to presidency in the year 1889, he “was from León, not Granada, and his election produced a split within the ruling Conservative Party”12. Due to the division of the Conservative Party, it was easy and quick to overthrow the Sacasa government. The Liberal saw this as a great opportunity to put their own leader into power after having no candidate of their own in the government for over thirty years, Zelaya was chosen to represent the Liberal Party. Zelaya proved to be a ruthless dictator but managed to stay in power for sixteen years. He is credited today for being responsible in the creation of a professional army and a growth in strong nationalist feelings. To the United States, Zelaya was a “corrupt, brutal, cruel, greedy, egocentric, warmongering tyrant” and to President William Howard Taft, Zelaya was “a blot on the history of Nicaragua”13. However, at the end of his presidency there was little evidence to his alleged violence and cruelty. Born to a family of coffee farmers, Zelaya was very well educated and strongly believed in providing education for Nicaraguan citizens. During his regime “he built new schools and improved education by providing books and materials and raising teacher salaries. He was a big believer in transportation and communication, and new railroads were built”14. After Zelaya thought of offering Germany and other countries to compete with the United State affairs with Nicaragua, the United States decided to cut its ties with the Zelaya government. A civil war in Nicaragua soon erupted after that and the Zelaya government came to its end, again the United States intervention was clear in this point in time, when Nicaragua was still a young nation.
The United States Occupation 
The United States had stationed troops in Nicaragua from the year 1912 to 1933. This was a case of direct foreign military intervention and the United States was there to protect their interests in the Nicaragua government. In addition to the many “puppets” that the Unites States decided to put in power, there was also the Bryan-Chamorro Treaty signed in 1914 that showed the direct intervention of the United States in Nicaragua. The Bryan-Chamorro Treaty “according to Article 1 of the treaty, the Republic of Nicaragua granted the USA perpetual rights to construct and exploit an interoceanic canal on Nicaraguan territory”. The importance of the United States occupation lies not only in the individuals who happened to be elected president but more in the fact that, during those six years the shaping of the Somoza dictatorship was taking place. The Somoza regime would rule over Nicaragua for over four decades, during this time the revolutionary ideas that would ultimately overthrow the government would be created and founded by Augusto Cesar Sandino.
Defining the time span of the Nicaraguan revolution is difficult, since there was no formal declaration of war. The end date can be variously regarded as the date when the old regime is ousted, the date when hostilities cease (which could be later than the ouster of the old regime if there is a counterrevolution), or a later date that includes the period of rebuilding and change after the new regime takes power. A fairly broad definition of the time of the Nicaraguan revolution would be from the formal founding of the FSLN in 1961, to its 1990 election loss to Violetta Barrios de Chamorro and the Unión Nacional Opositora which marked the end of its first period in power.
A more restricted definition would be that it dates from the late 1970s, when serious armed resistance to the Somoza regime began, and culminated with the overthrow of Anastasio Somoza Debayle on 19 July 1979. The latter view might be criticized as too socially and politically naive, isolating the Nicaraguan Revolution from its context as part of the Cold War and from the flow of revolutionary struggles all across Latin America.
The Revolution was influenced by three major historical events:
- The Nicaraguan guerrilla warfare sustained by Nicaraguan Augusto César Sandino who stood originally, and at one time with only 29 men, against the occupation of Nicaragua by U.S. Marines in 1926. He developed an armed rebellion to fight the U.S. and what Sandino saw as an "usurpation of independence and sovereignty of Nicaragua".(citation from Selser, Gregorio's historical work needed) In 1934 Sandino was betrayed and assassinated by Anastasio Somoza García. Sandino became an icon of the roots and birth of the Nicaraguan Revolution.
- The Cuban Revolution, which sparked widespread left wing revolutionary movements across Latin America, and showed a plausible and possible cause of major political confrontation for a continent soon to be occupied by right-wing dictatorships.
- The 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and weakening of the Soviet Union, ending the Cold War and reducing the influence of US and USSR competition. It preceded the end of the Nicaraguan Revolution as marked by the electoral defeat of the FSLN in 1990. The liberal governments that followed changed much of its legacy. The FSLN, the organization that orchestrated the Revolution, evolved into a leftist party that won the Nicaraguan general election in 2006.
Background: Sandino and Somoza 
The Somoza Era, 1936–74 
Anastasio Somoza Garcia was only thirty-four years old when the United States marines gave him command of the National Guard. As the head of the National Guard, Somoza was the one to order the execution of the revolutionary leader Augusto Sandino in 1934. “By 1936, Somoza's power has risen to heights sure of stability so he plotted to overthrow Juan Sacasa the elected president” After the overthrow of Juan Sacasa, Somoza and his family would rule for over forty years, creating the Somoza dynasty. Somoza enjoyed the support that the United States gave him, which in turn made a lot of Nicaraguan citizens unsettled as once again the U.S. had intervention in the Nicaraguan government. During his lifetime Somoza was only president for nineteen years, because of his many political enemies, Somoza had personal bodyguards with him wherever he went. “Nevertheless, on September 21, 1956, while attending a PLN party in León to celebrate his nomination for the presidency, Somoza Garcia was fatally wounded by Rigoberto López Pérez, a twenty-seven year old Nicaraguan poet who had managed to pass through Somoza García's security. The dictator was flown to the Panama Canal Zone, where he died eight days later. Rigoberto Lopez would later be seen as a national hero by the Sandinista government.
After the death of Anastasio Somoza Garcia, his “eldest son Luís Somoza Debayle took over, continuing the dynasty his father had established.” Luis, who ruled from 1957 to 1967, believed in modernization and a lower family profile. Luis encouraged new leaders to emerge in the Liberal party; much of this was done to prevent his brother, Anastasio Somoza Debayle, from running for president in 1963. Luis mostly ruled through puppet president even so he created new jobs unfortunately they were jobs that mainly profited the already rich without helping the poor. This obviously provoked a few revolts which were strongly suppressed with the help of the National Guard under the command of Luis' younger brother, Anastasio. After Luis died of a heart attack months before a presidential election, the last member of the Somoza dynasty would assume the presidency. The Federal Republic of Central America
The Revolutionary Hero—Augusto Sandino 
The Nicaraguan Revolution did not come to pass until the year 1961; however its origins had started with one revolutionary thinker whose lifetime took place almost thirty years before the commencement of the actual revolution. Sandino was an illegitimate son of a small landowner of Spanish descent and an Indian woman who worked for the Sandino family. Sandino had a harsh upbringing and this would influence him to fight for the rights and advocate for people that were suffering in poverty. One of his main goals, however, was to free Nicaragua from United States intervention. Sandino most of all, wanted to return the Nicaraguan government to the people of Nicaragua. “Even though Sandino was an idealist with radical political and social ideas such as having communal lands and a unified Central America, Sandino was always a man of action and organized the sentiments of the common peasants into revolt. These common people provided the manpower to fight and die when needed as well as a constant information network for Sandino's backwoods fighting”18. Sandino’s army at one point stood with only 29 men but the army continued to grow as his supporters saw that it was possible to combat the government that currently ruled Nicaragua. After his first attempt to attack the United States intervention in Nicaragua, Sandino realized that he needed better weapons if he were to make a change in his home country. Throughout time, Sandino not only did he obtain better weapons but his army also grew. His army grew so much that in the year 1933 when the United States official withdrew its troops from Nicaragua “Sandino was still as great or greater a force as he had ever been when the US left”19. It was then when his goal was fulfilled that Sandino agreed to lay down his weapons and sign an agreement with the Sacasa government.
However, it was during this agreement signing that Sandino was betrayed and killed by the Sacasa government. This action by the National Guard not only affected Sandino but Sandino’s followers were also killed. This led to Sandino, after his assassination, to be seen as a bandit in many parts of the United States and Nicaragua. It wouldn’t be until Carlos Fonseca Amador, comes into the picture that Sandino is seen as the real father of the revolution. Sandino’s action might have led to the assassination of himself and many of his followers “but his daring stand against the foreign occupiers had been an example and had legitimized a set of tactics that were to be successfully employed by the Sandinista Front of National Liberation in overthrowing a U.S.-client dictatorship almost a half century later.”20. Sandino made change seem like a possible thing and in a nation that has always been under influence of one country or another; Sandino ideals were relatively new and accepted by many.
Nicaragua's Sandinista movement takes its name from Augusto César Sandino, a Nicaraguan who worked in the 1920s and 1930s to improve the conditions of the rural poor and end the United States military occupation of his country which had begun in 1909. Sandino assembled a guerrilla army of peasants, miners, workers, and artisans which began fighting the occupying forces in mid 1927. Confronted with an increasingly costly operation, the U.S. military prepared the Nicaraguan National Guard to take over security operations in the country and withdrew in 1933. Appointed as head of the Guard was Anastasio Somoza García, U.S.-educated, a former diplomatic translator for the U.S., close friend of the previous Nicaraguan president, Moncada, and nephew of the current president, Sacasa.
Sandino had promised to cease fighting if the U.S. withdrew, did so, and entered negotiations with Sacasa, who offered amnesty and land for Sandino's followers. Somoza, however, kidnapped and murdered Sandino at the negotiations, set the National Guard to massacre his unwary guerrillas and their families, and then in 1936 ousted Sacasa in a coup and had himself elected president by a remarkable vote of 107,201 to 108. Somoza and a small circle of family and close associates were soon running virtually every institution in Nicaragua, from the police and courts to the post office and railway. He used his power to enrich himself in business: within a decade he had fifty-one cattle ranches, was Nicaragua's largest coffee producer with forty-six coffee plantations, and owned numerous other enterprises including the merchant marine lines, the airline (Lanica), various mills, and the country's only pasteurised milk facility. By the 1970s, the Somozas controlled forty percent of the Nicaraguan economy and thirty percent of all arable land.
Somoza maintained himself in power by a combination of ruthless suppression at home and compliance toward the United States. With ninety percent of its exports going to the United States, Nicaragua was in some respects an economic appendage of the larger country. Somoza protected U.S. business interests in Nicaragua and was vociferously anti-communist. The United States sent the Somozas military assistance until 1978, one year before their demise. After his death in 1956, Somoza was succeeded by his sons Luis and Anastasio Somoza Debayle. Their methods of government were similar to their father's. The younger of the two, Anastasio, was director of the National Guard from 1956 and president from 1967.
Formation of the FSLN 
In July 1979, revolutionary movements in Nicaragua finally gained control of the government and ousted longtime dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle. The Somoza family held power in Nicaragua for 43 years, and was finally overthrown by the Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional.
Rise of the FSLN 
Carlos Fonseca formed the Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional, better known as FSLN, the revolutionary movement that toppled the Somoza dictatorship in 1979. Fonseca enrolled into law school at the University of Leon in 1952, and immediately became involved in student politics. Fonseca became affiliated with the Nicaraguan Socialist Party, and it was there where he first became aware of the writings of Augusto Sandino. Sandino, an anti-imperialist revolutionary from Nicaragua, would become the inspiration and image of FSLN. A book written by Gregorio Selsers’, Sandino: General de Hombres Libres, was ultimately the book that inspired Fonseca the most and led him to begin incorporating Sandino’s ideology into his political movement. Fonseca’s use of Sandino’s ideology in his political opposition movement led him and other members of the Nicaraguan Socialist Party to move away from the party and form their own group which they called Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional. Once formed, the group focused their efforts on guerilla movements; “Already espousing armed resistance to Somoza Dictatorship, exhilarated by the success of the Cuban road to power, and reinforced by substantial training and contact with some of Sandino’s former comrades-in-arms, Fonseca led the FSLN’s first efforts at organizing a clandestine support structure and a rural based guerilla movement.”
Cuban Revolution as a precedent for Nicaragua 
The guerilla warfare that Fonseca and the FSLN, led were inspired by the foco model of Che Guevara. FSLN believed that Guevara’s model of guerilla movement could be replicated in Nicaragua; “Based on his Cuban experience, Guevara proposed that, given the right conditions of economic and political alienation among the rural populace, even a small, dynamic armed movement with ideological clarity would receive sympathy and rapidly mobilize the peasantry to take up arms.” Unfortunately for the FSLN, this model did not work. The guerilla warfare they used left a significant portion of their members dead, and they were unable to mobilize the peasantry significantly, but they still used the Cuban Revolution as inspiration for their movement, “Thus, they tried to renew the struggle of Sandino, along with the example of the Cuban Revolution that was also an example inheritor of Sandino’s anti-imperialist struggle. “ Moreover, La Guardia Nacional, or National Guard of Nicaragua, used counterinsurgency techniques, learned through the CIA, to contain the guerilla movements, but they were unable to wipe out the FSLN entirely. Once the counter-revolutionary techniques came to light, there was a newly based interest by student groups in the FSLN. The interest was also re-ignited after Fonseca went into exile, to avoid the dictator’s repression, in Costa Rica. Finally in 1974, after a brief time in jail, Fonseca returned to Nicaragua and reignited the FSLN movement.
The Nicaraguan earthquake and the Somoza dynasty 
Up until this point in time, anti-opposition movements were weak and widely dispersed. The less radical opposition groups were fearful of the Somoza Dynasty’s ties with the U.S. and were fearful of the more radical groups, like the FSLN. It wasn’t until December 23, 1972, when a devastating earthquake shook Nicaragua that the more radical groups began to emerge. After the earthquake, the extent of Somoza’s corruption was evident to the people. Somoza began to enrich himself, on the backs of foreign aid and the people. According to LeoGrande “Turning adversity to advantage, Somoza and his associates enriched themselves shamelessly with the international aid intended for earthquake victims. With Somoza in charge of reconstruction, the city of Managua was re-built on Somoza’s land, by Somoza’s construction companies, with international aid funneled through Somoza’s banks.” After the corruption and economic advantages gained by Somoza through the devastation of the earthquake, the people hardest hit were the lower classes, including the peasantry. It was the people’s adversity that caused an uprising in radical protests, and demonstrations. The uprisings were mostly centered on an opposition group by the name of Union Democratica de Liberacion, better known as UDEL. This group was formed by Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, a journalist that headed the anti-Somoza newspaper called, La Prensa. UDEL consisted of seven opposition political parties. The group failed to gain much recognition, because in the same month UDEL was formed, the FSLN captured the international world’s attention.
Hostage crisis in Nicaragua 
According to Palmer “for the majority of the people the Sandinista Front, or Sandinismo, were just minority ideas, diluted activities of student groups, actions of radical groups, and not the continuation of the struggle of the Nicaraguan people.” The Nicaraguan people were still very hesitant about these revolutionary groups, that is until 1974, when the FSLN began publishing some of Fonseca’s essays and distributing them to peasant villages and urban neighborhoods. Then in December 27, 1974, the FSLN staged a raid at a former high ranking government official's home, killing three guards and the host in the process. In exchange for the release of the hostages which included several high-ranking government officials and prominent businessmen, the FSLN obtained publication of a statement on national radio and in the press. The publications legitimized the group as an efficient revolutionary group, and gained public support. One of the publications read “All these guerilla forces demonstrated the determination of the most advanced sectors to take up arms. Historically, the emergence of a homogenous force and vanguard that synthesizes the restlessness and the desires of the people has been necessary. That force is the Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional…, which is today the only legitimate vanguard.” The group also obtained the release of 14 political prisoners, one million dollars in ransom, and that they would be lead safely into Cuba.
Somoza's "reign of terror" 
Somoza felt humiliated by the raid, and thus began a journey to eliminate the FSLN. He created an elite counter-insurgency force that lead raids of villages in which the FSLN was most active. The peasants in those areas were subject to mass executions and torture. In order to calm support for the FSLN, the government began resettling approximately 80% of the rural population into resettlement camps. This reign of terror gained international attention for its human rights violations, and lead the U.S to reduce its aid and military forces in Nicaragua. Fueled by the withdraw of U.S troops, FSLN began a series of small scaled attacks on the National Guard in 1977, and concurrently 12 exiled Nicaraguan professionals praised the FSLN as a group that had major influence in solving Nicaraguan problems.
Fonseca's death and the future of the Revolution 
Shortly after the small scale attacks, there were ideological differences within the FSLN as to how Somoza would be defeated. In November 1976, the FSLN’s leader Carlos Fonseca was killed in combat, and this subsequently led to a division within the FSLN. From 1976 to 1978 the FSLN’s different division led small scale attacks throughout the nation, none doing much damage to Somoza’s reign. It wasn’t until January 10, 1978, when Chamorro, leader of the UDEL, was assassinated that the nation began widespread protest, and the FSLN saw this as a chance to wound the Somoza dynasty. Several major Nicaraguan business leaders called for a general strike that would only end with the resignation of Somoza, the FSLN offered its support to the strike.
The end of Somoza's rule 
During the next several months in 1978, the country saw several small scale protests erupting sporadically. These protests were mostly led by moderate groups calling for U.S. involvement in the increasing violence in the country. Six months after the assassination of Chamorro, the U.S who at one point had sanctioned Nicaragua for its human rights violations, sent a letter to Somoza congratulating the dictator for improving the country’s human rights conditions. This image of the U.S. congratulating the dictator, at a time where the lower class population was being repressed, severely impacted the revolutionary groups. They no longer believed U.S. involvement would help resolve the issues. This led these moderate groups to associate more closely with the FSLN, and together they hoped to overthrow Somoza. In August 1978, FSLN led yet another raid, this time on the National Palace during a congress session. That hostage situation ended with over 3,000 dead. This led to major U.S. Nicaraguan problems and eventually the U.S. cut their embassy staff by half, and withdrew their military support. This severely weakened the Somoza government, and in June 1979, the FSLN newly reunited and attacked Somoza. Within weeks the FSLN controlled most major cities, and even rural areas. It was then that Somoza realized, the U.S. would no longer back his regime, and he fled to Paraguay in exile. The FSLN then appointed a provisional government, and the revolutionary fighting ended 43 years of dictatorship by several Somoza family members.
In 1958, Roman Raudales, a comrade of Augusto César Sandino's, launched a guerrilla movement in Northern Nicaragua. The small band led by Raudales, who was by then past sixty, lived in the mountains and exhorted the people to take up arms against the Somoza dictatorship. Although a National Guard punitive squad wiped out this tiny guerrilla force with its "whitebearded patriarch," the very appearance of a group pitting itself against the dictatorship inspired others to begin similar activities. These included students as well as a youthful group within the Nicaraguan Socialist Party who began to decry what they saw as the timidity and un-militancy of that organisation. (The Nicaraguan Socialist Party was Nicaragua's Communist party, a COMINTERN member. Banned in Nicaragua in 1945, it operated underground.) The young anti-Somoza activists soon had organised several guerrilla groups that operated in the areas of Nueva Segovia and Rio Jorgo near the border with Honduras, and also in the Matagalpa and Jinotega highlands. One of these activists was Carlos Foonseca Amador, a young communist party member who had studied law at the University of Léon, been repeatedly thrown in jail for his political activities, and finally deported to Guatemala in 1959. While there, he and a few score other Nicaraguans formed a guerrilla group that named itself the Rigoberto Lopez column, after the patriot who had assassinated Somoza Garcia in 1956. They reinfiltrated Nicaragua but their first engagement was disastrous: nine of them were killed and Fonseca badly wounded. Upon his recovery, Fonseca linked up with Thomás Borge Martínez and Silvio Mayorga to publish a newspaper, Juventud Revolucionaria. A guerrilla group formed around these three, called Juventud Patriotica. It later changed its name to Frente de Liberación nacional; in 1961 it had seven members. Finally, in 1962, it took on the name which was to prove permanent, Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional.
The group began to combine armed action in the highlands with urban and village operations, mostly bank raids, and started to carry on political education among the population. Upon entering one or another inhabited locality, the Sandinistas would call a meeting of the local peasants to describe their aims and purposes, and exhort them to actively participate in the struggle to overthrow the dictatorship. According to one of its leaders, Plutarco Hernandez, in some places as many as 300 peasants would turn out to hear them speak. However, many of the small Sandinista group were imprisoned or killed by the National Guard in the years 1962 - 1964.
The FSLN had about twenty members in the early 1960s.
In 1972 an event occurred which Somoza was able to use to considerably enrich himself; however, in doing so he incurred the animosity of the Nicaraguan public and the international community, and also many Nicaraguan business people, to an extent that seriously damaged his position. The event was the Managua earthquake of December 23. It killed 5,000 to 10,000 people, left 50,000 without homes, and destroyed eighty percent of Managua's commercial buildings. A major relief effort was undertaken by international donors. Somoza was able to turn the disaster to his profit by putting himself in charge of the local organisation responsible for distributing the aid and appropriating a large amount of it for himself. The job of rebuilding was given predominantly to Somoza family and friends, which increased his monopolisation of the commercial life of the country. Somoza's control and accumulation of ownership was already a source of friction between him and other Nicaraguan capitalists because it was shutting them out of investment opportunities. The quake grab exacerbated that problem. Another phenomenon was that thousands of young middle-class people had their prospects in life seriously diminished by the earthquake through impoverishment up to and including homelessness; for many, the relative desirability of radical change had been increased, and Sandinista support grew accordingly.
Anastasio Somoza Debayle's intentions to run for another presidential term in 1974 were resisted even within his own Partido Liberal Nacionalista (PLN – National Liberal Party). The political opposition, led by La Prensa editor Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal and former minister of education Ramiro Sacasa, established the Unión Democrática de Liberacion (UDEL – Democratic Liberation Union), a broad coalition of anti-Somoza elements, including members from both the traditional elite and labour unions. The party promoted a dialogue with the government to foster political pluralism. The president responded with increasing political repression and further censorship of the news media. Somoza was reelected president in 1974.
On 27 December 1974, a group of FSLN guerrillas seized the home of a former government official and took as hostages a handful of leading Nicaraguan officials, many of whom were Somoza relatives. The agreement reached between them and the government on 30 December with the mediation of Archbishop Obando y Bravo damaged the prestige of the already unpopular government. The guerrillas received US$1 million ransom, had an FSLN declaration read over the radio and printed in La Prensa, and succeeded in getting fourteen Sandinista prisoners released from jail and flown to Cuba along with the kidnappers. The guerrilla movement's prestige soared because of this successful operation. The act also established the FSLN strategy of revolution as an effective alternative to Udel's policy of promoting change peacefully. The government responded to the incident with further censorship, intimidation, torture, and murder.
In 1975, Somoza and the National Guard launched another campaign against the FSLN. The government imposed a state of siege, censoring the press, and threatening all opponents with detention and torture.
In late 1975, because of the repressive campaign of the National Guard and because of its own increase in size, the FSLN split into three factions.
- The Proletaries, or Proletarian faction, headed by Jamie Wheelock Román, followed traditional Marxist thought and sought to organise factory workers and people in poor neighbourhoods.
- The Guerra Popular Prolongada (GPP – Prolonged Popular War) faction, headed by Tomás Borge and Henry Ruiz, was influenced by the philosophy of Mao Zedong and believed that revolution would require a long insurrection that included peasants as well as labour movements.
- The Terceristas, also known as the Third Roaders, Third Way, or Insurrectional faction was pragmatic and called for ideological pluralism. Its leaders included Plutarco Hernandez, and the Ortega Saavedra brothers, Daniel José and Humberto. It argued that social conditions in Nicaragua were ripe for an immediate insurrection. The Third Way faction supported joint action with non-Marxist groups against Somoza.
Fall of Somoza 
In the late 1970s, international pressure mounted against the Somoza government because of its state terrorism and repression. This came from rights organisations as well as governments. In 1977 the Jimmy Carter administration in the United States made further United States military assistance to Somoza conditional on his improving his human rights record. The international pressure is credited with having forced president Somoza to lift the state of siege in September 1977. Upon the lifting of the state of siege, strong public protest against the government resumed; however, the FSLN remained under strong suppression by the National Guard.
In October 1977 a non-Marxist anti-Somoza alliance called Los Doce (The Group of Twelve) was formed by some Nicaraguan businesspeople and academics. The founding meeting was held in Costa Rica. Sergio Ramírez Mercado was a leading member. Los Doce strengthened the FSLN by insisting on Sandinista representation in any post-Somoza government. Nevertheless, opposition to the dictatorship remained divided.
Economically, capital flight became a problem for the government, forcing it to undertake heavy foreign loans, mostly from United States banks, to finance its expenditures. In spite of this and in spite of continued expressions of disapproval from some international quarters, civil liberties remained minimal and representative institutions absent. The Somoza regime frequently threatened the press, especially the newspaper La Prensa and the critical editorials of its publisher and Udel leader, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal. On 10 January 1978, Chamorro was assassinated. Although the assassins were not identified at the time, evidence implicated president Somoza's son and other members of the National Guard. The killing provoked mass demonstrations against the regime, the Episcopate of the Nicaraguan Catholic Church issued a pastoral letter critical of the government, and opposition parties called for the president's resignation. On 23 January 1978, a nationwide strike began, with the intention of unseating the dictatorship. It was heavily suppressed by the National Guard but succeeded in paralysing both private industry and government services for about ten days. Most private enterprises suspended their participation in the strike after a week or two because of the financial cost to themselves of not doing business. The FSLN guerrillas also launched a series of attacks throughout the country; however, the better-equipped National Guard was able to maintain military superiority.
The United States suspended military assistance in February 1978. This increased the dictatorship's financial problems because it then had to buy weapons on the international market. Capital flight continued and inflation and unemployment became serious.
1978 saw the formation of several more anti-Somoza organisations. In March, Alfonso Robelo Callejas, a businessman, established the Movimiento Democrático Nicaragüense (Nicaraguan Democratic Movement – MDN). In May, the Frente Amplio de Opposición (Broad Opposition Front – FAO) was created by several political parties – the Conservatives, Udel, Los Doce, and MDN – to pressure Somoza for a negotiated solution to the crisis. Although the FSLN was not included in the FAO, the participation of Los Doce in the FAO assured a connection between the FSLN and other opposition groups. In July, the FSLN also established its own political arm, the Movimiento del Pueblo Unido (Movement of United people – MPU), which included labour groups, student organisations, and communist and socialist political parties. The MPU's position was that armed struggle would be necessary in order to overthrow the Somoza dictatorship.
On 22 August 1978, 25 members of the Third Way, led by Edén Pastora Gómez, also known as Commandante Cero (Commander Zero), succeeded in capturing the National Palace and holding almost 2,000 government officials and members of congress hostage. A negotiated settlement was reached after two days, through the mediation of Archbishop Obando y Bravo and the Panamanian and Costa Rican ambassadors, which required the government to pay the guerrillas $500,000 U.S., release sixty FSLN members from prison, disseminate an FSLN declaration in the news media, and give the raiders safe passage to Panama and Venezuela. The incident further tarnished the government's image, electrified the opposition, and demoralised the National Guard. Somoza had to replace many of the National Guard's officers to forestall a coup and he launched a recruitment campaign to strengthen its rank and file.
By the end of 1978, the failure of the FAO to obtain a negotiated settlement and the success of the August raid had increased the stature of the insurrection movement. Los Doce withdrew from the FAO and many other individual members resigned because they now considered negotiations with the dictator pointless and odious. Another issue was that the FAO was considering a deal that would have the United States intervene military to hold in place a post-Somoza government. Los Doce opposed any solution that would bring U.S. troops to Nicaragua.
The Somoza regime was further isolated in November 1978 when the Organisation of American States' (OAS) Inter-American Commission on Human Rights published a report charging the National Guard with numerous human rights violations. The report was followed by a United Nations declaration condemning the Nicaraguan government.
In December, Cuban mediation led to a rapprochement between the three factions of the FSLN. Formal reunification of the FSLN took place in March 1979.
On 1 February 1979, the Sandinists established a broader popular front organisation called the Frente Patriótico Nacional (National Patriotic Front – FPN), which besides the FSLN included Los Doce, the Independent Liberal Party (PLI), and the Popular Social Christian Party (Partido Popular Social Christiano – PPSC). The FPN had a broad appeal, including political support from elements of the FAO and the business sector.
After the formal unification of the Sandinista guerrillas in March, heavy fighting broke out all over the country. Although the National Guard had better mobility and air support, by then the FSLN was much better equipped than in earlier times, with weapons flowing from Venezuela, Panama, and Cuba, mostly through Costa Rica. The FSLN had the advantages of higher morale, good discipline, popular support and cooperation, safe bases in Northern Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and a good rate of volunteers. The FSLN launched its final offensive in May, just as the National Guard began to lose control of many areas of the country. In a year's time, bold military and political moves had changed the FSLN from one of many opposition groups to the leading group in the anti-Somoza revolt.
Katherine Hoyt cites Humberto Ortega as listing three factors besides the reunification of the FSLN that put the revolutionaries in a very strong position at this time:
- The people were prepared and ready for a massive popular uprising;
- The private sector was completely fed up with Somoza and was ready to support another general strike; and most importantly
- The FSLN, in a culmination of its eighteen years of struggle, was politically and militarily ready to lead the offensive.
The final offensive by the FSLN was planned on three fronts: North central, Western, and North Eastern. They took the Northern parts of the country easily but the South was a hard task. The final goal of the FSLN was to capture Managua.
On 30 May, it was announced that the final general strike would begin on June 4.
In Matagalpa, fighting began on June 5 between the national Guard and the Sandinistas, who had entered the city that day. For about a month, the National Guard strafed and bombed the city, which still had many civilians in it, from the air and fired mortars into it. The Sandinistas moved through the city by knocking holes in the walls of houses so that they could go from house to house without exposing themselves in the street.
On 16 June, the FSLN took the National Guard post in León, about 75 km North West of Managua.
On 18 June, a provisional Nicaraguan government in exile, consisting of a five-member junta, was organised in Costa Rica. The members were Daniel Ortega of the FSLN, Moisés Hassan Morales of the FPN, Sergio Ramírez of Los Doce, Alfonso Robelo Callejas of the MDN, and Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, the widow of La Prensa's editor. The members of the junta reached an agreement called the Puntarenas Pact, calling for a mixed economy, political pluralism, and a nonaligned foreign policy. Free elections were to be held at a later date, and the National Guard was to be replaced by a nonpartisan army. Panama was the first country to recognise the junta.
On 20 June, international condemnation of the Somoza regime was increased by the savage murder of ABC news reporter Bill Stewart by a National Guardsman who shot him while he was lying face down on the ground, kicked him, and shot him again. Another journalist captured the killing on film and it was aired widely.
In late June, the OAS voted to demand Somoza's resignation. Several Central American dictatorships abstained and Paraguay voted against the resolution.
Around 29 June, the Sandanistas in Managua executed a tactical retreat. They moved about 8,000 combattants and civilians 26 km South East, out of the neighbourhoods of Managua, where they were being slaughtered, to Masaya, which by then the National Guards could not easily strike. Some of the civilians trained there to become FSLN militia.
By 5 July, the Sandinistas controlled eighty percent of Nicaragua: twenty-three major citities and towns. By 13 July, they were in control of the major roads into Managua, cutting the National Guard's land communications with the outside world.
By the second week of July 1979, president Somoza had agreed to resign and hand power to vice-president Francisco Urcuyo Maliaños, who was then supposed to transfer the government to the revolutionary junta. According to the agreement, a cease-fire would follow, and defence responsibilities would be shared by elements of the National Guard and the FSLN. On 16 July, he submitted his resignation, and the next morning the Somoza family and several National Guard generals, Liberal Nationalist Party (PLN) leaders and congressmen fled to Miami, U.S.A. The next day, the 18th, the five-member junta arrived in Léon from Costa Rica. They became known as the Junta de Reconstrucción Nacional (Junta of National Reconstruction). Urcuyo tried to ignore the agreement to transfer power, but in less than two days, domestic and international pressure drove him into exile in Guatemala. On 19 July, the FSLN entered Managua.
First years 
The new government established a consultative assembly, the Council of State, on 4 May 1980. The council could approve laws submitted to it by the junta or initiate its own legislation. The junta had the right of veto over council-initiated legislation, and retained control over much of the budget. Although its powers were limited, the council was not a rubber stamp and often amended legislation given it by the junta.
From late 1979 through 1980, United States president Carter's administration made efforts to work with the new Nicaraguan government. However, when president Ronald Reagan took office in January 1981, the United States government launched a campaign to isolate the Sandinista government. On 23 January, the Reagan administration suspended all United States aid to Nicaragua. Later that year, the Reagan administration authorised support for groups trying to overthrow the Nicaraguan government. The U.S. claimed that Nicaragua, with assistance from Cuba and the Soviet Union, was supplying arms to guerrillas in El Salvador. The Nicaraguan government denied the United States' allegations and charged the United States with leading an international campaign against it.
Changes after 1979 
As any revolutionary process that struck the basements of the society that harbors it, with the Nicaragua Revolution there were several major changes that reshaped the Nicaraguan society, turning it into a country complex as ever. The direct consequences of the Revolution can be structured into three main directions:
The Revolution brought down the heavy burden the Somocista regime had imposed upon the Nicaraguan economy and that had seriously deformed the country creating a big and modern head, Managua, where Somoza's power would emanate to all corners of the territory, and then an almost semifeudalist rural economy with few productive goods, such as cotton, sugar and other tropical agricultural products. All sectors of the economy of Nicaragua were determined, in great part if not all, by the Somozas or the officials and adepts surrounding the regime, whether it was directly owning agricultural brands and trusts, or actively setting them to local or foreign hands. It is famously stated that Somoza himself owned 1/5 of all profitable land in Nicaragua. While this is not correct, Somoza or his adepts did own or give away banks, ports, communications, services and massive amounts of land.
All sectors of the economy were restructured, actually heading into a mixed economy system. However, the biggest impact, economically, set by the Revolution was within the primary sector: the Agrarian Reform.
The Nicaraguan Revolution brought immense restructuring and reforms to all three sectors of the Economy. In the primary sector, the Revolution presented the Agrarian Reform, not as one that could be planned in advanced from the beginning of the Revolution but as a process that would develop pragmatically along the different conditions -economical, political and from organization, that would arise all during the Revolution period.
Economic reforms overall needed to rescue out of limbo the inefficient and helpless Nicaraguan economy. As a "third-world" country, Nicaragua had, and has, an agriculture-based economy, undeveloped and susceptible to flow of market price of its agricultural goods, such as coffee and cotton. The Revolution faced a rural economy well behind in technology and, at the same time, devastated by the guerrilla warfare and the soon to come civil war against the Contras.
"Article 1 of the Agrarian Reform Law says that property is guaranteed if it laboured efficiently and that there could be different forms of property:
The principles that presided Agrarian Reform were the same ones for the Revolution: pluralism, national unity and economic democracy."
- state property (with the confiscated land from somocists)
- cooperative property (part of confiscated land, but without individual certificates of ownership, to be laboured efficiently)
- communal property (in response to reinvindication from people and communities from Miskito regions in the Atlantic
- individual property (as long as this is efficiently exploited and integrated to national plans of development)
The Nicaraguan Agrarian Reform developed into four phasesthis aspect alone of the Nicaraguan Revolution should be developed into a new article:
- First phase (1979): confiscation of property owned by Somocists and its adepts
- Second phase (1981): Agrarian Reform Law of July 19, 1981
- Third phase (1984–1985): massive cession of land individually, responding to demands from peasantry
- Fourth phase (1986): Agrarian Reform Law of 1986, or "reform to the 1981 Law"
In 1985, the Agrarian Reform distributed 235,000 acres (950 km2) of land to the peasantry. This represented about 75 percent of all land distributed to peasants since 1980. According to Proyect, the agrarian reform had the twofold purpose of increasing the support for the government among the campesinos, and guaranteeing ample food delivery into the cities. During 1985, ceremonies were held throughout the countryside in which Daniel Ortega would give each peasant a title to the land and a rifle to defend it.
Cultural Revolution 
The Nicaraguan Revolution brought many cultural improvements and developments. Undoubtfully, the most important was the planning and execution of the Nicaraguan Literacy Campaign (Cruzada Nacional de Alfabetización). The literacy campaign used secondary school students, university students as well as teachers as volunteer teachers. Within five months they reduced the overall illiteracy rate from 50.3% to 12.9%. As a result, in September 1980, UNESCO awarded Nicaragua with the “Nadezhda K. Krupskaya” award for their successful literacy campaign. This was followed by the literacy campaigns of 1982, 1986, 1987, 1995 and 2000, all of which were also awarded by UNESCO. The Revolution also founded a Ministry of Culture, one of only three in Latin America at the time, and established a new editorial brand, called Editorial Nueva Nicaragua and, based on it, started to print cheap editions of basic books rarely seen by Nicaraguans at all. It also founded an Instituto de Estudios del Sandinismo (Institute for Studies of Sandinismo) where it printed all of the work and papers of Augusto C. Sandino and those that cemented the ideologies of FSLN as well, such as Carlos Fonseca, Ricardo Morales Avilés and others. The key large scale programs of the Sandinistas received international recognition for their gains in literacy, health care, education, childcare, unions, and land reform.
Contra War 
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Since the political project of the Revolution was an "anti-imperialist, classist, popular and revolutionary" project the growth of the military was also a direct consequence of the Revolution. As early as 1981 (1980 to some evidence) an anti-Sandinista movement, the Contrarrevolución (Counter-revolution) — or just Contras, was already taking form and place along the border with Honduras. An armed conflict would then arise in no time, adding to the ongoing civil wars across Central America. Later, the Contras, heavily backed up by the CIA and, although secretly, by members of the US Government, opened a second "front" in the Atlantic coast and Costa Rican border of the country, thus making the 80s an even more stressful decade. With the civil war opening up cracks in the national revolutionary project, the military budget grew in numbers of money and men. The Servicio Militar Patriótico (Patriotic Military Service), a compulsory draft, was established to help defend the Revolution. (see below).
1984 general election 
The 1984 election took place on November 4. Of the 1,551,597 citizens registered in July, 1,170,142 voted (75.41%). The null votes were 6% of the total. International observers declared the elections free and fair, despite the fact the Reagan administration denounced it as a "Soviet style sham". The national averages of valid votes for president were:
- Daniel Ortega, Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) – 66.97%
- Clemente Guido, Democratic Conservative Party (PCD) – 14.04%
- Virgilio Godoy, Independent Liberal Party (PLI) – 9.60%
- Mauricio Diaz, Popular Social Christian Party (PPSC) – 5.56%
- Allan Zambrana, Nicaraguan Communist Party (PCdeN) – 1.45%
- Domingo Sánchez Sancho, Nicaraguan Socialist Party (PSN) – 1.31%
- Isidro Téllez, Marxist-Leninist Popular Action Movement (MAP-ML) – 1.03%
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1990 General Elections 
The 1990 Nicaraguan General Elections marked a setback for the Sandinista Leadership. The winner of the elections, UNO (Unión Nacional Oppositora, or National Opposition Union), a coalition of political parties, was devised to match the strength of FSLN political front and to access the presidential chair. The candidate for UNO was Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, a member of the original Junta de Reconstrucción Nacional (National Reconstruction Junta) and widow of Pedro Joaquín Chamorro, assassinated by Somoza on January 10, 1978. For FSLN, the same formula that won the 1984 General Elections was presenting its candidacy for a new term: Daniel Ortega for President of Nicaragua, and Sergio Ramírez for Vicepresident.
The 1990 Elections according to the source.
|Nicaraguan 1990 General Elections||%|
"Since the very moment of inception, under the political guidance and technical and financial support from the government of the US, the existence of UNO was marked by grave structural deformations, derived from its own nature. In its conformation concurred the most diverse currents of the Nicaraguan political and ideological range: from the liberal-conservative -traditionally anticommunist and pro-US, to marxist-leninists from moscovian lineage, openly declared supporters of class struggle and enemies of capitalism in its superior development stage".
The constitution of the UNO Coalition for the 1990 General Elections was as follows: (exact transcription and translation of the names of these political parties needed)
- 3 Liberal factions: PLI, PLC and PALI
- 3 Conservative: ANC, PNC and APC
- 3 Social-Christians: PPSC, PDCN and PAN
- 2 Socialdemocrats: PSD and MDN
- 2 Communists: PSN (pro-Moscow) and PC de Nicaragua (pro-Albania)
- 1 Central American Unionist: PIAC
See also 
- Corinto, Nicaragua
- Daniel Ortega
- Iran-Contra affair
- Nicaragua v. United States
- National Guard (Nicaragua)
- United States embargo against Nicaragua
- Under Fire (film)
- Emily L Andrews, Active Marianismo: Women's social and political action in Nicaraguan Christian base communities and the Sandinista revolution.  Grinnell College research project, 1997. Retrieved November 2009.
- Enrique Bermudez (with Michael Johns), "The Contras' Valley Forge: How I View the Nicaragua Crisis", Policy Review magazine, Summer 1988.
- David Close & Salvador Marti Puig (2010) "The Sandinistas and Nicaragua, 1979-2009" NY: Lynne Rienner.
- Dodson, Michael, and Laura Nuzzi O'Shaughnessy (1990). Nicaragua's Other Revolution: Religious Faith and Political Struggle. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press. xii, 279 p. ISBN 0-8078-4266-4
- Katherine Hoyt, Memories of the 1979 Final Offensive, Nicanet, Retrieved November 2009. This is a first-hand account from Metagalpa; also contains some information on the general situation. Has photograph showing considerable damage to Metagalpa. 
- Salvador Martí Puig "Nicaragua. La revolución enredada" Lirbos de la Catarata: Madrid.
- Oleg Ignatiev, "The Storm of Tiscapa", in Borovik and Ignatiev, The Agony of a Dictatorsip. Progress Publishers, 1979; English translation, 1980.
- Library of Congress (United States), Country Study:Nicaragua, especially Chapter 1, which is by Marisabel Brás. Retrieved November 2009.
- Louis Proyect, Nicaragua. Retrieved November 2009.
Notes and references 
||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (June 2010)|
- "Arms Sales (Bulgaria)". Library of Congress. 1994.
- "Mexico's Support of the Sandinista Revolution". Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo.
- "Our work in Nicaragua". Swedish International Development Corporation Agency (www.sida.se). 2009.
- Louis Proyect, Nicaragua, discusses, among other things, the reforms and the degree to which socialism was intended or achieved.
- Lacina, Bethany. "The PRIO Battle Deaths Dataset, 1946-2008, Version 3.0: Documentation of Coding Decisions". International Peace Research Institute, Oslo. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- Most of the information in this paragraph is from Library of Congress, Country Study, Chapter 1 >> "The Somoza Era". The 1970s control percentages are from Andrews' sction on 'Sandino and Somoza'.
- Ninety percent of exports: Library of Congress, country Study, Chapter 1 >> "The Somoza Era".
- Most of the information in this and the previous pararaph on the 1950s and 60s guerrillas is from Ignatiev, Chapter 4, "Sandinista Revival".
- Library of Congress, Country Study, Chapter 1 >> 'The rise of the FSLN'.
- Library of Congress, Country Study >> The Somoza Era, 1936 - 74.
- Library of Congress, Country Study, Chapter 1 >> 'The Rise of the FSLN'.
- Library of Congress, Country Study, Chapter 1 >> "The End of the Anastasio Somoza Debayle Era".
- Ignatiev, Chapter Eight: "Till Victory".
- Hoyt, near top of article.
- This and several previous pieces of information about events in May and June are from Hoyt.
- Hoyt, about half way down.
- Hoyt, about 2/3 of the way down.
- SOLÁ MONSERRAT, Roser. "Geografía y Estructura Económicas de Nicaragua" (Nicaragua's Geography and Economical Structure). Universidad Centroamericana. Managua, Nicaragua, 1989. Second Edition.
- "Agrarian Productive Structure in Nicaragua", SOLÁ MONSERRAT, Roser. 1989. Pag 69 and ss.
- Ib. ant. Italics of "properties" are from this editor
- Ibid. ant.
- Louis Proyect, Nicaragua, about 4/5 of the way down.
- Hanemann, Ulrike. "Nicaragua's Literacy Campaign" (DOC). UNESCO. Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
- B. Arrien, Juan. "Literacy in Nicaragua" (PDF). UNESCO. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
- Background History of Nicaragua
- globalexchange.org Report on Nicaragua
- Managua: Sección de Formación Política del Ejército Popular Sandinista, 1981. (Managua: Seccion of Political Formation of Sandinist Popular Army), 38 pgs; source from CRAJINA, Roberto: "Transición política y reconversión militar en Nicaragua, 1990-1995" (Political Transition and Military Restructuring in Nicaragua, 1990-1995).
- "Bases de datos políticos de las Américas", Center for Latin America Studies, University of Georgetown http://pdba.georgetown.edu/Elecdata/Nica/nica90.html
- "Paradoxes from an heterogeneous and fragile electoral Alliance", CAJINA, Roberto, Id. ant. Pag. 44 and ss.
- Ibid. ant.