Somoza family

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Republic of Nicaragua

República de Nicaragua
Location of Nicaragua
Common languagesSpanish
GovernmentMilitary dictatorship
President of Nicaragua 
LegislatureNational Congress of Nicaragua
Historical eraInterbellum, World War II, Cold War
January 1 1936
• Disestablished
July 17 1979
CurrencyNicaraguan córdoba
ISO 3166 codeNI
Preceded by
Succeeded by

The Somoza family (Spanish: Familia Somoza) was an autocratic family dictatorship in Nicaragua that lasted forty-three years, from 1936 to 1979.


Anastasio Somoza García assumed the presidency after luring rebel leader Augusto César Sandino to peace talks, and murdering Sandino soon afterwards. Anastacio amended the Nicaraguan Constitution, concentrating power in his hands and installed his relatives and cronies in top government positions.[1] Although the Somoza family only held the presidency for 30 of those 43 years, they were the power behind the other presidents of the time through their control of the National Guard. The differences in the Somoza's ruling style only reflected their adaptation to the U.S.-Latin American policy.[2] Their regime was overthrown by the Sandinista National Liberation Front during the Nicaraguan Revolution.

For more than four decades in power, the Somoza family accumulated wealth through corporate bribes, industrial monopolies, land grabbing, and foreign aid siphoning. By the 1970s, the family owned 23 percent of land in Nicaragua while the family wealth reached $533 million, which already amounted to half of Nicaragua's debt and 33 percent of the country's 1979 GDP.[3]

Three of the Somozas served as President of Nicaragua. They were:

Other members of the Somoza family include:


  1. ^ Newton, Michael (2014). Famous Assassinations in World History: An Encyclopedia [2 volumes]. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 539. ISBN 9781610692854.
  2. ^ Keen, Benjamin; Haynes, Keith (2009). A History of Latin America, Eight Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. p. 450. ISBN 9780618783182.
  3. ^ Birdsall, Nancy; Williamson, John; Deese, Brian (2002). Delivering on Debt Relief: From IMF Gold to a New Aid Architecture. Washington, D.C.: Peterson Institute. pp. 134. ISBN 0881323314.

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