VII. The Contemporary Period, 1945–2000 > D. Latin America, 1945–2000 > 3. Central America, 1945–2000 > d. Nicaragua
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1944)
d. Nicaragua
1947, Feb 2
Leonardo Argüello was elected president to succeed Anastasio Somoza. The new president was removed (May 27) when he showed signs of independence; in September, Somoza made Victor Román Reyes president. Under Reyes the new labor code went unenforced, and strikes were completely forbidden.  1
1950, March 25
Gen. Somoza resumed the presidency. During subsequent years the Somoza “kleptocracy” dominated the economy. The Somozas appeased elites by splitting profits from economic ventures and foreign aid with a small number of families.  2
Nicaraguan women were given the vote.  3
1956, Sept. 29
Pres. Somoza died of gunshot wounds inflicted on Sept. 22. He was succeeded by his son Luis, elected to serve until May 1957, and then reelected for a six-year term. Luis, with the help of his brother ANASTASIO SOMOZA DEBAYLE (1925–80), known as Tachito, who controlled the National Guard, continued the graft and terror initiated by his father. The cotton boom drew large capital investments, driving peasants off their land. Among the only sources of opposition allowed was the mildly critical paper La Prensa, published by conservative Pedro Joaquín Chamorro.  4
Carlos Fonseca, Silvio Mayorga, and Tomás Borge founded the FRENTE SANDINISTA DE LIBERACIÓN NACIONAL (FSLN), composed largely of students, which sought to overthrow the Somozas through guerrilla warfare. The Sandinistas were almost wiped out by the late 1960s.  5
1963, Feb. 3
René Schick Gutiérrez, the candidate selected by retiring president Somoza, defeated Diego Chamorro in the presidential election.  6
1966, Aug. 3
Lorenzo Guerrero was elected president.  7
1967, April 13
Luis Somoza died. His massive holdings reflected the expansion of cattle ranches, which bred cattle for U.S. markets. Peasants who had lost their land to cotton were now driven off by large-scale cattle ranching. Deforestation occurred, 60 percent of the peasants were left landless, and urban slums swelled.  8
Gen. Anastasio Somoza Debayle was elected president, prolonging the Somoza dynasty.  9
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.