Nicaragua is one of the continent's poorest countries,
reflected among other things in low housing standards and
widespread nutritional deficiencies. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of NIC and acronym for Nicaragua. In the 1980s, public
care was expanded, but in the 1990s, the social sector was
also affected by the country's transformation towards an
economy built on private initiatives. By vaccination
campaigns, polion was eradicated. Reform work was mainly
slowed down by the civil war, and the gap between poor and
rich increased again during the 1990s.
Theoretically there is a health insurance system and
old-age pension, but in practice, very few get the benefit
from the health care benefits and the amounts are modest.
The woman's position was strengthened during the 1980s;
among other things, she got as much right as the man to
acquire land, to become an independent member of
cooperatives and to receive equal pay for equal work.
1933-79 Somoza dictatorship
The United States' new occupation of the country was
heroically fought by General Augusto C. Sandino, who, at the
head of a peasant army of 3,000 soldiers, opposed the 12,000
North American Navy infantrymen supported by the Air Force
and the local oligarchy. In 1933, Sandino fulfilled his
promise: to lay down the weapons when the last navy
left the country. But the betrayal was already prepared. The
North Americans had replaced the country's military with a
National Guard, and its commander, Anastasio Somoza García,
utilized a reconciliation meeting between Sandino and
President Sacasa to assassinate the guerrilla leader and
subsequently take office. A post he retained until he was
executed in 1956 by Patriots Rigoberto López Pérez.
López Pérez murdered the tyrant, but not the tyrant.
During his two decades in power, Anastasio Somoza has
managed to submit to almost the entire country's economy.
The country's ruler thus controlled both economic, political
and military power. Anastasio Somoza García was succeeded in
the presidential post by his son, engineer Luis Somoza
Debayle, who handed over the government to his son,
Anastasio, who was educated at the North American Military
Academy West Point.
Anastasio carried out a violent repression, banned the
unions, shattered the peasant organizations and banned the
political parties of the opposition. However, popular
resistance was never completely crushed. In the early
1960's, student leader Carlos Fonseca Amador formed the
guerrilla movement Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional
(FSLN), which for 17 years built and developed the fight
against the Somoza dictatorship. In January 1978, Somoza
ordered opposition leader Pedro Joaquín Chamorro - director
of the daily "La Prensa" - executed. This murder triggered
extensive protest demonstrations and a general strike.