Chronography of Nicaragua

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Graphic of Latin America 2010-19 socio-political


See United States for Iran-Contra affair.

1996, Daniel Ortega won the Presidential elections.

20/10/1996, Arnoldo Aleman Lacayo of the Constitutionaal Liberal Party defeated Ortega and the Sandinistas, who also lost the election of 2001.

10/7/1992. Ex-President Noriega of Nicaragua, forcibly brought into the USA, was sentenced to 40 years on drugs charges.

25/2/1990. Sandinistas (Daniel Ortega) defeated in Nicaraguan elections. They were won by Violetta Chamorro, widow of a Somozas opponent assassinated in 1978; he had headed an anti- Somozas coalition.

7/5/1989, In Panama, General Noriega was defeated in elections. However he ignored the result and remained in power.

10/1988, Hurricane Mitch did severe damage to Nicaragua.

23/3/1988, In Nicaragua, Contra commanders and Government officials signed a 60-day ceasefire agreement.

17/1/1988, The Nicaraguan Sandinista leader, Daniel Ortega, offered a ceasefire to the Contras.

1986, Nicaragua won a case at the Internati0nal Court of Justice where it accused the USA of violating its sovereignty.

1984, The USA mined Nicarguan harbours.

5/11/1984. Daniel Ortega was elected President of Nicaragua.

Daniel Ortega becomes President


12/4/1984, The US Senate voted to cut funding for the CIA to mine Nicaraguan harbours. This was an attempt to stop arms being shipped to rebels in El Salvador, but was also seen as an attack on the Nicaraguan economy.

1981, President Reagan of the USA halted all aid to Nicaragua, after the Sandinistas had sought aid from the Eastern Bloc (as well as from western European States). The US began funding the rebel Contra guerrillas fighting the Sandinista government.


Somoza Dynasty

17/9/1980, Anastasio Somoza, 54-year-old former dictator of Nicaragua, was machine gunned to death in Asunscion, Paraguay.

20/7/1979, Sandinista rebels entered Managua, Nicaragua, and set up a 5-man junta. They began to redistribute land to landless peasants.

17/7/1979, Anastasio Somoza, dictator of Nicaragua, fled to the USA, taking with him an estimated US$ 100 � 400 million.

9/7/1979, General Somoza, whose family had ruled Nicaragua for 47 years, was overthrown by the Sandinistas. General Somoza had lost the support of conservative businessmen and the USA.

6/1979, The Nicaraguan National Guard arrested ABC newsman Bill Stewart, and forced him to kneel whereupon they executed him on the spot. The scene was reproduced across US TV screens. Then, Carter was forced to halt arms shipmemts to Nicaragua and the Somozas were doomed.

29/5/1979, Sandinistas from Costa Rica invaded Nicaragua and succeeded in starting a revolution against Somoza.

12/2/1978, In Nicaragua, the Sandinistas prepared for civil war.

10/1/1978, In Nicaragua, Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, editor of La Prensa, (The Press) newspaper, which is opposed to the Somoza regime, was shot dead in Managua.

1977, Jimmy Carter became President of the USA. His emphasis on human rights meant the Somozas could no longer rely on bailouts from the US, although arms shipments continued from there. See 6/1979.

1/9/1974, General Somoza was elected as President of Nicaragua. However the Somozas now had powerful enemies, including the middle classes and the Catholic Church. The Sandinista offensive intensified, becoming full-scale civil war in 1978.

5/2/1967, Somoza�s son, Anastasio, became President of Nicaragua.

1962, The Sandinista National Liberation Front was founded.

1956, Somoza was assassinated. His son, Luis, took over.

11/11/1945, Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua, was born.

2/6/1936, General Somoza, in Nicaragua, led a coup that deposed President Sacasa. The Somoza family were to rule Nicaragua for 43 years.


22/2/1934, General Augusto Sandino of Nicaragua was executed by rival USA-backed leader General Anastazio Somoza. Sandino�s guerrilla forces had opposed a US occupation of Nicaragua from 1912; the US withdrew in 1933 after Sandino agreed a ceasefire.

21/2/1934, Cesar Sandino, Nicaraguan revolutionary, died aged 40. He was assassinated by Nicaraguan National Guardsmen, who were angry at tye amnesty granted him by the Government.

1933, US troops left Nicaragua.

2/8/1933, Martial law was imposed in Nicaragua.

1932, Sacasa was elected Nicaragiuan president,

18/10/1929, Violeta Chamorro, President of Nicaragua, was born.

4/11/1928, The Nicaraguan general election was held; Jos� Mar�a Moncada (Liberal) was elected President. Sanbdino did not accept this result and continued his guerrilla activity against US forces.

1927, US warships returned to Nicaragua, and some 2,000 Marines landed. Sandino joined the foight against the USA the USA prepared to supervise further Nicaraguan elections.

10/1926, Vargas was forced to resign by the USA and left Nicaragua. Diaz (Conservative) was elected. However Sacasa returned form Mexico and with Mexican backing established a rival Liberal Government on Nicaragiua�s erast coast.

2/5/1926, In Nicaragua, a revolt against the new President, Emiliano Chamorro Vargas was underway. This day US troops landed in Nicaragua to protect US personnel and property interests there.

25/10/1925, General Emiliano Chamorro Vargas seized power in acoup. Vargas became President 1/1926. US property in Nicaragua was seized by General Augusto Cesar Sandino (1893-1934) (Liberal).

1925, In Nicaragua, coalition Government formed with Carlos Solorzano as elected (Conservative) President, and Juan Bautista Sacasa, 1874-1946, as (Liberal) Vice-President. US Marines left the country after 13 years occupation.

7/1912, Liberal rebellion against Diaz, who requested US military aid to retain power.

5/1911, The Conservative Adolfo Diaz became Nicaraguan President.

2/1/1911, US President Taft formally recognised the new Estrada government in Nicaragua and withdrew its marines.

16/12/1910, US marines forced the Nicaraguan President to resign.

21/12/1909, Dr Jose Madriz became president of Nicaragua.

16/12/1909, US marines forced the resignation of President Jose Zelaya of Nicaragua. He was rumoured to be about to permit Japan to build a rival Panama Canal. Zelaya was replaced by Jose Madriz, but civil war continued until 1912, when the US intervened again to secure the appointment of the more compliant Adolfo Diaz.

For Honduran-Nicaragua War of 1907 see Honduras

1905, Nicaragua signed the Altamirano-Harrison Treaty with the UK, recognising full Nicaraguan sovereignty over its Atlantic coast; the UK had run a protectorate there until 1894.

1893, President Zelaya (1853-1919) inaugurated after a succesful Liberal revolt.

1/5/1857, Nicaraguan President William Walker surrendered to the US Navy. He was wanted for confiscating railway property in Nicaragua belonging to a company owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt. Eventually he was executed by the USA in 1860.

1856, US adventurer William Walker proclaimed himself President of Nicaragua. He intended to run a slave-owning Republic there.

1856, After several years of conflict between the Conservatives based in Granada and the Liberals based in Leon, the neutral Managua was chosen as capital city.

19/4/1850, The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty between the USA and UK was signed. It was an agreement on the terms for building a canal across Nicaragua; under this treaty, neither party would exercise exclusive control over such a canal or fortify it. The US and the UK each had territorial interests in Central America, and were suspicious of each other�s activities in the region. Ultimately this Treaty was superseded by a similar neutralisation policy regarding the Panama Canal under the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1902.

1838, The United Provinces of Central America broke up, and Nicaragua became a Republic.

1821, Nicaragua declared independence from Spain, as part of the United Provinces of Central America.

1544, Nicaragua became part of the Captaincy-General of Guatemala.


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