Nicaragua. After a month of negotiations, the ruling party PLC (Partido Liberal Constitucionalista) and the Sandinist Party (FSLN, Frente Sandinista de Liberacíon) in July published an agreement on a joint 23-point program for political and legal reform. Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Nicaragua. President Arnoldo Alemán declared his readiness to convene a Constituent Assembly after the municipal elections in 2002 to reform the Constitution completely. The proposals include a simplified presidential election procedure and reform of the Supreme Court and the Election Commission. Critics believe that both parties aim to strengthen the two-party system in Nicaragua by introducing minimum state aid requirements for political parties.
- Also see Abbreviationfinder.org to see the acronym of NIC which stands for Nicaragua and other definitions of this 3-letter abbreviation.
In June, President Alemán explained further cuts in defense. Nicaragua, which during the Sandinist regime had Central America’s largest army with 90,000 men under arms, now has the smallest with 14,000 men.
In April, the former chief of the Sandinists’ secret police (DGSE), Colonel Lenín Cerna, admitted that the secret police was behind the murder of the overthrown Nicaraguan dictator Anastásio Somoza in Asunción, Paraguay in September 1980.
With instruction from the FSLN, the cities of Monimbó, Masaya, Matagalpa, León, Estelí, Chinandega and working quarters in the capital Managua in 1978 revolted. On March 8, 1979, the three conflicting tendencies of the FSLN reunited and the FSLN came to play the leading role in the opposition assembled in Frente Patriótico (the Patriotic Front). In May of that year, the “Final Offensive”, consisting of a general strike, a popular uprising, armed guerrilla combat and intense diplomatic activity abroad, was launched. On July 17, Somoza fled the country, and on July 19, the National Reconstruction Junta marched into Managua. The junta had been formed a few weeks earlier in Costa Rica. The revolution had triumphed, but the Somoza dictatorship had cost 50,000 killed.
The revolution nationalized Somoza’s lands, real estate and industries – 40% of the country’s economy – dismantled the National Guard and replaced it with Ejército Popular Sandinista (EPS). An literacy campaign was carried out and the rebuilding of the economy that had been ruined by the liberation struggle was started.
The new government consisted of both the FSLN and the bourgeois politicians, and it quickly came into political crisis. This was initially resolved when the government’s two non-Sandinist members, Violeta Barrios de Chamorro and Alfonso Robelo, resigned in May 1980. Replaced by the two “moderate” anti-Somo societies Rafael Córdoba and Arturo Cruz, the FSLN thus reaffirmed its willingness to implement the revolutionary changes in the context of pluralistic democratic participation, international alliance freedom, mixed economy and respect for individual freedoms and rights.
The new political climate initially favored an improvement in the situation in the northern regions, where in February 1994, after an agreement with the government, some bands of former right-wing guerrillas agreed to stop the fighting and hand over their weapons. However, new episodes of violence occurred in the following months, with bomb attacks, kidnappings of politicians, occupation of public buildings and diplomatic offices, in which both former members of the Sandinista armed forces and former right-wing guerrillas became protagonists, united by the disappointment for the failure to honor the commitments made to them by the government in 1990(granting of land, subsidized loans, insertion into the police force), as well as the criticism of the austerity policy conducted by the Chamorro administration. The latter obtained in May 1994 a large three-year loan from the International Monetary Fund in support of the structural adjustment programs launched since 1990, which had guaranteed a reduction in inflation and the huge budget deficit, but had also led to an increase in the rate. unemployment (over 60 % in 1994), the number of poor people (about 70 % of the population) and social tensions.
In August 1994 the National Assembly approved a new military code, inspired by the need to de-politicize the armed forces (still considered too tied to the FSLN) and make them more responsive to the directives of the civil authorities; sanctioned the prohibition for all soldiers to be members of any political party, a five-year mandate was set for the position of commander in chief and it was established that it could not be appointed relatives of the President of the Republic (as for Ortega, he left the command of the armed forces in February 1995, replaced by General J. Cuadra Lacayo, his deputy since 1979). A serious institutional crisis opened after the approval, in November 1994,some amendments to the Constitution which limited the prerogatives of the president and the executive and strengthened those of the Parliament. Claiming that the balance of power of the state would be undermined, in February 1995 the president refused to enact the law implementing constitutional reforms, one of which, the so-called consanguinity clause, prohibiting relatives of the head of state in office from competing in the presidential elections seemed aimed at preventing the candidacy in 1996 of A. Lacayo Oyanguren, Chamorro’s son-in-law and prime minister of her government, disliked by the conservatives for having been the architect in 1991 of the rapprochement of the president with the Sandinistas. The conflict only broke out in July1995, when a law was promulgated that incorporated almost all of the constitutional reforms approved by Parliament (among other things, the presidential term and that of deputies were reduced from six to five years, and the government was forbidden to negotiate international loans and commercial treaties without prior approval by Parliament).