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Context of '1984: Sandanistas Win 67% of Vote in Nicaragua Election'

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The corrupt, repressive, US-backed dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza Debayle is overthrown and is succeeded by the Sandinistas. The Sandinistas will implement reforms that significantly improve social conditions. For instance, the literacy rate will improve from 25 percent to 80 percent, student enrollment will more than double by 1984, the number of school teachers will more than quadruple, and the percentage of people with access to health services will dramatically increase. [Anderson, 1988; Media Monitors, 9/24/2001; Walker, 2003] An Oxfam report entitled, Nicaragua: The Threat of a Good Example, will conclude in 1985: “In Oxfam’s experience of working in seventy-six developing countries, Nicaragua was to prove exceptional in the strength of that government commitment [of meeting the basic needs of the poor majority].” [Melrose, 1985]

Entity Tags: Anastasio Somoza Debayle

Timeline Tags: US-Nicaragua (1979-)

Elections are held in Nicaragua and the Sandinistas win with 67 percent of the vote. International observer teams find no evidence of election fraud. [Keen, 1992, pp. 460]

Timeline Tags: US-Nicaragua (1979-)

Elections are held in Nicaragua, and the Sandinistas lose to US-backed Violeta Barrios de Chamorro. The US spent millions in overt and covert dollars to consolidate and strengthen the opposition parties. [Latin American Studies Association Commission to Observe the 1990 Nicaraguan Election, 3/15/1990, pp. 24-26; Walker, 2003, pp. 57]

Entity Tags: Violeta Barrios de Chamorro

Timeline Tags: US-Nicaragua (1979-)

US ambassador in Managua Paul Trivelli sends a letter to Nicaraguan conservative political parties offering US support for primaries that would select one presidential candidate to run against Sandinista Daniel Ortega. The US is concerned that in a multi-candidate race, Ortega will secure enough votes to avoid a run-off election. According to Nicaraguan election law, a candidate only needs 35 percent of the votes to win. The letter states: “As part of my government’s efforts to respond to these requests to promote democratic practices and free elections in Nicaragua, the US is willing to collaborate in this process.” Trivelli says the parties must respond with a list of their candidates no later than April 18. All of the parties reject the request. [Nicaragua News Service, 4/12/2006]

Entity Tags: Paul Trivelli

Timeline Tags: US-Nicaragua (1979-)

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