Most people believe that Nicaragua became a foreign aid money pit due to the Contra/Santanista wars in the 1980’s. Although it is true that the Contra/ Santanista wars finally drove Nicaragua into an economic stand still there are two main reasons that their socioeconomic crisis occurred: First, Nicaragua has a long history of corrupt dictators who’s only interests were to exploit the country’s vast riches and secondly, because they have been at war for over 166 years trying to find their true independence from wealthy conquering nations. To think that recent 20th century events is the reason Nicaragua can’t get out of their financial crisis is disregarding the other two factors. By believing that Nicaragua today is not able to manage their own government after their country was finally left in socioeconomic ruin by corrupt dictators and over 166 years of conflict, one will be bound to repeat the error again when evaluating emerging governments and distribution of foreign aid funds to countries of other former corrupt regimes like what is happening in the Middle East today. Opening up your eyes to the idea that nations largely inhabited by poor people are the ones who end up paying for the mistakes of generations of the past can be a factor to socioeconomic crisis as well as believing in strong international corrective support to stamp out corrupt leaders will ensure that socioeconomic crisis like what has happened to Nicaragua will only be a historical memory and not a repeat global security risk and financial burden.
Nicaragua is a country overwhelmed by its history. Since colonial times, Nicaragua has suffered from political instability, civil war, poverty, foreign intervention, and natural disasters. Successive governments both foreign and domestic have been unable to bring political stability or significant economic growth to the country, until now. To understand the phenomenal changes that are occurring in Nicaragua today you must look to their history of political instability to recognize the significance of recent accomplishments.
Nicaragua vs. Spain
Europeans first saw what is now Nicaragua when Christopher Columbus sailed south along the Caribbean in late 1502 and claimed the entire area for Spain. Several land expeditions were launched in the 1520s to subdue the indigenous population. Incoming Spanish settlers were few, and the indigenous population was almost wiped out by exposure to new diseases, with the remainder forcibly sent to Peru to work the silver mines. Administratively during this period, the region became a province of the Audiencia of Guatemala.
Nicaragua vs Mexico
Establishment of an independent Nicaragua came in several stages. The first step occurred when the Audiencia of Guatemala declared its independence from Spain in 1821 and became part of the Mexican Empire. Separatist feelings throughout the isthmus grew, and the United Provinces of Central America declared their independence from Mexico in 1823. Under a weak federal government, each province of the new nation created its own independent internal administration. Efforts to centralize power led to civil war between 1826 and 1829. The federation finally dissolved in 1837, and Nicaragua's independence was formally declared on April 30, 1838.
Nicaragua vs. United States & Britain
The mid-1800s were marked by unstable national governments and a rivalry between the United States and Britain to bring Nicaragua under their control of influence. The goal of both U.S. and Britain powers was control of a transisthmian transit route, either overland or via a new Caribbean-to-Pacific canal. Continued domestic “control” turmoil left a bitter legacy in Nicaragua and was the first example of what was to become a common occurrence in the country: a strong inclination for Nicaraguan politicians to call on the United States to settle domestic disputes and an eagerness by the United States to respond by military...
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