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Economic Development of Central America Econ. 4200 - Spring 2004 – Dr. Taylor - page 106 / 153

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Nicaragua…

During the 1950s and 60s the Nicaraguan economy expanded more rapidly than any other economy in Latin America.

Going into the 70’s the only nation in the region that had a higher per capita income was Costa Rica.

The economic charge was led by cotton, cattle, sugar and CACM-induced manufacturing production.

Still, in the context of the existing social structure, this led to major social dislocations, an incredible concentration of economic power and exceptional political tensions.

The new production pattern reduced the demand for labor, pushing the poor into the cities.

Rapid economic growth benefited the Somoza family (big in cotton) and consolidated the largest non-Somoza capitalist forces into two coherent and coordinated groups; raising the economic and political stakes within the elite class.

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