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Economic Development of Central America Econ. 4200 - Spring 2004 – Dr. Taylor - page 109 / 153

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Somoza was ousted and Nicaragua moved into the 1980s with the Sandinistas as the principal force in post revolutionary politics.

The Sandinistas had only tenuous support from the people and despite a ruined economy and massive external debt, embarked upon a phase of revolutionary social reconstruction.

Note: When the Sandinistas came to power the Carter administration in Washington was having a difficult time articulating a consistent and constructive foreign policy toward the new Nicaragua. That would rapidly change with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1981. As your book put it: “A few months after his inauguration in January 1981, President Reagan unofficially declared war on the Nicaraguan revolution.” (p. 221)

Some of the most important passages of this chapter can be found on pages 222 to 225… here are the main points to consider:

[1] Increased economic equality requires explicit social policy, whether such policy is regarded as co-optation of the poor or victory by the poor.

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