The Nicaraguan Revolution
Twenty years after Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba, his dream of a Latin American revolution appeared dead. Efforts to replicate the Cuban Revolution through rural guerrilla warfare had failed, most of them dismally. The urban variant of guerrilla warfare, while meeting with initial success in Uruguay and Argentina, ultimately succumbed to counterinsurgency measures and to its own limitations. Revolution from above, especially through the actions of the Peruvian military and the elected government of Salvador Allende, held out new hope for a few years before both experiments came to abrupt ends. By 1979 the most tangible results of two decades of attempted revolution and reform were the antirevolutionary regimes that ruled nearly half of Latin America's population and its most developed countries.
The praetorian peace of Latin America was interrupted in 1979 by the victory of the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) and its allies over the Nicaraguan government of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. Originating as a fidelista political group in 1961, the FSLN launched a rural foco which met the standard fate of the naive guerrilla movements of the early 1960s. Despite military reversals and the loss of key personnel over the years, the FSLN persisted and gradually built effective rural and urban support networks. Taking advantage of changing conditions in Nicaraguan and learning from the lessons of the South American urban guerrillas, the FSLN by the mid-1970s emerged as a potent force and clearly the leading armed opposition to Somoza. Aided by the regime's increasingly repressive character, the guerrillas were able to achieve a broad political-military front that combined strikes, street demonstra
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Publication information: Book title: Latin America in the Era of the Cuban Revolution. Edition: Revised. Contributors: Thomas C. Wright - Author. Publisher: Praeger. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 2001. Page number: 165.
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