Sandinistas (FSLN)


Sandinistas, members of a left-wing Nicaraguan political party, the Sandinist National Liberation Front (FSLN). The group, named for Augusto Cesar Sandino, a former insurgent leader, was formed in 1962 to oppose the regime of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. In 1979 the Sandinistas launched an offensive from Costa Rica and Honduras that toppled Somoza. They established a junta that nationalized such industries as banking and mining, postponed elections, and moved steadily to the left, eventually espousing Marxist-Leninist positions. The Sandinista-dominated government was opposed by U.S.-supported guerrillas known as contras (see Nicaragua). In 1984, Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega Saavedra won the Nicaraguan presidency in an election that was boycotted by some opposition groups. In 1990 the opposition candidate, Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, defeated Ortega, but Sandinistas continued to hold important positions in the police and army. In the mid-1990s a rift in the party led many opposed to Ortega's domination of the party and concerned about the party's drift from original ideals, including several former members of the junta, to form the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS). Although Ortega again lost a bid for the presidency in 1996, the Sandinistas became the major opposition party in the national assembly; the MRS only won one seat. Ortega also lost in 2001, but in 2006 and 2011 he won the presidency again, running against a divided center-right opposition. Since 2006, the party has used street violence and judicial chicanery in an attempt to increase its hold on political power.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Sandinistas (FSLN): Selected full-text books and articles

The Fall and Rise of the Market in Sandinista Nicaragua By Phil Ryan McGill-Queens University Press, 1995
The Secret War in Central America: Sandinista Assault on World Order By John Norton Moore University Publications of America, 1987
News Coverage of the Sandinista Revolution By Joshua Muravchik American Enterprise Institute, 1988
Central America: Historical Perspectives on the Contemporary Crises By Ralph Lee Woodward Jr Greenwood Press, 1988
Librarian's tip: Chap. 9 "Sandinista Cultural Policy: Notes Toward an Analysis in Historical Context"
Modern Latin American Revolutions By Eric Selbin Westview Press, 1999 (2nd edition)
Librarian's tip: Chap. Four "Making the Revolution Reality: The Nicaraguan Revolution, 1979-1990"
Agrarian Reform and Class Consciousness in Nicaragua By Laura J. Enríquez University Press of Florida, 1997
Librarian's tip: Chap. 2 "How the FSLN Lost the Hearts and Minds of the Peasantry"
Rascally Signs in Sacred Places: The Politics of Culture in Nicaragua By David E. Whisnant University of North Carolina Press, 1995
Librarian's tip: Part Two "Building a Cultural Apparatus: Somocistas and Sandinistas"
Nicaragua: The Chamorro Years By David Close Lynne Rienner, 1999
Librarian's tip: Chap. 1 "The (Not So Very) Old Regime: The Sandinista Legacy"
Women and the State in Post-Sandinista Nicaragua By Cynthia Chavez Metoyer Lynne Rienner, 2000
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