The Central American nation of Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America, followed by Haiti. Forty-three percent of the population live in rural areas and 68 percent survive on a little over $1 per day. 46.2 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, according to the Borgen Project.
Nicaragua underwent a revolution that overthrew the dictator Anastasio Somoza DeBayle in 1979. The Somoza dynasty had ruled Nicaragua since 1912, following a US military occupation to protect corporate agriculture interests.
Under the communist Sandinista regime, Nicaragua’s GDP has decreased to one-third of what it was in 1977. This is due primarily to continued civil strife, trade embargoes, and unsustainable macroeconomic policies under a centrally managed economy.
The CIA’s proxy force, the Contras, were unable to overthrow the Sandinista regime in Managua. In 2016, incumbent president Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista National Liberation Front won the national election by wide margin.
Violent anti-government protests wracked the country after Ortega’s reelection. President Donald Trump issued an executive order in 2018 imposing additional sanctions on the Nicaraguan government. He characterized Nicaragua as a national security threat.
In November 2018, Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, characterized Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua as a “Troika of Tyranny.” TJ