Nicaragua: key historical events
Page last modified 9/11/2020
1996, Daniel Ortega won the Presidential elections.
1996, Arnoldo Aleman of the Constitutionaal Liberal Party defeated Ortega and the Sandinistas, who also lost the election of 2001.
10/7/1992. Ex-President Noriega of Nicaragua, forcibly brought into the USA, was sentenced to 40 years on drugs charges.
25/2/1990. Sandinistas (Daniel Ortega) defeated in Nicaraguan elections. They were won by Violetta Chamorro, widow of a Somozas opponent assassinated in 1978; he had headed an anti- Somozas coalition.
7/5/1989, In Panama, General Noriega was defeated in elections. However he ignored the result and remained in power.
10/1988, Hurricane Mitch did severe damage to Nicaragua.
23/3/1988, In Nicaragua, Contra commanders and Government officials signed a 60-day ceasefire agreement.
17/1/1988, The Nicaraguan Sandinista leader, Daniel Ortega, offered a ceasefire to the Contras.
1986, Nicaragua won a case at the Internati0nal Court of Justice where it accused the USA of violating its sovereignty.
1984, The USA mined Nicarguan harbours.
5/11/1984. Daniel Ortega was elected President of Nicaragua.
1981, President Reagan of the USA halted all aid to Nicaragua, after the Sandinistas had sought aid from the Eastern Bloc (as well as from western European States). The US began funding the rebel Contra guerrillas fighting the Sandinista government.
17/9/1980, Anastasio Somoza, 54-year-old former dictator of Nicaragua, was machine gunned to death in Asunscion, Paraguay.
20/7/1979, Sandinista rebels entered Managua, Nicaragua, and set up a 5-man junta. They began to redistribute land to landless peasants.
17/7/1979, Anastasio Somoza, dictator of Nicaragua, fled to the USA, taking with him an estimated US$ 100 – 400 million.
9/7/1979, General Somoza, whose family had ruled Nicaragua for 47 years, was overthrown by the Sandinistas. General Somoza had lost the support of conservative businessmen and the USA.
6/1979, The Nicaraguan National Guard arrested ABC newsman Bill Stewart, and forced him to kneel whereupon they executed him on the spot. The scene was reproduced across US TV screens. Then, Carter was forced to halt arms shipmemts to Nicaragua and the Somozas were doomed.
12/2/1978, In Nicaragua, the Sandinistas prepared for civil war.
1977, Jimmy Carter became President of the USA. His emphasis on human rights meant the Somozas could no longer rely on bailouts from the US, although arms shipments continued from there. See 6/1979.
1/9/1974, General Somoza was elected as President of Nicaragua. However the Somozas now had powerful enemies, including the middle classes and the Catholic Church. The Sandinista offensive intensified, becoming full-scale civil war in 1978.
1967, Somoza’s son, Anastasio, became President,
1962, The Sandinista National Liberation Front was founded.
1956, Somoza was assassinated. His son, Luis, took over.
11/11/1945, Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua, was born.
2/6/1936, General Somoza, in Nicaragua, led a coup that deposed President Sacasa. The Somoza family were to rule Nicaragua for 43 years.
22/2/1934, General Augusto Sandino of Nicaragua was executed by rival USA-backed leader General Anastazio Somoza. Sandino’s guerrilla forces had opposed a US occupation of Nicaragua from 1912; the US withdrew in 1933 after Sandino agreed a ceasefire.
21/2/1934, Cesar Sandino, Nicaraguan revolutionary, died aged 40.
1933, US troops left Nicaragua.
18/10/1929, Violeta Chamorro, President of Nicaragua, was born.
4/11/1928, The Nicaraguan general election was held; José María Moncada was elected president.
2/5/1926, In Nicaragua, a revolt against the new President, Emiliano Chamorro, was underway. This day US troops landed in Nicaragua to protect US personnel and property interests there.
16/12/1909, US marines forced the resignation of President Jose Zelaya of Nicaragua. They installed Juan Estrada as president, who then signed pacts effectively making Nicaragua a US protectorate.
1905, Nicaragua signed the Altamirano-Harrison Treaty woth the UK, recognising full Nicaraguan sovereignty over its Atlantic coast; the UK had run a protectorate there until 1894.
1856, US adventurer William Walker proclaimed himself President of Nicaragua. He intended to run a slave-owning Republic there.
1856, After several years of conflict between the Conservatives based in Granada and the Liberals based in Leon, the neutral Managua was chosen as capital city.
19/4/1850, The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty between the USA and UK was signed. It was an agreement on the terms for building a canal across Nicaragua; under this treaty, neither party would exercise exclusive control over such a canal or fortify it. The US and the UK each had territorial interests in Central America, and were suspicious of each other’s activities in the region. Ultimately this Treaty was superseded by a similar neutralisation policy regarding the Panama Canal under the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1902.
1838, The United Provinces of Central America broke up, and Nicaragua became a Republic.
1821, Nicaragua declared independence from Spain, as part of the United Provinces of Central America.
1544, Nicaragua became part of the Captaincy-General of Guatemala.