In 1972 an #earthquake DESTROYED Managua, killing an estimated 10,000 people. Somoza, who had donated 1 million dollars towards Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign, received a massive aid package for his loyalty. The United States sent Nicaragua 57 million dollars, but only 16 was ever accounted for. There was never even an inquiry made into where the other 41 million went. And with support of the Carter administration, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) sent Somoza an additional 65 million dollars, just a few months before he fled the country.
By the time Somoza escaped, 40% of the country’s infrastructure was demolished. Instead of putting the emergency aid money he received back into rebuilding the nation, he forwarded it directly into his bank account. When the Sandinista government took power, the 19 banks that were nationalized only contained 3.5 million dollars. In addition to this, they inherited an external debt of 1.6 billion dollars, half of which was never even used to service the country. 800 million dollars was stashed in safe havens like Switzerland. Regardless, the new government and the people of Nicaragua were paying for the sins of it’s previous head of state.
When the Sandinistas took power, they relieved over 2000 National Guardsmen from their duties. They went straight to Honduras (and some illegal camps in Florida), where they were trained and financed by the CIA. They would later return as the “Contras”. The U.S. referred to them as “Democratic Freedom Fighters” 😒 This public exhibit provides a look at what Managua was like before the major earthquake. #Managua #Nicaragua #CentralAmerica #InstaPassport #InstaTravel #IGTravel #Travelgram #Wanderlust #Worlderlust #LonelyPlanet