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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

COUNTRY #165: Nicaragua

Welcome, country #165:


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The Pacific coast of Nicaragua was settled as a Spanish colony from Panama in the early 16th century. Independence from Spain was declared in 1821 and the country became an independent republic in 1838. Britain occupied the Caribbean Coast in the first half of the 19th century, but gradually ceded control of the region in subsequent decades. Violent opposition to governmental manipulation and corruption spread to all classes by 1978 and resulted in a short-lived civil war that brought the Marxist Sandinista guerrillas to power in 1979. Nicaraguan aid to leftist rebels in El Salvador caused the US to sponsor anti-Sandinista contra guerrillas through much of the 1980s. Free elections in 1990, 1996, and 2001, saw the Sandinistas defeated, but voting in 2006 announced the return of former Sandinista President Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra. The 2008 municipal elections were characterized by widespread irregularities. Nicaragua's infrastructure and economy - hard hit by the earlier civil war and by Hurricane Mitch in 1998 - are slowly being rebuilt, but democratic institutions face new challenges under the ORTEGA administration.

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More specifically:

I don't know anyone who has travelled to Nicaragua, as there is some hostility to the USA.  Various cruise ships make stops here.    Here is a clip on Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega, whose mentor was Fidel Castro.  After all, it is reported that Chavez gave Ortega $1.4 billion to do as he wishes.  My last memory of this country is Guy Lombardo's "Managua Nicaragua."

The Dow Jones Industrials dropped 42 to 12,227, with world markets more up than down.  Gold increased $9/toz to $1372 and NYMEX petroleum is at $84/barrel, with the Brent Spot at $101/barrel.  The current hotspots are Yemen, Iran and Bahrain.

There are three storms in the Indian Ocean, two near Australia and Tropical Cyclone Bingiza still raining over western Madagascar.

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