Nicaragua Main Index
Nicaragua Introduction - 2004
SOURCE: 2004 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK
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 again in 2001 saw the Sandinistas defeated. The country has slowly rebuilt its economy during the 1990s, but was hard hit by Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
NOTE: The information regarding Nicaragua on this page is re-published from the 2004 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Nicaragua Introduction 2004 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Nicaragua Introduction 2004 should be addressed to the CIA.