From Academic Kids

Anastasio Somoza García (1896September 21, 1956) President of Nicaragua.

Anastasio Somoza Garcia was born in San Marcos on Feb. 1, 1896. As a teenager was sent to live with relatives in Philadelphia, where he attended the Pierce School of Business Administration. After returning to Nicaragua, he was unsuccessful as a businessman. In 1926 he joined the Liberal revolution, and after US Marines entered the country, his accented English allowed him to rise in the constabulary forces organized by them. The Marines fought General Sandino and his forces from 1927 to 1933. In January 1933 the Marines evacuated the country, and left Somoza Garcia in charge of the newly formed National Guard. During peace talks, Somoza ordered the assasination of General Sandino (21 February 1934). Sandino's assasination was followed by the murder of the peasants and of former Sandinistas by the National Guard. In 1936 Somoza overthrew the elected government of Nicaragua and became a dictator, assuming the presidency in 1937.

He ruled from 1937 to 1956, and enriched his family and political allies. The dictatorship he founded lasted 42 years. He was shot on September 21, 1956, by the poet Rigoberto López Pérez in the city of León, and died several days later after being sent to a Panama Canal Zone hospital.

Though the Somozas were ruthless and exploitive dictators, the US continued to support them as a non-communist stronghold in Nicaragua.

His sons ruled the country directly or through figurehead politicians, and although their rule was repressive and corrupt, the United States viewed them as a source of anti-communism and stability in the region. After many years of struggle the Sandinista Front, organized by Carlos Fonseca in 1964, led the Nicaraguan people in a revolution that toppled the last Somozas whose military tactics caused more than 50,000 deaths.

External link

  • [1] (http://www.sandinovive.org/monstruos/somozas1.htm) Page on the Somozas (in Spanish)


Preceded by:
Carlos Alberto Brenes Jarquín
Presidents of Nicaragua
1937-1956
Succeeded by:
Luis Somoza Debayle

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