Nicaragua. The deep rift within the Liberal Party PLC (Partido Liberal Constitucionalista) between supporters of President Enrique Bolaños and supporters of former President Arnoldo Alemán continued during the year. The latter concentrated their efforts on getting Alemán, who is jailed for illegally “laundering” $ 60 million, released through a new interpretation of the constitution and claiming that money laundering is only a crime if it can be linked to drug smuggling. They sought political support in vain from the Sandinist Party, but the Sandinists united with the government. President Bolaños was also accused of illegally funding his election campaign in 2001, and the opposition threatened with the judicial process. USA: Ambassador Barbara Moore has taken an active role in mediating the internal party split within the PLC in order to achieve a unification of the two factions. According to CountryAAH, the total population in Nicaragua is 6,624,565 people in 2020. The stated goal of the US State Department was to prevent the Sandinists from gaining political ground through the split of the liberals.
The murder of TV journalist Carlos José Guadamuz on February 10 shocked the nation. Guadamuz was a strong critic of the old dictator Somoza (overthrown in 1979) and was imprisoned with Sandinist leader Daniel Ortega. Following the takeover of the Sandinists, Guadamuz became increasingly critical of Ortega, who in turn accused him of anti-Sandinist publicistism in the 1990s. The man arrested for the murder was a former lieutenant in the Sandinists’ secret police, which led to speculation that the murder was carried out on Ortega’s order.
However, the municipal elections on November 7 became a great success for the Sandinists – the party won in 90 of the 152 municipalities, among other things. in 15 of 17 departmental capitals.
In 1988, the country was hit by Hurricane “Juana” and, together with the US pressure, destroyed the economic stabilization policy. Neither a coin reform nor the 10% reduction in the state budget in February could prevent hyperinflation.
In July 1988, the US ambassador to Managua was expelled from the country, accused of encouraging anti-Sandinist activities. The United States responded by expelling Nicaragua’s representative in Washington.
Esquipulas II peace treaties seemed to suffer shipwreck during the transitional period from Reagan to George Bush, but in February 1989, Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega breathed life into the process when he met his 5 Central American counterparts in the Salvadoran city of Costa del Sol. Sandinistas suggested bringing forward the election to February 1990 and accept a number of changes in the electoral law of 1988, against the Contras in turn dissolved their bases in the 3 months post closing. But the United States was pushing to preserve the “contraindications” and Bush received an additional $ 40 million in “humanitarian assistance” for these.