On this date in 1979, the FSLN were able to claim victory over the 4 decade dictatorship of the Samoza family. The Samoza’s enriched themselves at the expense of the citizens of Nicaragua and carried out killings aimed at the rebel uprisings throughout the years. A major turning point was a massive earthquake in Managua in 1972 that killed 6,000 and left over 250,000 homeless. A vast amount of the international aid that poured into the country was diverted to benefit the Samoza’s rather than to benefit the victims of the earthquake. This provoked massive demonstrations and calls for the removal of Samoza and greatly stoked the efforts of the Sandinista Liberation Front, the FSLN.
On July 17th, 1979, the FSLN marched into Managua with great popular support. In short order, Samoza fled the country and the FSLN was able to claim victory on the 19th, Liberation Day, today, the day we’ve arrived. This day is marked by parades, demonstrations and fireworks. Good times.
We arrived in Managua today. It’s hot. We’ll probably stay here for about 3 days and then move on the Granada, on Lake Nicaragua.
Btw, the official currency for Nicaragua is the Cordoba, the current rate of exchange is about 22.40 Cordobas to the dollar. However, the US dollar is fairly widely accepted, eg. the place where we’re staying quoted the daily rate in US dollars and our taxi ride from the airport was charged in US dollars. Each year the Nicaraguan government devalues the Cordoba about 6% against the dollar. I must admit, I sometimes get crazy thinking about exchange rates and the relative merits of adjustments, but I think they do this to compensate for their inflation. Therefore, each year you get more Cordobas for your dollars.