The Role of the Sandinista Revolution in the Process of Democratization in Nicaragua

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International and Area Studies | Latin American Studies | Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This article explores the question of the development of democracy in Nicaragua with emphasis on the period from 1979 to the present. The primary focus is on the role of democracy within the framework of the Sandinista revolution including the 11 years of FSLN state power and the last four years during which the Sandinistas have been the primary opposition party. It is the primary contention of the article that a profound democratization of Nicaragua began with the rise of the FSLN to power in 1979. It also asserts that while democratization has not been definitely reversed during the conservative rule of Chamorro it has been weakened. The paper's primary conclusions run directly against those who argue that Nicaraguan process of democratization began only with the assumption of power of the UNO coalition in April 1990.