Occupation of Nicaragua

04/08/191201/01/1933View on timeline

Conservative Estrada, governor of Nicaragua's easternmost department, assumed power after Madriz's resignation. The United States agreed to support Estrada, provided that a Constituent Assembly was elected to write a constitution. After agreeing with this stipulation, a coalition conservative-liberal regime, headed by Estrada, was recognized by the United States on January 1, 1911. Political differences between the two parties soon surfaced, however, and minister of war General Luis Mena forced Estrada to resign. Estrada's vice president, the conservative Adolfo Díaz, then became president. In mid-1912 Mena persuaded a Constituent Assembly to name him successor to Díaz when Díaz's term expired in 1913. When the United States refused to recognize the Constituent Assembly's decision, Mena rebelled against the Díaz government. A force led by liberal Benjamín Zelaydón quickly came to the aid of Mena. Díaz, relying on what was becoming a time-honored tradition, requested assistance from the United States. In August 1912, a force of 2,700 United States marines once landed again at the ports of Corinto and Bluefields. Mena fled the country, and Zelaydón was killed.

The United States kept a contingent force in Nicaragua almost continually from 1912 until 1933. Although reduced to 100 in 1913, the contingent served as a reminder of the willingness of the United States to use force and its desire to keep conservative governments in power.

Conservative Estrada, governor of Nicaragua's easternmost department, assumed power after Madriz's resignation. The United States agreed to support Estrada, provided that a Constituent Assembly was elected to write a constitution. After agreeing with this stipulation, a coalition conservative-liberal regime, headed by Estrada, was recognized by the United States on January 1, 1911. Political differences between the two parties soon surfaced, however, and minister of war General Luis Mena forced Estrada to resign. Estrada's vice president, the conservative Adolfo Díaz, then became president. In mid-1912 Mena persuaded a Constituent Assembly to name him successor to Díaz when Díaz's term expired in 1913. When the United States refused to recognize the Constituent Assembly's decision, Mena rebelled against the Díaz government. A force led by liberal Benjamín Zelaydón quickly came to the aid of Mena. Díaz, relying on what was becoming a time-honored tradition, requested assistance from the United States. In August 1912, a force of 2,700 United States marines once landed again at the ports of Corinto and Bluefields. Mena fled the country, and Zelaydón was killed.

The United States kept a contingent force in Nicaragua almost continually from 1912 until 1933. Although reduced to 100 in 1913, the contingent served as a reminder of the willingness of the United States to use force and its desire to keep conservative governments in power.

— Country Studies

Nicaragua. Country Studies.

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Published in 21/06/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

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