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He Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey - Book Report/Review Example

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The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey Salman Rushdie’s first non fiction novel, The Jaguar Smile was written after his travel in Nicaragua in 1987. The author relates his personal travel experiences in Nicaragua along with his discourse with local people on the political issues that the country was facing at that time…
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He Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey
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Download file to see previous pages (Rushdie) The Jaguar Smile has been penned from a very personal perspective and the author is seen relating his personal feelings when he meets someone new from Commandant Daniels to campesinos. At the time that the author was in Nicaragua, the current regime was being backed by the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) in an effort to undermine the communist threat. Rushdie visited a country where history was in the making. The communists had been displaced from power and the capitalist backed government was doing its best to deal with a home grown and foreign sponsored insurgency. The visit of Rushdie to Nicaragua coincided with the 7th year celebration of the Sandinistas rise to power in Nicaragua. The United States had imposed economic sanctions on the Nicaraguan economy throughout the eighties in an attempt to collapse it while the US also financed contras in neighbouring Honduras in order to create a US favouring regime. The Nicaraguan army was being financed and trained by the Cubans and the Soviet Union. Previously Nicaragua had been under the Somoza regime whose monopolistic industrial and trade policies and totalitarian attitude to governance had alienated much of the populace. A popular uprising in 1979 backed by the middle class, the intelligentsia and the general public soon put the Sandinistas in power. The Sandinistas were also favoured by the Catholic Church as well as regional and international governments. The Sandinistas soon commenced massive reforms in literacy, education, unions, health care, childcare and land reform. (The New England Central America Network) The United States government under Jimmy Carter initially supported the Sandinista regime but the amount of aid offered was constantly on the decrease towards the end of the Carter regime. Eventually aid to Nicaragua was completely removed under Reagan’s government in retaliation for Nicaraguan support for FMLN rebels in El-Salvador. Moreover the United States imposed economic sanctions and trade embargos with a view to weaken the Nicaraguan economy. These sanctions soon forced the Nicaraguan economy to tatters. As further retaliation, the United States began to train and finance the Contras which were a counter-revolutionary group based in neighbouring Honduras. The contention was to establish a US friendly government in Nicaragua by resisting the Nicaraguan army and by displacing the current regime. On the other hand, the Sandinista regime was being supported by the Cuban government and the Soviet Union through training, equipment and finance for the Nicaraguan military. The Nicaraguans lodged a case in the International Court of Justice against the United States that made a landmark decision to grant Nicaragua $12 billion in repatriation money. However the United States refused to accept the validity of the court and failed to pay any compensation even though a United Nations General Assembly resolution was passed. As a consequence of the political struggle over Nicaragua, the Nicaraguan economy went to the brink of collapse. The problem was exacerbated by the development of synthetic cotton fibre that exported the export of cotton directly which the Nicaraguan economy heavily depended upon. Furthermore the economic sanctions of the United States kept debilitating the Nicaraguan economy and forcing many to emigrate while the Soviet support was directed at the military only and did not support the economy. The country found ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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