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The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey, 2008 Edition - Book Report/Review Example

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The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey The Jaguar Smile appeared as Salman Rushdie’s first non fiction novel and was based on his travels in Nicaragua in 1986. The novel appeared in July 1987, a year after Rushdie’s travels in Nicaragua. Rushdie was invited to Nicaragua by the Sandinista government which was celebrating its seventh year in power and was looking for artists and literati from other countries to support their cause…
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The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey, 2008 Edition
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Download file to see previous pages When Rushdie visited Nicaragua, the government was under the control of the Sandinistas and was constantly being pressured by the United States through a proxy war while it was being backed up by the Soviet Union at the same time. The resulting struggle had a lasting and debilitating effect on Nicaraguan society and economy. In order to establish a US backed government, the CIA was backing the Contras in neighbouring Honduras to initiate a proxy war. On the economic front, the Nicaraguan economy was under pressure due to foreign imposed sanctions. The Cuban and Soviet governments on the other hand were backing up the Nicaraguan military to support their war against the Contras. Nicaragua had been liberated from the tyrannical rule of the Somoza regime in the late seventies and this movement had been backed up by a majority of Nicaraguans. The Somoza regime had employed monopolistic practices in order to control finance and industry so that the regime’s cronies were given top positions in government which they abused for financial gains. The middle class was suppressed along with the working classes in order to deal with opposition. The rebellion against the Somoza regime was led by the Sandinistas and was popularly backed by the middle and lower class as well as the academia and the religious classes. (The New England Central America Network) The Sandinistas were able to take power in 1979 and initiated a series of comprehensive reforms in order to modernise Nicaragua. The efforts of the new regime were highly favoured by US president Jimmy Carter even though the regime was communist. However as soon as the regime stabilized, it began interference in neighboring nation’s affairs. The Nicaraguan government began tacit support of FMLN rebels operating in neighboring El-Salvador. In the wake of the Cold War, the Sandinista regime was supporting the rebels in order to overthrow the pro US government in order to establish a pro-communist government. The Nicaraguan regime was supporting the rebels by smuggling weapons and supplies as well as providing cross border shelter and military training. In retaliation for the covert support of the FMLN rebels by the Sandinista regime, Carter began to lower the amount of aid going to Nicaragua. When Carter’s presidency ended, Reagan came to power in the US and stopped all aid going to Nicaragua. Moreover Reagan imposed sanctions on Nicaragua in order to weaken the economy and to pressurize the Sandinista regime. When the efforts of the US failed to have any lasting effect on the Sandinista regime, the CIA was brought into the picture. Contras were raised in neighboring Honduras and these were trained and financed to initiate a proxy war with Nicaragua. Given the intrusion of internal affairs by the CIA, the Soviet and Cuban governments responded by strengthening the Nicaraguan military through provision of equipment, supplies, training and advisors. The US was looking to displace the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua using the Contras but the Nicaraguan army was able to stand up to the aggression. Nicaragua brought forth a case against the US support for the Contras in the International Court of Justice which was decided in favor of the Nicaraguan side. The judgment ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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