[continued from Part 3] And now, the conclusion of my take-away from my trip to Nicaragua. I’ve taken to calling this series “The Land of Echoes,” a play on Nicaragua’s nickname, the "Land of Lakes and Volcanoes," because in many ways, reverberations from the past continue to haunt and shape the Central American country as it moves into the 21st century.
[continued from Part 2] Despite the many good things in politics and society accomplished by the Sandinistas, one cannot claim that Nicaragua is a paragon of democracy and modernity—far from it.
[continued from Part 1] Which brings us to the victorious Sandinista Revolution, which had been simmering for many years. Not to put too fine of a point on it, but the Sandinistas had many grievances with the Somoza dictatorship. To name a few of the primary concerns: Corruption was rampant through all levels of governance. Somoza and his family kept increasing their control over the economy by snapping up holdings in vital industries, such as cement, ranching, coffee, shipping, airlines, and numerous other enterprises, large and small. Collusion with the U.S.
It is impossible for me to vacation anywhere without having first conducted a little bit of research about the history and contemporary politics of the destination. The last thing I want to appear to be to locals is a bumbling, passing-through tourist with zero interest in the land and people who are hosting me. To be at least mildly informed is the least I can do. It was with this attitude and mindset that I approached my recent vacation in Nicaragua.