Monday, May 9, 2011

Somoza was an enemy of everyone who had nothing material to bring them

A professor at the University of Huelva, María Dolores Ferrero, made an exhaustive study of the 43-year Somoza family dictatorship in Nicaragua, beginning with the government of Anastasio Somoza Garcia, who, after being killed in a bombing in 1956 , replaced his son, Luis Somoza Debayle (1956-1963). Complete the dynasty's brother Luis Somoza, Anastasio Somoza Debayle until the triumph of the Sandinista Revolution in 1979.

As the book's author has in the presentation, which took place at the Ibero-American Secretariat, opted to investigate the history of this small Central American country because "it is a people that has suffered greatly," which the author could agreed to observe while the country's historical files, declassified and, among those who find even the personal file of the ruling family.

Access to these files has allowed to document "the plundering of the Nicaraguan people who carried out the dynasty" in addition to illustrate the book with numerous photographs of the clan, which, as pointed out by Ferrero, "pioneered the use of propaganda, and often appear in newspapers and magazines always surrounded by high society.

" When asked why investigate this period in Nicaraguan history, Ferrero said that "it is very important to study dictatorial systems to learn how to overcome them and try not to make the same mistakes." Lessons that the author would like to learn young Nicaraguans, knowing with a proven data of the darkest periods of recent history.

The study by Professor Ferrero over 43 years of Somoza dynasty, discusses how the power remained in the family and, above all, the process of land expropriation that took them to possess, according to some figures consulted by the author, to 20% of Nicaraguan territory, an area the size of El Salvador.

The book is divided into three parts: first the author takes a historical journey of 43 years of dictatorship and each of the three Somoza ruled. In this first part the author cites three pillars that made the regime could survive all these years: U.S. support, the pact with the different groups of so-called "legal opposition," composed of business and economic elites, based on always profitable business for the ruling family and, thirdly, the brutal repression of the opposition called illegal.

"The interdependence with the United States begins with the construction project of a canal, which was originally screened at the San Juan River in Nicaragua, but ultimately would be held in Panama." Sometimes the relationship between U.S. presidents and the Somoza reached extremely embarrassing for the Americans themselves "Somoza even said he would only leave power if it demanded from the U.S.," says Ferrero.

This support, favored by business interests that the U.S. had in the country, would break with the arrival of Jimmy Carter to the White House, which "coincided with the biggest boom time of the Sandinista movement and fostered to some extent their success." The other two parts of the book focus on the massive accumulation of properties held by the family and the repression of any dissenting voices within the regime.

The latter, as the author herself warns readers, is perhaps the most dense part of the large number of facts and figures, names and surnames, the testimonies of prisoners who had access through the National Archives has been able to consult . Repression, for the author was the mainstay of livelihood of the regime but also the first cause of his downfall.

"All of society would join the Sandinista movement to overthrow Somoza, that's what the revolution was successful," he says. "Both the church, as employers, cheated by Somoza after the earthquake of 1972, as all strata of society, united to overthrow the dynasty" he adds. The violence of the regime, reflected in great detail in the files consulted by the author leaves no doubt: "It's almost impossible for a family does not have some killed during the dictatorship," says Professor Ferrero.

"It was an enemy of the regime, anyone who could not contribute anything material to the dynasty," he recalls. The appropriation of land and the Somoza family firms could be woven through the policy of pacts with the economic elite. Covenants that were broken by the rulers when, after the earthquake of 1972, they began to exploit grossly much of the international aid received state, as reflected by the author in the latter part of his book.

Professor Ferrero closed his presentation by recalling that this work is dedicated to all Nicaraguans, but especially the young, "not to forget what happened to their country and to try to prevent similar practices in the future. I the Nicaraguan people want the best possible future, "he said.

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