noun \ˌsan-də-ˈnēs-tə, ˌsän-\

Definition of SANDINISTA

:  a member of a military and political coalition holding power in Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990


American Spanish, from Augusto César Sandino †1933 Nicaraguan rebel leader
First Known Use: 1974

Rhymes with SANDINISTA


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any member of Nicaragua's Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). Named for César Augusto Sandino, a hero of Nicaraguan resistance to U.S. occupation (1927–33), the group was founded in 1962 to oppose the Somoza family's dictatorship. They organized support among students, workers, and peasants. From bases in Honduras and Costa Rica, they attacked the Nicaraguan National Guard. They split into factions in the mid-1970s but reunited during the revolution of 1978–79 that finally succeeded in overthrowing Pres. Anastasio Somoza. A junta headed by Daniel Ortega led the Sandinista government (1979–90), which implemented literacy and community health programs. In an effort to topple the government, the U.S. imposed a trade embargo, pressured international lending institutions to withhold aid, and trained and supported the contras. The FSLN lost support over time and was voted out of power in 1990. The party regained prominence in 2006, when Ortega won another term as president. See also Violeta Chamorro.


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