On Friday October 16, 1981, President Ronald Reagan wrote in his personal diary, “Central America is really the world’s next hotspot. Nicaragua is an armed camp supplied by Cuba and threatening a communist takeover of all of Central America.” (The Reagan Diaries, 2007) For the next eight years as Commander-in-Chief, this mindset would shape his perspective on the small Third World country about the size of North Carolina. The Administration’s policies, actions, and attitudes toward Nicaragua and other perceived hostile nations became known as “Reagan Doctrine.” The defeat of the Nicaraguan Revolution became the “cornerstone of the Reagan Central American policy and the test case of Reagan Doctrine.” (U.S. Intervention in the Nicaraguan
…show more content…
In Nicaragua for example, the economy was decimated by U.S. sanctions and manipulation of its banking institutions. The Administration, supported by Congress, funded a war against the Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, or FSLN). It was a war fought by various Nicaraguan rebel groups, labeled the Contras, which sought to overthrow the Sandinistas, who came to power after the revolution in 1979.
“The development of Contra forces began in 1981 when Reagan authorized $19.5 million in funding for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to construct a paramilitary force of 500 Nicaraguan exiles from deposed President Anastasio Somoza’s National Guard.” (International Security, 1990) Along with congressionally funded aid, members of the Reagan Administration attained additional funds through the illicit sales of arms to Iran. Funds from these sales were funneled to the Contras. When this illegal activity was revealed in the “Iran-Contra Affair” in November of 1986, it led to the indictment and conviction of many of Reagan’s