Somoza and RooseveltGood Neighbour Diplomacy in Nicaragua, 1933-1945

Somoza and RooseveltGood Neighbour Diplomacy in Nicaragua, 1933-1945

Andrew Crawley

Print publication date: 2010

ISBN: 9780199212651

Publisher: Oxford University Press


Franklin Roosevelt's good neighbour policy, coming in the wake of decades of U.S. intervention in Central America, and following a lengthy U.S. military occupation of Nicaragua, marked a significant shift in U.S. policy towards Latin America. Its basic tenets were non-intervention and non-interference. The period was exceptionally significant for Nicaragua, as it witnessed the creation and consolidation of the Somoza government — one of Latin America's most enduring authoritarian regimes, which endured from 1936 to the Sandinista revolution in 1979. Addressing the political, diplomatic, military, commercial, financial, and intelligence components of U.S. policy, this book analyses the background to the U.S. military withdrawal from Nicaragua in the early 1930s. It assesses the motivations for Washington's policy of disengagement from international affairs, and the creation of the Nicaraguan National Guard, as well as debating U.S. accountability for what the Guard became under Somoza. The book challenges the conventional theory that Somoza's regime was a creature of Washington. It was U.S. non-intervention, not interference, the book argues, that enhanced the prospects of tyranny.