José Santos Zelaya(redirected from Jose Zelaya)
Zelaya, José Santos
Born Nov. 1, 1853, in Managua; died May 17, 1919, in New York. Nicaraguan state figure.
As president of Nicaragua from 1893 to 1909, Zelaya enacted a number of reforms, such as the separation of church and state and the introduction of universal franchise and of civil marriage; he also promoted the development of public education. Zelaya sought to lessen Nicaragua’s dependence on the USA and to this end requested Japan to subsidize the construction of an interoceanic canal across Nicaragua. In addition, he advocated the establishment of a Central American confederation. Zelaya was forced from the presidency with the assistance of American monopolies.