Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.


members of a left-wing Nicaraguan political party, the Sandinist National Liberation Front (FSLN). The group, named for Augusto Cesar SandinoSandino, Augusto César
, 1895–1934, Nicaraguan revolutionary general. A farmer and a mining engineer, he joined the liberal revolution (1926) against the conservative government headed by Adolfo Díaz and Emiliano Chamorro. He protested against the new U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
, a former insurgent leader, was formed in 1962 to oppose the regime of Anastasio Somoza DebayleSomoza Debayle, Anastasio
, 1925–80, president of Nicaragua (1967–72, 1974—79). The younger son of dictator Anastasio Somoza, he was educated in the United States. He assumed command of the national guard at age 21 and was elected president in 1967.
..... Click the link for more information.
. In 1979 the Sandinistas launched an offensive from Costa Rica and Honduras that toppled Somoza. They established a junta that nationalized such industries as banking and mining, postponed elections, and moved steadily to the left, eventually espousing Marxist-Leninist positions. The Sandinista-dominated government was opposed by U.S.-supported guerrillas known as contras (see NicaraguaNicaragua
, officially Republic of Nicaragua, republic (2015 est. pop. 6,082,000), 49,579 sq mi (128,410 sq km), Central America. Nicaragua is bordered on the north and northwest by Honduras, on the east by the Caribbean Sea, on the south by Costa Rica, and on the southwest by
..... Click the link for more information.
). In 1984, Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega SaavedraOrtega Saavedra, Daniel
, 1945–, president of Nicaragua (1979–90, 2007–). As a university student, he joined (1963) the clandestine Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN; see Sandinistas), a Marxist guerrilla coalition that opposed the Somoza dictatorship.
..... Click the link for more information.
 won the Nicaraguan presidency in an election that was boycotted by some opposition groups. In 1990 the opposition candidate, Violeta Barrios de ChamorroChamorro, Violeta Barrios de
, 1929–, president of Nicaragua (1990–97). Widow of martyred newspaper editor Joaquim Chamorro, she briefly joined the ruling Sandinista junta following the 1979 revolution.
..... Click the link for more information.
, defeated Ortega, but Sandinistas continued to hold important positions in the police and army. In the mid-1990s a rift in the party led many opposed to Ortega's domination of the party and concerned about the party's drift from original ideals, including several former members of the junta, to form the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS). Although Ortega again lost a bid for the presidency in 1996, the Sandinistas became the major opposition party in the national assembly; the MRS only won one seat. Ortega also lost in 2001, but in 2006 and 2011 he won the presidency again, running against a divided center-right opposition. Since 2006, the party has used street violence and judicial chicanery in an attempt to increase its hold on political power.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
He secretly joined the Sandinistas and was appointed foreign minister after the Sandinista victory in 1979.
Rodriguez for the compelling article about the rebirth of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.
strategy: defeat the Sandinistas by turning their country into hell on
In 1990 the Sandinistas lost power through a democratic election and much of the heady optimism of the revolution had disappeared.
In Nicaragua, war-weary voters defeated Ortega in his bid for re-election in 1990, confounding those who claimed the Sandinistas would never peacefully yield power.
"If either of the two is prevented from running, our movement will take to the streets," said one of its leaders, Carlos Tunnerman, who was the Sandinistas' ambassador to the United States in the 1980s.
A government proposal to rename the international airport in Managua, Nicaragua has been rejected by the country's leftist Sandinista Front.
In addition to the FSLN legislation, the next Part also examines the measures taken by the three democratically-elected post-1990 administrations to remedy the property crisis created by the Sandinistas.
The dominoes began falling in Latin America to Soviet-backed thugs and terrorists: Romulo Betancourt in Venezuela, Cheddi Jagan in British Guiana, Juan Bosch in the Dominican Republic, Juan Jose Arevalo in Guatemala, Janio Quadros and Joao Goulart in Brazil, Victor Paz Estenssoro in Bolivia, Salvador Allende in Chile, Omar Torrijos in Panama, Maurice Bishop in Grenada, and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the elder Somoza: "He might be a son-of-a-bitch."); but he's our son-of-a-bitch."); and, during the 1980s, financing rightwing contra guerrillas who waged a civil war against the leftist Sandinistas, a war that killed more than 30,000 over the decade.
What went unreported was a research project conducted during the election by the University of Michigan, which by deploying various groups of student pollsters discovered that Nicaraguans mistrusted foreigners, presumed them active allies of the Sandinistas, and persistently lied to them.