Somoza, Anastasio(änästä`syō sōmō`sä), 1896–1956, president of Nicaragua (1937–47, 1950–56). After the end (1933) of U.S. military intervention in Nicaragua, he rose to power as head of the national guard. Though himself a member of the Liberal party, he engineered (1936) a successful coup against the incumbent Liberal regime. In 1937 he formally assumed the presidency. In 1947 he withdrew, but before a month had elapsed he ousted his successor and installed a puppet president. He was accused (1948) by Costa Rica of aiding a group of rebels bent on overthrowing the liberal regime in that country. The Organization of American States investigated the charges, ruled in favor of Costa Rica, and reprimanded Somoza. Undeterred, he had himself reelected in 1950 over the ineffectual opposition of Emiliano ChamorroChamorro, Emiliano
, 1871–1966, president of Nicaragua (1917–20, 1926). A conservative army chief, Chamorro supported the revolt (1909) against José Santos Zelaya.
..... Click the link for more information. and continued his dictatorial rule and provocations against Costa Rica. He maintained, however, very cordial relations with the United States. On Sept. 21, 1956, he was shot; eight days later he died. His son, Luis Somoza, succeeded him to the presidency.
Born Feb. 1, 1896, in San Marcos; died Sept. 29, 1956, in the Panama Canal Zone. Nicaraguan state figure and general.
After holding several public posts, Somoza became head of the National Guard in 1932. From 1936 to 1947 and from 1950 to 1956, he was president of Nicaragua, but in fact he governed the country for 20 years. Under his rule, thousands of patriots were killed, including the national hero of Nicaragua, A. Sandino, and trade unions and democratic organizations were liquidated. Somoza dispatched troops to fight against progressive forces in Costa Rica in 1948 and to organize intervention in Guatemala in 1954. His policies led to the strengthening of Nicaragua’s economic, military, and political dependence on the USA. Somoza was fatally wounded by an assassin.