Bush and the Sandinistas 1989

  • David Ryan


The Reagan attempt to rollback the Sandinista revolution had effectively ended in February 1988 with the vote to end contra military aid. They were no longer a credible force within Washington’s objectives and now had to find the most viable way to survive the transitional period. The Sandinistas too continued their negotiating strategy. After the defeat of military aid a broad coalition of support was given for non-lethal aid of $47.9 million which was passed in late March. A congressional report indicated that Reagan’s ‘lame duck’ presidency had little influence on the debate; more important were the events in the region and some tentative agreement in Congress. Even the Sandinistas acquiesced to the aid as long as it was channelled through neutral organizations. The Sandinista-Contra negotiations towards a permanent cease-fire broke up on 9 June 1988 without agreement, probably because of division amongst the contra leadership factions. The first comprehensive Sandinista proposal was rejected while contra leader Alfredo César began secret talks with Humberto Ortega and Paul Reichler, an American legal representative to the Sandinistas. According to the Center for International Policy, César presented a list of reforms that had to be met before the contra directorate would sign any agreement. In late May the Sandinistas accepted the points, resulting in further and unconstitutional demands put forward by the Bermúdez faction of the contras.


Foreign Minister Bush Administration Peace Process Reagan Administration Regional Conflict 
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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© David Ryan 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Ryan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Historical and International StudiesDe Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

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