The Revolution in Nicaragua: Another Cuba?

Courtesy Reuters

For two decades, the hemispheric policy of the United States has been haunted by the specter of "another Cuba." The fear that Cuba's revolutionary upheaval might be repeated elsewhere energized the Alliance for Progress and, when progress gave way to order, that same fear justified providing counterinsurgency assistance to a continent increasingly dominated by military dictatorships. Lyndon Johnson sent a force of 20,000 men to the Dominican Republic in 1965 to prevent "another Cuba," and Henry Kissinger unleashed the CIA on Chile for the same reason.

The collapse of the Somoza dynasty in Nicaragua has made this fear more palpable than ever. The United States labored mightily over the past year to prevent the accession of a Sandinista government in Nicaragua, but in the end was reduced to reluctantly arranging the terms of transition from Somoza to a provisional government appointed by the guerrillas. Preoccupied with isolating the Sandinistas, Washington policymakers consistently

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