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Nicaragua Table of Contents




Figure 10. Economic Activity, 1993

Nationalization under the Sandinistas

Despite initial fears that the Sandinista government would nationalize the economy as was done in Cuba after the revolution, the Sandinista administration pledged to maintain a mixed (privately and publicly owned) economy. All property and businesses owned by the Somoza family or their associates were immediately taken over by the government. Farm workers were encouraged to organize under cooperatives on appropriated land. However, private businesses not previously owned by the Somozas were allowed to continue operations, although under stringent new government regulations.

The Sandinista administration held the right to further nationalize any industry or land that it deemed was underutilized or vital to national interests. Exercising this right, the government made a few "showcase" nationalizations, such as the takeover of the Club Terraza, a nightclub in Managua. In general, however, nationalization was concentrated in the banking, insurance, mining, transportation, and agricultural sectors. During the eleven-year tenure of the Sandinistas, the private sector's contribution to the GDP remained fairly constant, ranging from 50 percent to 60 percent.

Data as of December 1993