Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, by William M. LeoGrande

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Extra resources for Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977-1992

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Intervention to block a Sandinista victory. 63 In the Carter White House, both the instincts of the Roosevelt Corollary and the spirit of Franklin Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy could be found in uneasy cohabitation. "64 The United States took this as sufficient mandate to try once again to fashion a mediated settlement. With all of Nicaragua engulfed in battle, the United States began an attempt to construct a "constitutionalist" solution. Somoza would resign in favor of a constitutional successor who would then appoint an "executive committee" of prominent, independent Nicaraguans and turn power over to them.

Right-wing dictatorships bent on preserving anachronistic social orders were regarded as bad security risks. The more they relied upon force to sustain themselves, the more rapidly they mobilized and radicalized their opponents, hastening their own demise. 21 Though global in scope, Carter's human rights policy found its most consistent expression in Latin America. In 1977, there appeared to be no immediate security threats in the hemisphere, so the policy was not diluted by fears of political instability, as it was in Iran and South Korea.

I think he felt that if he could polarize [the situation] and make i t . . Somoza versus the Marxists that the United States and everybody else would rally to him," Pete Vaky recalled. S. warnings that a collapse of the mediation would affect the "whole gamut" of relations with Nicaragua, the sanctions imposed when Somoza rejected the final mediation proposal were relatively mild. S. military mission were withdrawn, military aid (already suspended) was terminated, and the embassy staff was cut by half.

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