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7 mars 2012 3 07 /03 /mars /2012 10:07

1990s and the post-Sandinista era

The Nicaraguan general election, 1990 saw the defeat of the Sandinistas by a coalition of anti-Sandinista (from the left and right of the political spectrum) parties led by Violeta Chamorro, the widow of Pedro Joaquín Chamorro. Dell X411C Battery

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The defeat shocked the Sandinistas, as numerous pre-election polls had indicated a sure Sandinista victory, and their pre-election rallies had attracted crowds of several hundred thousand people.[65] The unexpected result was subject to extensive analysis and comment. Commentators such as Noam Chomsky and Brian Willson attributed the outcome to the U.S./ Dell W303C Battery

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Contra threats to continue the war if the Sandinistas retained power, the general war-weariness of the Nicaraguan population, and the abysmal Nicaraguan economic situation.

P. J. O'Rourke countered the US-centered criticism in his book Give War a Chance, saying "the unfair advantages of using state resources for party ends, about how Sandinista control of the transit system prevented UNO supporters from attending rallies, Dell 312-0814 Battery

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how Sandinista domination of the army forced soldiers to vote for Ortega and how Sandinista bureaucracy kept $3.3 million of U.S. campaign aid from getting to UNO while Daniel Ortega spent millions donated by overseas people and millions and millions more from the Nicaraguan treasury ..."[66] Dell 451-10692 Battery

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Exit polls of Nicaraguans reported Chamorro's victory over Ortega was achieved with 55% majority.[67] Violeta Chamorro was the first female President of Nicaragua, and also the first woman to be popularly elected for this position in any American nation. Exit polling convinced Daniel Ortega that the election results were legitimate, Dell KM760 Battery

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and were instrumental in his decision to accept the vote of the people and step down rather than void the election. Ortega vowed that he would govern desde abajo (from below);[68] in other words due to his widespread control of institutions and Sandinista individuals in all government agencies, he would still be able to maintain control and govern even without being president. Dell KM970 Battery

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Chamorro came to office with an economy in ruins. The per capita income of Nicaragua had been reduced by over 80% during the 1980s, and a huge government debt had ascended to US$12 billion, primarily due to the financial and social costs of the Contra war with the Sandinista-led government.[69]Dell MT196 Battery,Dell WU852 Battery

Much to the surprise of the U.S. and the contra forces, Chamorro did not dismantle the Sandinista Popular Army, although the name was changed to the Nicaraguan Army. Chamorro's main contribution to Nicaragua was the disarmament of groups in the northern and central areas of the country. This provided the stability which the country had lacked for over ten years. Dell RM668 Battery

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In the next election, the Nicaraguan general election, 1996, Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas of the FSLN were again defeated, this time by Arnoldo Alemán of the Constitutional Liberal Party (PLC).

In the 2001 elections, the PLC again defeated the FSLN, with Enrique Bolaños winning the Presidency. Dell 451-10617 Battery,Dell 312-0452 Battery

President Bolaños subsequently brought forward allegations of money laundering, theft and corruption against former President Alemán. The ex-president was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for embezzlement, money laundering, and corruption.[70] Liberal members who were loyal to Alemán and also members of congress reacted angrily, Dell 451-10372 Battery

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and along with Sandinista parliament members, stripped the presidential powers of President Bolaños and his ministers, calling for his resignation and threatening impeachment.

The Sandinistas alleged that their support for Bolaños was lost when U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told Bolaños to keep his distance from the FSLN.[71] Dell CG623 Battery

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This "slow motion coup d'état" was averted partially due to pressure from the Central American presidents, who vowed not to recognize any movement that removed Bolaños; the U.S., the OAS, and the European Union also opposed the "slow motion coup d'état".[72] The proposed constitutional changes,Dell KD476 Battery,Dell CG036 Battery

to be introduced in 2005 against the Bolaños administration, were delayed until January 2007 after the entrance of the new government. One day before they were due to be enforced, the National Assembly postponed their enforcement until January 2008. Dell CG039 Battery

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Before the general elections on 5 November 2006, the National Assembly passed a bill further restricting abortion in Nicaragua 52-0 (9 abstaining, 29 absent). President Enrique Bolaños supported this measure, and signed the bill into law on 17 November 2006.[73] As a result, Nicaragua is one of five countries in the world where abortion is illegal with no exceptions, along with Chile, Malta, El Salvador,[74] and the Vatican City. Dell NF343 Battery

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Legislative and presidential elections took place on November 5, 2006. Daniel Ortega returned to the presidency with 37.99% of the vote. This percentage was enough to win the presidency outright, due to a change in electoral law which lowered the percentage requiring a runoff election from 45% to 35% (with a 5% margin of victory).[75] Dell TC030 Battery

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Nicaragua's 2011 general election resulted in re-election of Daniel Ortega.


Politics of Nicaragua takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Nicaragua is both head of state andhead of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Dell CF623 Battery

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Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Between 2007–2009, Nicaragua's major political parties discussed the possibility of going from a presidential system to a parliamentary system. Dell YD623 Battery

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Their reason: there would be a clear differentiation between the head of government (Prime Minister) and the head of state (President). Nevertheless, it was later argued that the true reason behind this proposal was to find a legal way for current President Ortega to stay in power after January 2012 (this is when his second and last government period ends). Dell FK890 Battery

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The armed forces of Nicaragua consists of various military contingencies. Nicaragua has an Army, Navy and Air Force. There are roughly 14,000 active duty personnel, which is much less compared to the numbers seen during the Nicaraguan Revolution. Dell PU556 Battery

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Although the army has had a rough military history, a portion of its forces, which were known as theNational Guard became integrated with what is now the National Police of Nicaragua. In essence, the police became agendarmerie. The National Police of Nicaragua are rarely, if ever, labeled as a gendarmerie.Dell TT485 Battery,Dell WR050 Battery

The other elements and manpower that were not devoted to the National Police were sent over to cultivate the new Army of Nicaragua.

The age to serve in the armed forces is 17 and conscription is not imminent. As of 2006, the military budget was roughly 0.7% of Nicaragua's expenditures.Dell 0XR693 Battery

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Departments and municipalities

Nicaragua is a unitary republic. For administrative purposes it is divided into 15 departments (departamentos) and two self-governing regions (autonomous communities) based on the Spanish model. The departments are then subdivided into 153 municipios (municipalities). Dell 312-0633 Battery,Dell GW240 Battery

The two autonomous regions are 'Región Autónoma Atlántico Norte' and 'Región Autónoma Atlántico Sur', often referred to as RAAN and RAAS, respectively; until they were granted autonomy in 1985 they formed the single department of Zelaya.[79] Dell HP297 Battery

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Geography and climate

Nicaragua occupies a landmass of 130,967 km2 (50,567 sq mi), comparable to that of Greece or the state of Alabama. It lies between latitudes 10° and 15°N, and longitudes 82° and 88°W.

Nearly one fifth of the territory is designated as protected areas like national parks, nature reserves, and biological reserves. Dell XR693 Battery,Dell RU006 Battery

The country is bordered by Honduras to the north, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Geophysically, Nicaragua is surrounded by the Caribbean Plate, an oceanic tectonic plate underlying Central America and theCocos Plate. Since Central America is a major subduction zone, Nicaragua hosts most of the Central American Volcanic Arc. Dell TK330 Battery,Dell HG307 Battery

Nicaragua has three distinct geographical regions: the Pacific lowlands, fertile valleys which the Spanish colonists settled, theAmerrisque Mountains(North-central highlands), and the Mosquito Coast (Atlantic lowlands). The low plains of the Atlantic Coast are 60 miles wide in areas. They have long been exploited for their natural resources. Dell WG317 Battery,Dell 312-0867 Battery

Pacific lowlands

In the west of the country, these lowlands consist of a broad, hot, fertile plain. Punctuating this plain are several large volcanoes of the Cordillera Los Maribios mountain range, including Mombacho just outside Granada, and Momotombo near León. Dell 312-0931 Battery,Dell F144M Battery

The lowland area runs from the Gulf of Fonseca to Nicaragua's Pacific border with Costa Rica south of Lake Nicaragua. Lake Nicaragua is the largest freshwater lake in Central America (20th largest in the world),[80] and is home to some of the world's only freshwater sharks (Nicaraguan shark).[81] The Pacific lowlands region is the most populous, with over half of the nation's population. Dell H766N Battery,Dell J590M Battery

The capital city of Managua is the most populous and is the only city with over 1.5 million inhabitants.

The eruptions of western Nicaragua's 40 volcanoes, many of which are still active, have sometimes devastated settlements but also have enriched the land with layers of fertile ash. The geologic activity that produces vulcanism also breeds powerful earthquakes. Dell 312-0804 Battery

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Tremors occur regularly throughout the Pacific zone, and earthquakes have nearly destroyed the capital city, Managua, more than once.[82]

Most of the Pacific zone is tierra caliente, the "hot land" of tropical Spanish America at elevations under 2,000 feet (610 m). Dell C647H Battery,Dell F707H Battery

Temperatures remain virtually constant throughout the year, with highs ranging between 85 and 90 °F (29.4 and 32.2 °C). After a dry season lasting from November to April, rains begin in May and continue to October, giving the Pacific lowlands 40 to 60 inches (1,016 to 1,524 mm) of precipitation. Good soils and a favorable climate combine to make western Nicaragua the country's economic and demographic center. Dell F802H Battery,Dell F805H Battery

The southwestern shore of Lake Nicaragua lies within 15 miles (24 km) of the Pacific Ocean. Thus the lake and the San Juan River were often proposed in the 19th century as the longest part of a canal route across the Central American isthmus. Canal proposals were periodically revived in the 20th and 21st centuries. Dell KM904 Battery,Dell KM905 Battery

Roughly a century after the opening of thePanama Canal, the prospect of a Nicaraguan ecocanal remains a topic of interest.

In addition to its beach and resort communities, the Pacific lowlands contains most of Nicaragua's Spanish colonial architecture and artifacts. Dell MT264 Battery,Dell MT276 Battery

Cities such as León and Granada abound in colonial architecture; founded in 1524, Granada is the oldest colonial city in the Americas.[88]

North-central highlands

The central highlands are a significantly less populated and economically developed area in the north, between Lake Nicaragua and the Caribbean. Dell PW773 Battery

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Forming the country's tierra templada, or "temperate land", at elevations between 2,000 and 5,000 feet (610 and 1,524 m), the highlands enjoy mild temperatures with daily highs of
75 to 80 °F (23.9 to 26.7 °C). This region has a longer, wetter rainy season than the Pacific lowlands, making erosion a problem on its steep slopes. Dell WU960 Battery

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Rugged terrain, poor soils, and low population density characterize the area as a whole, but the northwestern valleys are fertile and well settled.[82]

The area has a cooler climate than the Pacific lowlands. About a quarter of the country's agriculture takes place in this region, with coffee grown on the higher slopes. Dell KM973 Battery

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Oaks, pines, moss, ferns and orchids are abundant in the cloud forests of the region.

Bird life in the forests of the central region includes Resplendent Quetzal, goldfinches, hummingbirds, jays and toucanets.

Caribbean lowlands

This large rainforest region is irrigated by several large rivers and is sparsely populated. Dell KM976 Battery,Dell KM978 Battery

The area has 57% of the territory of the nation and most of its mineral resources. It has been heavily exploited, but much natural diversity remains. The Rio Coco is the largest river in Central America; it forms the border with Honduras. The Caribbean coastline is much more sinuous than its generally straight Pacific counterpart; lagoons and deltas make it very irregular. Dell MT335 Battery

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Nicaragua's Bosawás Biosphere Reserve is in the Atlantic lowlands; it protects 1,800,000 acres (728,434 ha) of La Mosquitia forest – almost seven percent of the country's area – making it the largest rainforest north of the Amazon in Brazil.[89]

Nicaragua's tropical east coast is very different from the rest of the country. Dell PW823 Battery

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The climate is predominantly tropical, with high temperature and high humidity. Around the area's principal city of Bluefields, English is widely spoken along with the official Spanish. The population more closely resembles that found in many typical Caribbean ports than the rest of Nicaragua. Dell PW835 Battery,Dell RM791 Battery

A great variety of birds can be observed including eagles, turkeys, toucans, parakeets and macaws. Animal life in the area includes different species of monkeys, anteaters, white-tailed deer and tapirs.


Nicaragua is primarily an agricultural country; agriculture constitutes 60% of its total exports which annually yield approximately US $2.0 billion.[90] Dell RM868 Battery

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In addition, Nicaragua's Flor de Caña rum is renowned as among the best in Latin America, and its tobacco and beef are also well regarded. Nicaragua's agrarian economy has historically been based on the export ofcash crops such as coffee, beef and tobacco. Light industry (maquila), tourism, banking, mining, fisheries, and general commerce are expanding. Dell 312-0711 Battery

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Nicaragua also depends heavily on remittances from Nicaraguans living abroad, which totaled $655.5 million in 2006.

Nicaragua has always been a predominantly agricultural country. On the Pacific side, coffee and cotton are by far the most important commercial crops.Dell 312-0708 Battery

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In 1992, more land was devoted to coffee than to any other crop, and it is the nation's leading export in terms of value. Nearly two-thirds of the coffee crop comes from the northern part of the central highlands, in the area north and east of the town of Estelí.[82]

In the early 1980s, cotton became Nicaragua's second-largest export earner. Dell G069H Battery

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Production is centered on large farms along the central Pacific coast. Unfortunately, the growth of the cotton industry has created serious problems. Soil erosion and pollution from the heavy use of pesticides have become serious concerns in the cotton district. Yields and exports have both been declining since 1985.[82] Dell 451-10673 Battery,Dell F286H Battery

Plantation crops are significant in the Caribbean lowlands. After disease wiped out most of the region's banana plants in the years before 1945, attempts were made to diversify crops. Today most of Nicaragua's bananas are grown in the northwestern part of the country near the port of Corinto; sugarcane is also grown in the same district.[82] Subsistence farms, where food is grown mainly for the consumption of the farm family instead of for sale, are found throughout Nicaragua. Dell F287F Battery,Dell R988H Battery

Favorite food crops grown on such farms include rice, beans, maize, citrus fruits, and cassava. Cassava, a root crop somewhat similar to the potato, is an important food in tropical regions. The plant's roots can be eaten boiled and sliced, or ground into flour. Cassava is also the main ingredient in tapioca pudding.[82] Dell 1691P Battery,Dell 1G222 Battery

The Pacific lowlands and the middle and southern parts of the Central highlands are the principal cattle-grazing areas. An especially large number of cattle are found to the east of Lake Nicaragua.

Nicaragua's economy has also grown due to the emigration of retirees from parts of North America and Europe. Dell 1X793 Battery,Dell 310-0083 Battery

The influx of incoming residents has generated the construction of residencies and commercial services throughout the country. Illustrated above are the residencies of Viejo Santo Domingo, which are some of the country's high-end residencies.

Beginning in the 1960s, shrimp became big business on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Dell 310-6321 Battery,Dell 310-6322 Battery

The main shrimping centers on the Pacific coast are Corinto and San Juan del Sur. Fishing boats on the Caribbean side bring shrimp as well as lobsters into processing plants at Puerto Cabezas, Bluefields, and Laguna de Perlas.[82]

The lumber industry, concentrated mainly in the eastern third of the country, has been lethargic since 1980, with its activities limited by several problems.Dell 312-0068 Battery

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First, the best trees in the most accessible places have already been cut down. In addition, pure groves of trees are uncommon in tropical forests. Hundreds of species per acre are generally the rule, complicating the task of harvesting. Moreover, the most valuable dense hardwoods will not float. As a result, these trees must be trucked out of the forest rather than floated downriver to a sawmill. Dell 312-0079 Battery,Dell 312-0095 Battery

Finally, more restrictions are being placed on lumbering due to increased environmental concerns about destruction of the rain forests. But lumbering continues despite these obstacles; indeed, a single hardwood tree may be worth thousands of dollars.[82]

Political turmoil has had a severe impact on the mining industry. Dell 312-0106 Battery

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Exports of gold are down, and little effort has been made to develop the large copper deposits of the northeast. Fighting during the revolution destroyed nearly one-third of Nicaragua's industry. As it rebuilds, the government is trying to change the industrial mix of the country and achieve decentralization.Dell 312-0305 Battery,Dell 312-0306 Battery

Before the revolution, more than 60 percent of the nation's industrial production, by value, was concentrated in Managua. The industrial-decentralization policy may help to slow the growth of the largest cities, while assisting in the redistribution of income and development of economies in impoverished areas. Dell 312-0326 Battery,Dell 312-0341 Battery

Major industries include food processing, cement production, metal fabrication, and oil refining. The Centroamérica power plant on the Tuma River in the Central highlands has been expanded, and other hydroelectric projects have been undertaken to help provide electricity to the nation's newer industries.[82] Dell 312-0373 Battery,Dell 312-0518 Battery

The economic core of Nicaragua is in the Pacific zone, and the railway and highway network reflects that concentration of activity. The government-owned rail system—an inefficient money loser—is gradually being replaced by truck transport. Transportation throughout the rest of the nation is often inadequate. Dell 312-0566 Battery,Dell 312-0585 Battery

For example, one cannot travel all the way by highway from Managua to the Caribbean coast. The road ends at the town of Rama. Travelers have to transfer and make the rest of the trip by riverboat down the Río Escondido—a five-hour journey.[82] Dell 312-0831 Battery,Dell 312-7206 Battery

Corinto is the only modern deepwater port in Nicaragua. It handles both agricultural exports and general-cargo imports. Petroleum is unloaded at Puerto Sandino, from which it travels by pipeline to a refinery in Managua. Trade with other nations in Central America has increased in recent years. Nicaragua has long been considered as a possible site for a new sea-level canal that could supplement the Panama Canal.[82] Dell 8N544 Battery,Dell BAT1297 Battery

Components of the economy

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in purchasing power parity (PPP) in 2008 was estimated at $17.37 billion USD.[91] The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 56.9%, followed by the industrial sector at 26.1% (2006 est.). Dell C7786 Battery,Dell D6400 Battery

Agriculture represents 17% of GDP, the highest percentage in Central America [92] (2008 est.). Remittances account for over 15% of the Nicaraguan GDP. Close to one billion dollars are sent to the country by Nicaraguans living abroad.[93] Nicaraguan labor force is estimated at 2.322 million of which 29% is occupied in agriculture, 19% in the industrial sector and 52% in the service sector (est. 2008). Dell F5136 Battery,Dell HF674 Battery


After 1950 the scope of capital-intensive modern agriculture increased greatly. This growth was concentrated in export crops, while crops destined for domestic use continued to be produced by traditional labor-intensive methods. The shift to industrialized agriculture also significantly reduced the proportion of the population directly dependent on agriculture. Dell Y4991 Battery,Dell XX327 Battery

Commercial agriculture thrives in the Pacific lowlands, where cotton and sugarcane are the staple crops. Although coffee is grown in the Pacific zone at elevations over 1,000 feet (300 meters), the most important coffee zone is the northwestern part of the Central highlands, from Matagalpa to Jinotega. Cattle for the export of beef are raised in the southeastern part of the highlands. Dell XX337 Battery

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The overall expansion of export production by large landholders pushed the smallholders who produced the country's maize, beans, and other dietary staples onto marginal lands, with the result that food production could not keep up with population increase.

In the 1990s the government initiated efforts to diversify agriculture. Some of the new export-oriented crops were peanuts,sesame, melons, and onions.[82]Dell HW905 Battery,Dell 312-0822 Battery

Nicaragua's agricultural sector has benefited because of the country's strong ties to Venezuela. It is estimated that Venezuela will import approximately $200 million in agricultural goods.[94]

Fishing and forestry

Forestry and fishing are the bases of the eastern seaboard's commercial economy. Dell 312-0823 Battery,Dell Y085C Battery

In national terms, neither sector was important until the take-off of the fishing industry in the late 20th century. Mahogany was harvested commercially on the Atlantic coast beginning early in the 19th century. In the 20th century pine stands began to be exploited. In neither case, though, was the resource managed so as to ensure a sustained yield. Dell X784C Battery,Dell 312-0864 Battery

Nicaragua's fishing industry operates off both coasts and in freshwater Lake Nicaragua. The lake also has an aquaculture industry. The most valuable catches are shrimp and spiny lobster. The government expanded the size of the fishing fleet in the 1980s, which permitted a rapid expansion of shrimp and lobster exports in the 1990s. Dell Y082C Battery,Dell F586J Battery

A turtle fishery thrived on the Caribbean coast before it collapsed from overexploitation.[82]

Mining and the production of energy

Mining is not a major industry in Nicaragua,[95] contributing less than 1% of gross domestic product (GDP). Dell W346C Battery,Dell HW355 Battery

Still, gold and silver mines in the north-central and northeastern parts of the country are important elements of regional economies and constitute sources of revenue. Important domestic sources of electrical energy are hydropower and geothermal power, the latter from the volcano Momotombo, near Managua. But most commercial electricity is generated by imported petroleum. Dell HW357 Battery

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Although the manufacturing sector of the economy contributes somewhat more to GDP than agriculture, it employs far fewer people. It was traditionally concerned largely with the processing of agricultural products, and it supplied the domestic market with foods, beverages, edible oils, cigarettes, and textile goods. Dell HW421 Battery,Dell RK813 Battery

Also manufactured were light metal goods, construction materials, wood and paper products, and chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides.

The manufacturing sector was expanded beyond these areas in the 1990s with the introduction of maquila industries, in which imported parts are assembled for reexport. Dell RK815 Battery

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The principal products were garments, footwear, aluminum frames, and jewelry. Growth in the maquila sector slowed in the first decade of the 21st century with rising competition from Asian markets, particularly China.[82]

Economic development in the 21st century

Nicaragua has widespread underemployment and the second lowest per capita income in the Americas. Dell TR514 Battery,Dell TR517 Battery

The US-Central America Free Trade Agreement(CAFTA) has been in effect since April 2006 and has expanded export opportunities for many agricultural and manufactured goods. Textiles and apparel account for nearly 60% of Nicaragua's exports, but recent increases in the minimum wage have a strong possibility of eroding Nicaragua's comparative advantage in this industry. Dell TR518 Battery

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Nicaragua's minimum wage is among the lowest in the Americas and in the World.

Nicaragua relies on international economic assistance to meet internal and external debt financing obligations. In early 2004, Nicaragua secured some $4.5 billion in foreign debt reduction under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative. Dell TR653 Battery

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In October 2007, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a new Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility program. Despite the support, severe budget shortfalls resulting from the suspension of large amounts of direct budget support from foreign donors concerned with recent political developments has caused a slowdown in PRGF disbursements. Dell WT870 Battery

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Similarly, private sector concerns surrounding Daniel Ortega's handling of economic issues have dampened investment. Economic growth has slowed in 2009, due to decreased export demand from the US and Central American markets from the overall recession, lower commodity prices for key agricultural exports, and low remittancegrowth. Dell 312-4000 Battery

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Remittances are equivalent to roughly 15% of the country's Gross Domestic Product.[91]


Nicaragua, the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Hemisphere, has widespread underemployment and poverty. Dell W358P Battery

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The US-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) has been in effect since April 2006 and has expanded export opportunities for many agricultural and manufactured goods. Textiles and apparel account for nearly 60% of Nicaragua's exports, but increases in the minimum wage during the Ortega administration will likely erode its comparative advantage in this industry. Dell N998P Battery

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Ortega's promotion of mixed business initiatives, owned by the Nicaraguan and Venezuelan state oil firms, together with the weak rule of law, could undermine the investment climate for domestic and international private firms in the near-term. Nicaragua relies on international economic assistance to meet internal- and external-debt financing obligations. Dell Y264R Battery

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Foreign donors have curtailed this funding, however, in response to November 2008 electoral fraud. In early 2004, Nicaragua secured some $4.5 billion in foreign debt reduction under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Managua still struggles with a high public debt burden, however, it succeeded in reducing that burden substantially in 2011. Dell 9JJGJ Battery

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The economy grew at a rate of about 4% in 2011.[100]

Nicaragua is among one of the poorer countries in the Americas. Nicaragua's nominal GDP stands at 6.554 for 2009 and increasing to 8.532 by 2014. Nicaragua's GDP (PPP) 16.709 billion and the GDP per capita is $1,028 for Nicaragua. Dell NKDWV Battery

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According to the PNUD, 48% of the population in Nicaragua live below the poverty line,[104] 79.9% of the population live with less than $2 per day,[105]unemployment is 3.9%, and another 46.5% are underemployed (2008 est.). As in many other developing countries, a large segment of the economically poor in Nicaragua are women. Dell Vostro 1710 Battery

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In addition, a relatively high proportion of Nicaragua's homes have a woman as head of household: 39% of urban homes and 28% of rural homes. According to UN figures, 80% of the indigenous people (who make up 5% of the population) live on less than $1 per day.[106]According to the FAO, 27% of all Nicaraguans are suffering fromundernourishment; the highest percentage in Central America. Dell Latitude E4300 Battery,Dell Latitude E4200 Battery


During the war between the US-backed Contras and the government of the Sandinistas in the 1980s, much of the country's infrastructure was damaged or destroyed.[107]Inflation averaged 30% throughout the 1980s. After the United States imposed a trade embargo in 1985, which lasted 5 years, Nicaragua's inflation rate rose dramatically. Dell Studio 14 Battery,Dell Studio 1435 Battery

The 1985 annual rate of 220% tripled the following year and rose to more than 13,000% in 1988, the highest rate for any country in the Western Hemisphere in that year.

The country is still a recovering economy and it continues to implement further reforms to improve profits for foreign businesses, on which aid from the IMF is conditional. Dell Studio 1436 Battery

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In 2005 finance ministers of the leading eight industrialized nations (G8) agreed to forgive some of Nicaragua's foreign debt, as part of the HIPCprogram. According to the World Bank, Nicaragua's GDP was around $4.9 billion US dollars. In March 2007, Poland and Nicaragua signed an agreement to write off 30.6 million dollars which was borrowed by the Nicaraguan government in the 1980s.[108] Dell Studio 1457 Battery,Dell Inspiron 1320 Battery

Since the end of the war almost two decades ago, more than 350 state enterprises have been privatized. Inflation reduced from 33,500% in 1988 to 9.45% in 2006, and the foreign debt was cut in half.[109]

According to the World Bank, Nicaragua ranked as the 62nd best economy for starting a business: making it the second best in Central America, after Panama.[110] Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery

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Nicaragua's economy is "62.7% free" with high levels of fiscal, government, labor, investment, financial, and trade freedom.[111] It ranks as the 61st freest economy, and 14th (of 29) in the Americas.


During the era of the Spanish colonial rule, and for more than 50 years afterward, Nicaragua used Spanish coins that were struck for use in the "New World". Dell Inspiron 1564 Battery

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The first unique coins for Nicaragua were issued in 1878 in the peso denomination. The córdoba became Nicaragua's currency in 1912 and was initially equal in value to the U.S. dollar. The Córdoba was named after Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, the national founder. The front of each of Nicaragua's circulating coins features the national coat of arms. Dell Latitude E6400 Battery Battery,Dell Latitude E6500 Battery Battery

The five volcanoes represent the five Central American countries at the time of Nicaragua's independence; the rainbow at the top symbolizes peace; and the cap in the center is a symbol of freedom. The design is contained within a triangle to indicate equality. The back of each coin features the denomination, with the inscription En Dios Confiamos (In God We Trust). Dell Studio XPS 13 Battery,Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery

Nicaragua is the first country in the Americas to successfully overhaul production of its paper currency in favor of polymer banknotes. Polymer banknotes were issued in 2009 to reduce the need to reprint banknotes, combat counterfeiting and introduce a more hygienic currency. The previously issued banknotes are still accepted as legal tender. Dell Studio XPS 16 Battery

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However, unlike previous banknote series, the current series does not have any illustration of politicians. Rather, the current currency series celebrates the country's landmarks, history and culture.

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