A family dynasty that dominated Nicaragua from the 1930s until 1979. Anastasio Garcia Somoza (1896–1956) engineered a successful coup against the liberal regime and took over the presidency in 1936, exercising dictatorial control until his assassination in 1956. Somoza family rule continued under his sons Luis and Anastasio (Tachito) Somoza Debayle (1956–63, 1967–79, respectively). The Somozas used the National Guard to eliminate political opposition while they accumulated vast amounts of Nicaragua's agrarian and industrial resources. Military and economic assistance from the USA helped maintain the Somozas in power until 1979, when economic problems and world outcry against human rights abuses undermined Tachito's control and the Sandinista National Liberation Front took power.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — World History.