Latin America is a land of hearts and of song. If you put your ear up to the tone arm for the gramophone of history and listen for long enough, you’re bound to hear it skip and repeat itself

1850s US, filibuster war. cuban annexation. mexican-american war; climax of manifest destiny. prelude to the civil war. consistent sentiments to unify central america. started with morazan, sandino was a big proponent of it. latin american liberalism, the "liberal revolution" of the late 1870s; put an end to half a century of conservative rule following their instigation and dissolution of the federal republic. many of the former ideological divisions of the leading politicians dissolved and differences in party became an issue of families and personalities; El Salvador and Nicaragua represent the worst of this. The nominally Liberal Party of Nicaragua, the ideological predecessor to the Somoza family's party, hired William Walker as a general to fight against the Conservative Party in their ongoing Civil War. then he reinstated slavery and required every country to come together to put him down. United States was providing funds and arms and resources to his army. However, Cornelius Vanderbilt, railroad tycoon, ALSO wanted to be the dictator of Nicaragua, and he was planning on stirring up an insurrection bc this was the 1850s and he wanted to create a transcontinental railroad through Nicaragua for those who wanted to go to California for the Gold Rush (started in 1848), but Walker's declaration as the dictator of Nicaragua and scrapping of his plans made him so mad that he singlehandedly bankrolled the entire continent's armies to overthrow him. And when they won, he didn't even give a fuck; he no longer persued that thread or tried to gain political power in the region. it was an issue of pride. This was well known in the US and people were like, hey dumbass maybe use your money on something productive? so he goes ok lol and opens up Vanderbilt University in Nashville University.. the hometown of William Walker. anyway this sets a precedent for like every other "philanthropist" rich mf. this guy was so raw with it tho. don't get it twisted though he's absolutely an exploiter but with a very very big personality LMFAO

you see shit in wikipedia like so and so conflict in the middle east has one side supported by the CIA and FBI and the other supported by the US

this is like that but 200 years before

anyway so 1870s, liberal revolution. rise of coffee plantations. economic growth and expansion from this was supposed to improve social conditions of all, and the liberal party historically became more diverse than the conservative party which was virtually entirely made up of criollos (full blooded spaniards born in central america); in reality, it was kind of a reintroduction of the feudal Spanish system. the state had to start forcing people to work coffee plantations.. it's going to sound very ,,lib'' to contrast this with what i'm about to say, but at least in concept, you start to see something of a re-emergence of the original visions of leaders like francisco morazan.. again, in concept. in practice, not so much. they get control for about 40-ish years, and you see two things happening: a continuation of the political domination of "liberals" who have no real notable agendas (just as before), but you get something kind of interesting as well.. people who do actually give a fuck in the liberal parties, especially towards the turn of the century, start to become more and more enamored with a certain emerging socioeconomic ideology.. you see a re-emergence of the desire of regional unity in leaders that, again, do give a fuck (the greater republic of central america, a short-lived revival of morazan's vision, was formed at the very very end of the century and lasted about two years) and the recognition that

the United States was re-emerging as a major transoceanic power after its sharp loss of power and influence during and following the Civil War. but it was too little too late and in 1909 the US, which had been pressuring the country with considerable conservative support to be allowed access to its natural resources and other stuff of that nature--they had not yet fallen to become a banana republic--got tired of waiting and sent the US marines to occupy the country

meanwhile, the illegitimate son of a Spanish landowner and his indigenous servant who was eventually taken in by his biological father and given a proper education has spent much of his early adulthood literally drifting through the region. At the age of 26, he attacks and attempts to kill a prominent conservative politician after he made fun of his mom only to go into exile. He gets a job in La Ceiba, Honduras (shout out!), he goes to Guatemalan, and then he finds himself in Mexico as the revolution is coming to a close. He gets involved in spirituality, associates with the Zapatistas, the Communists, and anti-clerical and indigenous identity movements. Then, he goes back to Nicaragua. This man was Sandino, and he returns to his home province and, with no, and i mean no military experience, gets a band of troops together and leads his first attack on the conservative puppet government which had overthrown the previous liberal government of Juan Batista Sacasa, who ideologically was very much aligned with the last president before the US occupation, Jose Santos Zelaya. While Sandino was roaming around, however, a teenaged, and later, young adult Anastasio Somoza is getting his education in his States. Two things happen here that will lead his life trajectory hurtling towards Sandino. First, he learns English very fluently. Second, he meets his wife--a member of one of the richest and most powerful political families of Nicaragua, and the niece of Juan Batista Sacasa. The former made him very popular with the US Marines. The latter ensured he would have a place in politics.

Sandino, again, not a general--he has no military training--demands armaments and funding from Sacasa to continue their fight against the puppet conservative government. They do not know who he is, so they say "No," until he proves himself by capturing rifles of fleeing Conservative soldiers and bringing them back to show his efficacy as a military leader. They agree

After this war ends in 1927, three things happen. First, the United States acts as a mediator and says that a ceasefire must commence, and that while the puppet government will finish its term, Sacasa will follow as president. They declare that Nicaragua must establish a military police force, called the Guardia Nacional, and both sides must give up their weapons. Sandino's force does not do this. Over the course of the following years, up until Sacasa takes office, Sandino's army continually attacks American outposts and means of production owned and protected by American troops, such as gold mines. He becomes a bit of a hero in the US, with his communiques reaching newspapers in Boston. The US president personally takes issue with him, and despite Congress being unwilling to provide extra funds for the Marine force in Nicaragua, he does everything within his power to try and ensure Sandino ends up dead. This does not happen. To throw off US troops, Sandino fakes his death, creates a fake mountain headquarters which the Marines spend months tracking only to find it guarded by straw dummies. William Walker, before his final expedition and death, wrote an autobiography in which he unflinchingly, with a sociopathic, direct, and indifferent tone--with little fabrication or exaggeration--details his life and his stint as a dictator in Nicaragua. He was a soldier of fortune,

a mercenary, by trade, but even then, he speaks of the Nicaraguan people as though they are objects, or as though he is playing a board game. To him, all of these exploits represented very little in the way of ideology--minus his approval of the institution of slavery. Beyond that, everything else was just, as he would say, going through the motions. This guy was evil, seriously. Sandino, funnily enough, is not a polar opposite--a reflection, an embodiment of dichotomously opposing traits with similarities in some sort of crux--he is his inverse. Sandino exaggerates his victories and boasts of them

Sandino lies about the size of his army, of the number of causalities of American soldiers, of how quickly he won against the advanced armaments of the American soldiers. He also wanted to be the dictator of Nicaragua, ruling through a junta, just as William Walker had. But, of course, their vision, their desire, and their hearts were in.. opposite isn't enough of a word. They are not mirrored. After years of struggle against the Marines, and after the Great Depression made their deployment much too costly, the day before Sacasa would take power, the Marines left after almost two decades of near-constant occupation. After they left, Sandino, previously promising to only disarm his men after the US Marines left, keeps his word and declares "I have nothing against North Americans. Let them come to Nicaragua -- as workers, not as bosses. I salute the American people," cementing his role in the American public's mind through his wide appeal and publicization through newspapers. The next day, on the inauguration of Sacasa, and at the insistence of the US Marines and government, Somoza, leaving a positive impression on the American intervention force, was named leader of the National Guard. A year later, in February 1934, Sandino meets with Sacasa, declaring he is giving up arms, pledges loyalty to his government, and Sacasa, in turn, offers amnesty, land ownership to his followers, and preferential employment to any public works projects in the north of the country. That same month, out of his own volition, Somoza kills Sandino under the false pretense of discussing a peace treaty. They later kill hundreds of his followers, again, with no direction from Sacasa.

There's a weird piece of lore, which is that his body has never been recovered. It is said that his head was cut off and sent to the US to show Somoza's loyalty. By 1936, Somoza forces Sacasa to step down, and the true successor to Walker, a white man in a Central American's clothes, rules for half a century