Blood of Brothers Brief Summary

blood-of-brothers

Blood of Brothers is a history of Nicaragua’s revolutions and the US’s involvement and interests into Nicaragua. It also goes into how the revolutions have shaped Nicaragua’s culture.

In the 1850’s there was a citizen of the USA, William Walker, who tried to form a militia to take over Mexico, because he thought that the Mexicans did know how to govern a country since they were not Caucasian. When Walker was making no progress against Mexico’s army, he heard about Nicaragua and got another militia together and traveled down to Nicaragua. Walker’s army successfully took out Nicaragua’s forces and Walker became the first and only American president of Nicaragua in 1856. He was overthrown in 1857 and he tried to takeover the rest of Central America. Walker was killed by a firing squad in 1860 in Honduras.

When the Sandistas (the current political party) defeated the Somazas (the previous politcal dynasty), working class and poverty-stricken Nicaraguans believed that they were privileged to a historic vacation. They had been working under the previous government with no vacation, so they should be able to now take all the vacation days they did not have. The Sandistas had little experience in leading a country and a lot of the assumptions they made were wrong. They  gave back a lot of government owned farms, but the people were now not willing to work, the previous government exhausted them and they wanted time off. The government let the people relax. Daniel Ortega was the 31st president of Nicaragua from 1980-1985 and he became the 35th president in 2007. Since then, Ortega has gotten rid of president elections and instead put in a system to show that people still want him in power.

Each president of the United States had a different view of Nicaragua’s government. The Somozas sometimes liked the US and sometimes did not. The US government knew that they did not want the Sandinistas to take over, but they also did not want to give support to the Somozas. Because of the link between the US and Somozas, the Sandinistas sought out support from Communist countries: the USSR, North Korea, and Cuba. Because the Somozas supported Israel, the Sandinistas supported Palestine. Some of the Sandinista rebels went to Palestine or Cuba to be trained for combat.

The book had interesting parts and some dense parts. But I agree with the team that it is a important book to read to understand the history and culture of Nicaragua.


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