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Anastasio Somoza García

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Anastasio Somoza Garcia c. 1952

Anastasio Somoza García (1896-1956) was the President and dictator of Nicaragua from 1936 until his death in 1956.[1] He ran one of the most corrupt governments in history.[1] But because his administration was anti-communist he was supported by the United States.[1] García was the son of a wealthy coffee planter. He was educated in Philadelphia where he met and married Salvadora Debayle Sacasa.[1] She was also from a wealthy Nicaraguan family.[1] He became very wealthy through investments in land, transport, real estate and manufacturing.[2] After winning the 1936 Presidential Election, he took control of the National Guard.[2] He placed family members in key positions of the government. He and his family controlled the Nationalist Liberal Party which controlled the legislature and Judiciary.[2] This gave him absolute control of the country.[2] On September 21, 1956 he was shot in León, Nicaragua by a poet.[3] He died eight days later.[3] His family continued to rule in Nicaragua for two more decades.[3]