The 1979 Sandinista revolution that toppled one of history's most long lived and brutal dictatorships launched Nicaragua into international attention. Over two decades later, after the U.S.-backed Contra counter-revolutionary war, the Sandinistas are back in power. Since the politically tumultuous 1970s and 1980s, life has not been easy in Nicaragua. Due to the misguided neoliberal economic agreements signed with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a majority of Nicaraguans find themselves without work, health care, education and other basic social services that were once provided during the revolutionary period. Some regions of Nicaragua have also been devastated in recent years by natural disasters, famine and a severe recession in the global coffee industry that has hit Nicaraguan campesinos especially hard.
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