|Light rubberized knitted fabric|
Nicaragua, officially the Republic of Nicaragua, is the largest country in the Central American isthmus. The population of Nicaragua is slightly over 6 million. Nicaragua's capital, Managua, is the third-largest city in Central America. The multi-ethnic population includes indigenous peoples, Europeans, Africans, Asians, and people of Middle Eastern origin. The main language is Spanish. Native tribes on the eastern coast speak their own languages. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century. Nicaragua gained independence from Spain in 1821. Since its independence, Nicaragua has undergone periods of political unrest, dictatorship, and fiscal crisis—the most notable causes that led to the Nicaraguan Revolution of the 1960's and 1970's. Nicaragua is a representative democratic republic. The mixture of cultural traditions has generated substantial diversity in art and literature, particularly the latter given the literary contributions of Nicaraguan poets and writers, including Rubén Dario, Pablo Antonio Cuadra and Ernesto Cardinal. The biological diversity, warm tropical climate and active volcanoes make Nicaragua an increasingly popular tourist destination.
Banking in Nicaragua, prior to 1978, consisted of the Central Bank of Nicaragua and several domestic- and foreign-owned commercial banks. One of the first acts of the Sandinista government in 1979 was to nationalize the country’s banking system in an attempt to promote community banking and support the rural poor. Foreign banks were allowed to continue their operations but could no longer accept local deposits. Private Banks in Nicaragua were by law abolished in the 1980's and cooperatives were considered too politicized and dependent on subsidies. In 1985, a new degree loosened state control of the banking system by allowing the establishment of privately owned local exchange houses. In 1990, the National Assembly passed legislation permitting private banks to resume operations. In 1991 a legislation allowed the establishment of the first private banks in the country, however only large industries and agribusiness producers of non-traditional crops for export qualified for credit thus leaving small business owners and producers of consumption crops with no access to loans or banking services. In 1992, the largest state owned commercial bank was the National Development Bank (Banco Nacional de Desarrollo - BND), originally established by Chase National Bank. Other state-owned commercial banks were the Bank of America (Banco de América - Bamer) and the Nicaraguan Bank of Industry and Commerce (Banco Nicaragüense de Industria y Comercio - Banic). The People's Bank (Banco Popular) specialized in business loans, and the Real Estate Bank (Banco Inmobilario - Bin) provided loans for housing. Three foreign banks continued operations: Bank of America, Citibank, and Lloyds Bank.
|Agriculture||Coffee, bananas, sugarcane, rice, corn, tobacco, sesame, soya, beans, dairy products, & cotton.|
|Manufacture||Food processing, chemicals, machinery and metal products, knit and woven apparel, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear, wood.|
|Services (Including financial)||57.5% (2013 estimate)|
|Banco De America Central||Banking|
|Flor De Cana||Consumer goods|
|Light rubberized knitted fabric|
Bolsa de Valores de Nicaragua (Stock Exchange of Nicaragua, or BVDN) was created in 1994 and is the only stock exchange operating in Nicaragua. The exchange is the result of private sector initiatives encouraging the country's market liberalization programs, which began in 1990. Trading operations officially began on January 31, 1994, and as of 2006 BVDN is the only organized stock exchange existing in the country. The institution is a private joint-stock company, founded by most of the private and state run banks, and by representatives of enterprising groups from various business sectors. BVDN offers domestic investors and foreign shareholders a platform to conduct operations within the framework of an open market economy. The Stock Exchange of Nicaragua is the only stock exchange in the country and is overseen by eleven banks. As with any stock exchange, there are registered broker houses that operate from within the stock exchange and brokers are first evaluated for eligibility. Brokers then need to pass a written test at the end of a two-week course before they are allowed to trade within the broker houses. As opposed to other stock exchanges, the Bolsa de Valores de Nicaragua is a growing entity within the Nicaraguan Stock Market and therefore only bonds are traded on the Stock Exchange of Nicaragua. The stock exchange allows private company shares to be sold, but to date no-one has traded shares on the exchange. In 1999 the stock exchange saw a decline in activity, but this has been put down to the fact that the bonds are short term and that the Stock Exchange of Nicaragua needs to focus on attracting investors. As a growing business, the Bolsa de Valores de Nicaragua just needs a little time to stretch its legs in order for it to become an important contributor to the economy of the country.
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In 1980, the Carter administration provided $60 million in aid to Nicaragua under the Sandinista, but the aid was suspended when it obtained evidence of Nicaraguan shipment of arms to El Salvadoran rebels. In response to the coming to power of the Sandinistas, various rebel groups collectively known as the "contras" were formed to oppose the new government. The Reagan administration authorized the CIA to help the contract rebels with funding, armaments, and training. The contras operated out of camps in the neighboring countries of Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. They engaged in a systematic campaign of terror amongst the rural Nicaraguan population to disrupt the social reform projects of the Sandinistas. Several historians have criticized the contra campaign and the Reagan administration's support for it, citing the brutality and numerous human rights violations of the contras. LA Ramee and Polakoff, for example, describe the destruction of health centers, schools, and cooperatives at the hands of the rebels, and others have contended that murder, rape, and torture occurred on a large scale in contra-dominated areas. The United States also carried out a campaign of economic sabotage, and disrupted shipping by planting underwater mines in Nicaragua's port of Corinto, an action condemned by the International Court of Justice as illegal. The U.S. also sought to place economic pressure on the Sandinistas, and the Reagan administration imposed a full trade embargo. The Sandinistas were also accused of human rights abuses.
The Sandinistas won the Nicaraguan general elections of 1984, which were judged to have been free and fair. The Reagan administration criticized the elections as a "sham" based on the charge that Arturo Cruz, the candidate nominated by the Coordinadora Democrática Nicaragüense, comprising three right wing political parties, did not participate in the elections. However, the administration privately argued against Cruz's participation for fear his involvement would legitimize the elections, and thus weaken the case for American aid to the contras. According to Martin Kriele, the results of the election were rigged. After the U.S. Congress prohibited federal funding of the contras in 1983, the Reagan administration continued to back them by covertly selling arms to Iran and channeling the proceeds to the contras. The International Court of Justice, in regard to the case of Nicaragua v. United States in 1984, found, "the United States of America was under an obligation to make reparation to the Republic of Nicaragua for all injury caused to Nicaragua by certain breaches of obligations under customary international law and treaty-law committed by the United States of America". During the war between the contras and the Sandinistas, 30,000 people were killed.
The Nicaraguan encompassed the rising opposition to the Somoza dictatorship in the 1960s and 1970s, the campaign led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) to violently oust the dictatorship in 1978-79, the subsequent efforts of the FSLN to govern Nicaragua from 1979 until 1990 and the Contra War which was waged between the FSLN and the Contras from 1981-1990. The Revolution marked a significant period in Nicaraguan history and revealed the country as one of the major proxy war battlegrounds of the Cold War with the events in the country rising to international attention. Although the initial overthrow of the Somoza regime in 1978–79 was a bloody affair, the Contra War of the 1980s took the lives of tens of thousands of Nicaraguans and was the subject of fierce international debate. During the 1980s both the FSLN (a leftist collection of political parties) and the Contras (a rightist collection of counter-revolutionary groups) received large amounts of aid from the Cold War super-powers (respectively, the Soviet Union and the United States).
The Contra War ultimately ended following the signing of the Tela Accord in 1989 and the demobilization of the FSLN and Contra armies. A second election in 1990 resulted in the election of a majority of anti-Sandinista parties and the FSLN handing over power. The Revolution brought down the burden the Somocista regime had imposed upon the Nicaraguan economy and that had seriously deformed the country, creating a big and modern center, Managua, where Somoza's power had emanated to all corners of the territory, and then an almost semi feudalism rural economy with few productive goods, such as cotton, sugar and other tropical agricultural products. All sectors of the economy of Nicaragua were determined, in great part if not entirely, by the Somoza's or the officials and adepts surrounding the regime, whether it was directly owning agricultural brands and trusts, or actively setting them to local or foreign hands. It is famously stated that Somoza himself owned 1/5 of all profitable land in Nicaragua. While this is not correct, Somoza or his adepts did own or give away banks, ports, communications, services and massive amounts of land.
The Nicaraguan Revolution brought immense restructuring and reforms to all three sectors of the economy, directing it towards a mixed economy system. The biggest economic impact was on the primary sector, agriculture, in the form of the Agrarian Reform, which was not proposed as something that could be planned in advanced from the beginning of the Revolution but as a process that would develop pragmatically along with the other changes (economic, political, etc.) that would arise during the Revolution period. Economic reforms overall needed to rescue out of limbo the inefficient and helpless Nicaraguan economy. As a "third-world" country, Nicaragua had, and has, an agriculture-based economy, undeveloped and susceptible to the flow of market prices for its agricultural goods, such as coffee and cotton. The Revolution faced a rural economy well behind in technology and, at the same time, devastated by the guerrilla warfare and the soon to come civil war against the Contras.
In the 1970s the FSLN began a campaign of kidnappings which led to national recognition of the group in the Nicaraguan media and solidification of the group as a force in opposition to the Somoza Regime. The Somoza Regime, which included the Nicaraguan National Guard, a force highly trained by the U.S. military, used torture, extra-judicial killings, intimidation and censorship of the press in order to combat the FSLN attacks. This led to international condemnation of the regime and in 1978 the administration of U.S. president Jimmy Carter cut off aid to the Somoza regime due to its human rights violations (Boland Amendment). On 10 January 1978 the editor of the leftist Managua newspaper La Prensa, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal was murdered by suspected elements of the Somoza regime and riots broke out in the capital city, Managua, targeting the Somoza regime. Following the riots, a general strike on January 23–24 called for the end of the Somoza regime and was, according to the U.S. State Department staff at the U.S. Embassy, successful at shutting down around 80% of businesses in not only Managua but also the provincial capitals of Leon, Granada, Chinandega, and Matagalpa.
Anastasio Somoza Garcia
The Córdoba (NIO) is the currency of Nicaragua. It is divided into 100 centavos. Since 1991, the Central Bank of Nicaragua has used a crawling peg scheme, devaluing the Córdoba against the United States dollar by 5% per annum. The first Córdoba was introduced on March 20, 1912. It replaced the peso moneda Corrientes at a rate of 12½ pesos m/c = 1 Córdoba and the peso fuerte at par. It was initially nearly equal to the US dollar. It was named after the founder of Nicaragua, Francisco Hernández de Córdoba. On February 15, 1988, the 2nd Córdoba was introduced. It was equal to 1,000 1st Córdoba. On April 30, 1991 the third Córdoba, also called the Córdoba oro, was introduced, worth 5,000,000 2nd Córdoba. In 1912, coins were introduced in denominations of ½, 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos and 1 Córdoba. The ½ and 1 centavo were minted in bronze, the 5 centavos in cupro-nickel and the higher denominations in silver. The 1 Córdoba was only minted in 1912, whilst ½ centavo production ceased in 1937. In 1939, cupro-nickel replaced silver on the 10, 25 and 50 centavos. In 1943, a single year issue of brass 1, 5, 10 & 25 centavos was made. These were the last 1 centavo coins. In 1972, cupro-nickel 1 Córdoba coins were issued, followed, in 1974, by aluminum 5 and 10 centavos.
A new series of coins, featuring a portrait of Augusto César Sandino, was introduced in 1981, consisting of aluminum 5 and 10 centavos, nickel-clad steel 25 centavos and cupro-nickel 50 centavos, 1 and 5 Córdoba. Nickel clad steel replaced cupro nickel between 1983 and 1984. In 1987, the final coins of the 1st Córdoba were issued, featuring Sandino's characteristic hat. Aluminum 500 Córdoba were issued. 25, 50 centavos and 1 Córdoba coins minted in 1985 were mostly recalled and destroyed by the Central Bank. A few of the 1 Córdoba were circulated as seen. Coins dated 1987 but actually introduced with the redenomination, in denominations of 5, 10 and 25 centavos and aluminum-bronze 50 centavos, 1 and 5 Córdoba were issued. In 1994, coins were issued in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos. All were minted in chrome-plated steel. In 1997, nickel-clad steel 50 centavos, 1 and 5 Córdoba were introduced, followed by copper-plated steel 5 centavos & brass-plated steel 10 and 25 centavos in 2002 and brass-plated steel 10 Córdoba in 2007. All current coins have the coat of arms of the country on the obverse and the numeral of the denomination on the reverse.
In 1912, the National Bank of Nicaragua introduced notes for 10, 25 and 50 centavos, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Córdoba, together with old 50-centavo and 1-peso notes overprinted for 4 and 8 centavos of the new currency. In 1934, all circulating banknotes were exchanged for notes which had been overprinted with "REVALIDO" ("revalidated"). The last notes for less than 1 Córdoba were dated 1938. In 1945, 500-córdoba notes were introduced, followed by 1,000-córdoba notes in 1953. In 1962, the Central Bank of Nicaragua took over paper money issuance by a bank resolution of 8 February 1962 and executive decree No. 71 of 26 April 1962. The 1-córdoba notes were replaced by coins in 1972. After 5-córdoba coins were introduced in 1981, 2- and 5-córdoba notes were withdrawn. In 1987, 5000-córdoba notes were introduced, followed by overprinted 10,000 (on 10), 20,000 (on 20), 50,000 (on 50), 100,000 (on 100), 100,000 (on 500), 200,000 (on 1,000), 500,000 (on 1,000) and 1,000,000 (on 1,000) Córdoba notes as inflation drastically reduced the Córdoba’s value.
The second Córdoba was only issued in banknote form. Notes (dated 1985) were issued in 1988 in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Córdoba together with undated 5000 Córdoba. In 1989, notes for 20,000 and 50,000 Córdoba were introduced, followed the next year by 5 million and 10 million Córdoba notes. In 1991, notes were introduced for 1, 5, 10 and 25 centavos, ½, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Córdoba. The notes below 1 Córdoba were replaced by coins in 1994, with 5 Córdoba notes also being replaced in 1997. 500 Córdoba notes were introduced in 2002. Famous people from Nicaragua's history are depicted on the obverses of the current banknotes. The reverses depict landmarks or natural habitats in the country. On May 15, 2009, polymer ten and twenty Córdoba notes were issued to replace their paper counterparts. A new polymer two hundred and a paper one hundred Córdoba banknote was first issued on June 1, 2009. A new polymer 50 Córdoba was issued on December 3, 2009. The new designed paper 500 Córdoba banknote was introduced on January 12, 2010. A commemorative design of the 50 Córdoba was introduced on September 15, 2010 to commemorate the Banco Central de Nicaragua's 50th anniversary of its establishment. In 2012, the Banco Central de Nicaragua (Central Bank of Nicaragua) began issuing a new series of Córdoba banknotes with revised security features, beginning with the 10, 20 and 200 Córdoba polymer banknotes, which is similar to their first issue, but the notable change is the embossed "10", "20", and "200" on the see-through window now being of an opaque white. The 100 Córdoba banknote was also revised. The notable differences from the first issue is that the note was issued on the 100th anniversary of the Córdoba currency. Also notable is the wider security thread, a revised registration device, a repositioned serial number, subtle under print design changes and the commemorative text "1912-2012 Centenarian del Cordoba" in pearlescent ink at the left front of the note. The 500 Córdoba banknote was also revised. The most notable change for the note is the Bank logo's patch, now a holographic patch instead of an optically variable device patch and a wider security thread.
|National Song||"Salve a ti, Nicaragua"|
|Currency||Nicaraguan córdoba (NIO)|
|GDP / GDP Rank||33.55 Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||4.5 Percent|
|GDP Per Captial||$5451.711 (PPP)|
< 1.0% Muslims
< 1.0% Hindus
< 1.0% Buddhists
< 1.0% Jews
< 1.0% Other Religions
Mestizo (Mixed Amerindian And White) 69%
President – Daniel Ortega
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||31.079 Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||5.892 Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|