Central American Crisis

American Superpower

North America 1983.1026

Central American Crisis

America in World War II, the Cold War and today (26 October 1983)

Historical Map of North America & the Caribbean

In 1979, left-wing Sandinista forces [[WNicaraguan_Revolution|overthrew the government in Nicaragua]], with a similar revolution threatening to topple the junta in El Salvador a little over a year later. Fearing the spread of communism in Central America, the US stepped in, supporting the brutal government of El Salvador and secretly backing counter-revolutionary forces (or Contras) in Nicaragua. While these wars were raging, a pro-Cuban faction seized power in Grenada. With the support of a number of Caribbean nations, the US promptly invaded, restoring stability and democracy to the small nation.

Main Events

Soviet Union begins invasion of Afghanistan in support of its Marxist government

Salvadoran Civil War begins

The Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) - a merger of the leftist Unified Revolutionary Directorate with the Salvadoran Communist Party - launched an insurrection against the brutal Revolutionary Government Junta in control of El Salvador. The US-supported junta responded with scorched earth tactics, resulting in a decade-long civil war between the two sides.

Independence of Belize

Despite continued Guatemalan claims to the country, the United Kingdom recognized the independence of Belize - called British Honduras until 1973. George Cadle Price - Belize's First Minister and then Premier since 1961 - became the new nation's first Prime Minister but would be defeated in elections in 1984. Due to Guatemala's continued hostility, the UK retained about 1500 British troops in the country until 1994.

Antigua & Barbuda independent

Antigua and Barbuda gained independence from United Kingdom and joined the Commonwealth of Nations.

National Security Directive 17

United States President Ronald Reagan signed National Security Directive 17, authorizing covert support to counter-revolutionary (Contra) forces operating to overthrow the leftist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. Heavily backed by the CIA, the Contras opened up fronts in the north and southeast of the country and began carrying out assassinations against members of the Nicaraguan government.

St Kitts & Nevis independent

The British associated state of Saint Christopher and Nevis became independent as the Federation of Saints Kitts and Nevis.

Operation Urgent Fury

In Operation Urgent Fury, United States-led forces invaded and occupied Grenada, deposing the ruling People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) in a short campaign. The invasion was in response to turmoil in the island nation, in which the Cuban-supported PRG had arrested and executed Grenadian Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and set up a Revolutionary Military Council under Hudson Austin. After a short period of occupation, democratic rule was restored in Grenada in 1984.

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