Group of Twelve (Nicaragua)

El Grupo de los Doce, or Group of Twelve, were a dozen members of the Nicaraguan establishment whose support for the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) against President Anastasio Somoza Debayle played a pivotal role in the acceptance of the Sandinistas by foreign and domestic opinion.


During the 1970s, debates over strategy split the FSLN, with the Terceristas advocating alliances with the middle and upper class against Somoza. They approached twelve figures from Nicaragua's establishment class, some already secretly Sandinistas, to sign a communiqué in support of the FSLN. On October 18, 1977, following a Tercerista offensive, they issued a manifesto from Costa Rica urging that the Sandinistas must be included in any political process. Their support lent respectability to the Sandinista cause and helped convince many that the rebels were no longer doctrinaire communists.

As Nicaragua moved into crisis following the assassination of Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal, the Carter administration pressured Somoza to allow the return of Los Doce. Upon their return on July 5, 1978, tens of thousands lined the streets to welcome them. Members would participate in the Broad Opposition Front (FAO) with other internal opponents of Somoza.


The twelve comprised:


  1. ^ DeYoung, Karen (1979-07-22). "Uneasy Alliance of Rebels, Businessmen to Rule Nicaragua". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  2. ^ Affairs, United States Department of State Bureau of Public (1988). Nicaraguan Biographies: A Resource Book. U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs. p. 32.