The Jaguar Smile

1116 words 5 pages
The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey written by Salman Rushdie, is a non-fiction book that gives the reader insight to the internal turmoil taking place in the nation of Nicaragua. Salman Rushdie is a British-Indian novelist who gained his fame for his fantastical novels about the post-colonial relationship between cultures of the East and West. Rushdie became interested in Nicaraguan affairs when the Regan administration started its “war” against Nicaragua. “I was myself the child of a successful revolt against a great power, my consciousness the product of the triumph of the Indian Revolution” (p.4). Rushdie made his trip to Nicaragua in July of 1986. He came to know a wide range of people, from the President to the everyday citizens. …show more content…

Because the FSLN was in contact with the USSR, and the US’s great fear of a socialist take over, the Nicaraguan government thought a direct US invasion was eminent. They in no way whatsoever would have been able to counter an invasion, so they prepared by arming the people with AK-47’s. They believed that if the US thought the casualties would be high then an invasion would not be conducted. They saw this as the only way to deter a seemingly inevitable attack. This conflict is called a proxy war. A proxy war is one that results when opposing powers use third parties as substitutes for fighting each other directly. However, Nicaragua would get they’re revenge when they brought a case against the US at the International Court of Justice in 1986 (the same year Rushdie visited Nicaragua). The US was ordered to pay Nicaragua 12 billion dollars in reparations for undermining the nation’s sovereignty. Nationalism in Nicaragua was in a state of definite confusion. Citizens felt that the government could have been giving a much better effort to help the people even with such limited resources. There are various incidents where large amounts of food were spoiled due to pure ignorance by the government. In chapter 10 Rushdie talks about the price of goods being so high that some shoes could cost a worker a months salary. “The shoppers knew that not all the shortages could be blamed on the war” (p. 80). Rushdie took all the chatter as a sign that the