At the fall of Somoza


At the fall of Somoza


By Lawrence Pezzullo and Ralph Pezzullo


Document Type



This powerful narrative describing the fall of Nicaragua's dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle is told from the unique perspective of the top U.S. official on the front lines of diplomatic activity during the final weeks of the Somoza regime. Lawrence Pezzullo was dispatched to Nicaragua in June 1979, at the climax of a brutal war that finally ended a forty-year dynasty. To negotiate Somoza's abdication from power, Ambassador Pezzullo had to battle both a stubborn despot and the jitters in Washington. Working in tandem with a colleague who was meeting with the Sandinista junta in exile in Panama and Costa Rica, Pezzullo helped to negotiate their installation as Nicaragua's legitimate government. At the Fall of Somoza draws on many Spanish-language sources otherwise not known in this country. It is also an eyewitness account of events, evoking the vivid colors, sounds, and smells of a volatile Managua, torn by violence and fear. Added to the ambassador's story are narratives by many other participants: Sandinistas, National Guardsmen, the archbishop of Managua, city people and peasants, even those who chronicled their experience in poetry.



Publication Date


Publication Information

Pezzullo, Lawrence, At the fall of Somoza. Pittsburgh : University of Pittsburgh Press, c1993.


Copyright: University of Pittsburgh, c1993

At the fall of Somoza