Due to differences over an isthmian canal and concessions to Americans in Nicaragua as well as a concern for what was perceived as Nicaragua's destabilizing influence in the region, in 1909 the United States provided political support to Conservative-led forces rebelling against President Zelaya and intervened militarily to protect American lives and property. Zelaya resigned later that year. With the exception of a nine-month period in 1925-26, the United States maintained troops in Nicaragua from 1912 until 1933.
Civil war broke out in Nicaragua during the first months of 1926, and U.S. naval landing parties went ashore to establish a neutral zone for the protection of American citizens. From 1927-1933, U.S. marines stationed in Nicaragua engaged in a running battle with rebel forces led by renegade Liberal general Augusto Sandino, who rejected a 1927 negotiated agreement brokered by the United States to end the latest round of fighting between Liberals and Conservatives. Once order was restored, sailors and Marines monitored elections and organized and trained the National Guard. After the departure of U.S. troops, National Guard Commander Anastasio Somoza Garcia outmaneuvered his political opponents, including Sandino, who was assassinated by National Guard officers, and took over the presidency in 1936. Somoza, and two sons who succeeded him, maintained close ties with the US.
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