97. Special National Intelligence Estimate1
Washington, October 12, 1967.
POLITICAL PROSPECTS IN NICARAGUA OVER THE NEXT YEAR OR SO
- President Anastasio Somoza is in uncertain health, but the chances are better than even that he will remain alive and active during the period of this estimate. He is not likely to alter the basic lines of Nicaraguan foreign policy, though his regime may become somewhat more authoritarian, and the incipient friction in his relations with the US is likely to grow.
- In the event of Somoza’s death within the next year or so, members of the country’s inner political circle—from the Somoza family, other propertied interests, the Nationalist Liberal Party (PLN), and the National Guard—would probably work for a constitutional succession with excellent prospects of success. The resulting government would probably be more flexible in domestic policy and easier for the US to deal with.
- If, however, Somoza became incapacitated but remained active enough to insist on continuing in office, or if he undertook a series of ill-advised, disruptive moves and then died, the sequence of events would be more unsettling. We regard these contingencies as possible but not probable.
[Omitted here is the Discussion section of the estimate.]
- Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–R01012A, O/DDI Registry. Secret; Controlled Dissem. According to a note on the cover sheet this estimate was prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency with the participation of the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State and Defense and the National Security Agency. The United States Intelligence Board concurred in this estimate on October 12.↩