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Nicaragua Must Survive: Sandinista Revolutionary Diplomacy in the Global Cold War

Date & Time

Mar. 25, 2024
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET


Online Only
Zoom Webinar


Highlighting the importance of non-state actors in foreign relations, Eline van Ommen sheds light on the international and transnational dimensions of the Nicaraguan Revolution. The innovative revolutionary diplomacy of the Sandinistas, she argues, created an international environment that was beneficial to the Nicaraguan Revolution and challenged the United States’ role in Central America. The role of Western Europe was crucial in this regard, shifting the inter-American balance of power – at least for the time being – in the Nicaraguan revolutionaries’ favor.

Eline van Ommen is a Lecturer in Contemporary History at the University of Leeds, specializing in revolutions, transnational activism, and the Cold War in Latin America. She is the co-editor of a special issue on the international dimensions of the Nicaraguan Revolution for the peer-reviewed journal The Americas in 2021. Her article “The Nicaraguan Revolution's Challenge to the Monroe Doctrine: Sandinistas and Western Europe, 1979–1990,” traces the FSLN’s outreach to Western Europe in the 1980s. Van Ommen also wrote a chapter on the international campaign against Somoza in the late 1970s for the edited volume Latin America and the Global Cold War (UNC Press) in 2020. Eline van Ommen completed her PhD in International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 2019. Her thesis was awarded the BIHG Michael Dockrill International History Thesis prize in 2021.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partner (the George Washington University History Department) for their continued support.


Eline van Ommen

Eline van Ommen

Lecturer in Contemporary History, University of Leeds


Mateo Jarquín.jpg

Mateo Jarquín

Assistant Professor of History, Chapman University
Renata Keller

Renata Keller

Associate Professor of Latin American History, University of Nevada, Reno

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History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

Latin America Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin America Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

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