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Nicaragua is a republic in Central America, located between Honduras (to the north) and Costa Rica (to the south) and bordered on the east and west by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, respectively. In 2015, its population exceeded 5 million. Having been colonized by the Spanish Empire in the 16th century, Nicaragua gained its independence in 1821. Conflict—including political unrest, wars, and a brief usurpation of power by American filibusterer William Walker in the 1850s—has been a part of its history. During the 20th century, the United States engaged in two guerrilla wars in Nicaragua. In the first, from 1927 to 1933, U.S. Marines attempted to suppress an anti-imperialist insurrection led by Augusto Sandino. In the second, from 1981 to 1990, the United ...

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