Analysis of the Jaguar Smile by Rushdie

The Jaguar Smile by Salman Rushdie is his first nonfiction work written about his experiences in Nicaragua. Rushdie reviews the political situation in Nicaragua.
Much of Nicaragua’s early politics is characterized by rivalry between liberal elite of Leon and the conservative elite of Granada. This rivalry led to civil war. US born adventurer William Walker arrived in Nicaragua and won the war of the liberals. He took over the country and anointed himself President. Fearing his plans for expansion, several Central American countries waged a war and executed him. The conservatives then ruled Nicaragua.
Taking gain out of the rift of the conservatives Jose Santos led a liberal revolt that brought him to power.
Nicaragua has long stints of military dictatorship. Prominent amongst them was the Somoza. The Somoza family came to power as a result of an US engineered pact. One general which resisted this US attempt was Agusto Sandino.
After the withdrawal of US from Nicaragua, General Sandino and the Sacasa government reached an agreement in return for agricultural land and retention of armed forces. This was followed by bitter faction between General Sandino and Somoza Garcia. Sandino was assassinated by the National Guard.
Following the death of Sandino, Somoza took control of the country. Rigobertro and Luis Somoza took reigns of the govt. followed by the death of their father.
Luis Somoza died of a heart attack. Then power was taken over by the Rene Schick who was a puppet of the Somoza. Somoza’s brother, Anastasio Somoza succeeded presidency after Schick. Carlos Fonseca adopted General Sandino as his hero and formed the Sandinista Liberation Front or the SLF.
The SLF gained many Nicaraguan sympathizers as the Somoza failed to rebuild Nicaragua after the earthquake and also for their mismanagement of the economy and rampant corruption.
The SLF took advantage of the worsening economic crises. The murder of Joaquin a prominent newspaper editor led to the people being distraught against the Somoza.
The SLF took the reins of power in 1979. Somoza fled to Argentina where he was sent to the grave. SLF developed a program of a National Literacy Crusade. The Regan administration cut of all ties with SLF as they were supporting FMLN rebels in El Salvador. Regan also imposed an embargo.
Due to these effects Nicaraguan economy took a turn for worse. The US supported a clandestine group—the Contras and they aimed to topple the SLF government. However the Soviet Union and Cuba were funding the Nicaraguan army. The US support for the contras met with flak all over the globe. The international court of justice passed a verdict against the American government.
Daniel Ortega was elected President in 1984. Right wing opposition parties did not participate claiming that the SLF was rigging the elections. The US government offered amnesty for Nicaraguans to settle in America. The International Court of Justice ordered America to pay 12 billion as reparations for violating the sovereignty of Nicaragua.


We all know that the democratic president of Zimbabwe, Mugabe, has been placed under house arrest following a coup d’ etat. As idiom it means the arrest of democratically elected leader by the junta.

Example: The military of Zimbabwe has put a Mugabe.

Mugabe happens in many countries.

Parting the Red Sea

We come across the parting of the Red Sea in the Old Testament. God wanted to deliver the Israelites from the tyrannical rule of the Pharaoh and he parted the Red Sea and made them escape. As an idiom it means divine help in a hopeless situation.


Example: When it comes for support to South Korea, America is parting the Red Sea.


I need a parting the Red Sea in my life.


Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi is the democratically elected leader of Myanmar. She has distanced herself and ignored the plight of Rohingya Muslims are who are being ethnically cleansed by the junta of Myanmar called Tatmadaw. As an idiom Aung San Suu Kyi means being a cold shoulder to the suffering and the tormented.

Example: There are many Aung San Suu Kyis in the world.

The Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar are facing an Aung San Suu Kyi.



Chabahar is a strategic port in Iran. Pakistan’s refusal to transit wheat from India to the beleaguered Afghanistan resulted in India, transporting goods from Chabahar. As an idiom it means entering goods into battle weary country through an exit point when the same is denied by a neighboring country.

Example: India’s goodwill gesture to Afghanistan resulted in a Chabahar.

During the Berlin blockade America became a Chabahar through the conduct of operation vittles.


Demoid is a neologism/idiom coined from Democracy and Schizoid. The afflatus for this creation comes from Catalonia who wants to become an independent nation, freely unfettered from Spain. Spain has taken blustering steps to prevent their dissent and disassociation. Demoid as an idiom and a neologism refers to authoritarianism bequeathed in manacles by a Democracy to prevent secession of its territory, province or state.

Example: Spain’s attempt to sully and ditch Catalonia’s secession of becoming a free democratic country is a Demoid.