Suazo Córdova, Roberto (1927–)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Suazo Córdova, Roberto (1927–)

Roberto Suazo Córdova (b. 17 March 1927), president of Honduras (1982–1986). Suazo was born in the small town of La Paz, where he practiced medicine for twenty-five years. Active in the Liberal Party for a number of years, Suazo succeeded Modesto Rodas Alvarado in 1979 as general coordinator of the Liberal Party and leader of its conservative Rodista wing. After the military rulers agreed in 1980 to restore civilian government, Suazo was elected president in November 1981 and took office on 27 January 1982. He promoted the democratic process and moderate economic reform while cooperating with a U.S. military buildup in response to the Sandinista rise in Nicaragua, which included a substantial increase in the Honduran military as well as support of the Nicaraguan contras in Honduras. In collaboration with U.S. ambassador John Negroponte, the Honduran military, led by Colonel Gustavo Álvarez Martínez, retained much power, thereby creating considerable anti-Americanism and internal criticism of Suazo. Suazo, however, successfully reasserted civilian authority when he dismissed Álvarez in March 1984 and replaced him with Air Force General Walter López Reyes as commander in chief of the armed forces. The FBI arrested Álvarez in Miami in November 1984 in connection with a plot to murder Suazo. Despite this shakeup in the military, there was no reversal of the trend toward greater militarization of Honduras. In 1989 Souza and Honduras became involved in the Iran-Contra affair. It was alleged that Vice President George H. W. Bush had met with Souza and offered increased aid to Honduras in return for its assistance to the Nicaraguan Contras, the rebel group the United States opposed. This was later proved to be untrue. Nevertheless, the election of 1989 in Nicaragua did not turn out favorably for Souza's Liberal Party.

See alsoHonduras .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

James A. Morris, Honduras: Caudillo Politics and Military Rulers (1984).

Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr., "Suazo Córdova," in Encyclopedia of World Biography, vol. 15 (1987), pp. 378-379.

Additional Bibliography

Martínez, Juan Ramón. La transición política: Del autoritarismo militar a la democracia electoral. Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Ediciones 18 Conejo, 2004.

Meza, Victor, Leticia Salomón, and Mirna Flores. Democracia y partidos políticos en Honduras. Tegucigalpa: Centro de Documentación de Honduras, 2004.

Salomón, Leticia, Julieta Castellanos, and Mirna Flores. Ciudadanía y participación en Honduras. Tegucigalpa: Centro de Documentación de Honduras, 1996.

                              Ralph Lee Woodward Jr.