In 1855 an American Adventurer called William Walker seized power in Nicaragua and in 1856 he declared himself president. However he was driven out in 1857. In 1893 a man named Jose Santos Zelaya made himself dictator of Nicaragua. In 1909 there was a rebellion and Zelaya was forced to resign. In 1912 the USA sent marines to occupy Nicaragua.
The American delegation's Nicaragua plan was introduced by Aniceto García Menocal. Cuban by birth, Menocal was a civilian engineer assigned to the Grant surveys in Nicaragua and Panama by Admiral Ammen. The well organized and persuasive presentation by the Americans very nearly upset de Lesseps' carefully orchestrated plans.