Summary of “Nicaragua on the Brink, Once Again”

In the street, people continued to chant “Ortega, Somoza, son la misma cosa”, and not only have the protesters refused to disperse but many of them are now calling for Ortega to step down.
It’s clear now that, for all their pragmatic backpedalling on the social-security bill, Ortega and Murillo’s long time in power, and their near-total control of Nicaragua’s public institutions, have left them out of touch with the feelings of many of their countrymen.
Ortega initially rose to power after the 1979 Sandinista revolution, when he was known as a Marxist firebrand, and he served as the country’s strongman President until 1990, when he ceded power after losing elections.
In the years since, Ortega and his wife have steadily consolidated their power, eliminating their opponents through a canny combination of economic co-option and, when necessary, outright repression.
In addition to the executive branch of government, Ortega and Murillo dominate Nicaragua’s Congress and judiciary.
There are many historical ironies to be found in Nicaragua’s crisis, not least the fact that, forty years ago, Ortega was a young revolutionary who convinced many Nicaraguans that he was part of a righteous campaign against Somoza, whose father and brother had previously ruled the country in a dynastic reign that stretched back to 1933.
While Ronald Reagan was President, Nicaragua became a front in the Cold War, which, eventually, thanks to the C.I.A.-backed Contra war against Ortega’s regime, led to the economic devastation of Nicaragua and the collapse of the Sandinistas’ hold on power.
Part of what makes the recent protests in Nicaragua so notable is that, amid a collapse of the political left across Latin America that is under way, Ortega was beginning to look like the Great Survivor.

The orginal article.