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Nicaragua Rewind: Ortega, same as the old boss?

MANAGUA — Since sliding into power in 2007 with a narrow victory over a balkanized opposition, President Ortega has used the power of government to grow his minority Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) into a dominating, one-party system.

Sandinista sleepaway camp holds the line in Nicaragua-Costa Rica border dispute

  HARBOUR HEAD, Nicaragua — Deep in the jungle, on a marshy riverbank under dispute with Costa Rica, the Nicaraguan government has created a sleepaway camp for teenagers loyal to President Daniel Ortega’s leftist Sandinista party. For a week at a time, 35 striplings from the far reaches of the country trek by bus and boat to the delta of the San Juan River, where they bunk in ramshackle cabins perched on wooden stilts overlooking a muddy floodplain.

Could Nicaragua’s president survive without Venezuela’s Chavez?

MANAGUA — Few leaders have benefited more from Hugo Chavez’s largesse than his close Nicaraguan ally Daniel Ortega. Consequently, few watch Venezuela more closely. But re-election hasn’t dispelled doubts about the continued rule of the convalescing Venezuelan strongman. As Chavez’s mysterious cancer-treatment trips to Cuba resumed this week, beneficiaries such as Ortega can only hope his comrade’s flights to Havana are roundtrip.

Nicaragua Rewind: Threat of rearmed Contras stirs old ghosts

MIAMI, Florida, and JINOTEGA, Nicaragua — Emilio was only 12 years old when he joined the US-backed Contras in 1984 to wage war against Nicaragua’s revolutionary government of the Sandinista Front for National Liberation (FSLN). Twenty-eight years later, the former child soldier says the “second dictatorship” of President Daniel Ortega has pushed him back to arms.

US cuts aid to its poor old foe

MANAGUA — Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s balancing act between Venezuela and the United States has become precarious following the a US decision this week to cut bilateral aid for Nicaragua. On Thursday, the US Embassy in Managua announced the suspension of a waiver required for all State Department and USAID money for the Nicaraguan government. The aid cut comes in response to the Sandinistas’ murky handling of Venezuelan petro dollars and significant complaints of official mischief in the 2011 election process.
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