News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinewar-on-terrorlatin-america — Viewing Item

Sandinista leader leads nicaragua polls { October 24 2006 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active),,1929711,00.html,,1929711,00.html

Ortega could win Nicaragua presidency outright, polls show

· Sandinista leader on track for victory in first round
· Washington warns of economic backlash

Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent
Tuesday October 24, 2006
The Guardian

Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista leader, has surged ahead in Nicaragua's presidential race, giving him a strong chance of returning to power in next month's election.
Two recent opinion polls put one of Washington's cold war hate figures far enough ahead to clinch victory in the first round on November 5. The prospect has alarmed the Bush administration, which renewed warnings that the small central American country will lose US investment if Mr Ortega, 60, wins.

At carnival-style rallies the former guerrilla leader has told supporters, many of them impoverished farmers, not to be complacent and to vote. "Until the harvest is in you mustn't neglect it," he said.
Mr Ortega's campaign uses pastel pink colours and John Lennon's Give Peace a Chance anthem to signal he has traded Marxist ideology and revolution for centrist moderation and reconciliation.

His running mate is a former spokesman for the Contras, the Ronald Reagan-backed rebels who fought a bloody civil war against the Sandinista government in the 1980s.

A poll by Zogby International gave Mr Ortega 35% support, or a 15-point lead over his nearest rival in a splintered field of five candidates. Another poll put him 17 points in front. To win in the first round a candidate needs 40% of the vote, or 35% with a five-point lead.

Since being defeated in the 1990 election Mr Ortega lost two further bids for the presidency after losing some supporters who said he was an opportunist masking as a champion of the poor. In an apparent bid for the Catholic vote he has backed a bill that would outlaw abortions.

If Mr Ortega does not clinch the first round he will face an uphill battle in the run-off because the fractured opposition could unite around a single candidate, most likely Eduardo Montealegre, a US-educated banker favoured by Mr Bush.

The US commerce secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, said an Ortega victory risks Nicaragua's participation in central America's Cafta trade accord with Washington. The US ambassador to Managua, Paul Trivelli, has been even more outspoken in warning of dire consequences. Election monitors from the Organisation of American States have told the US not to meddle. Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez has also been criticised for sending subsidised oil to Nicaragua to boost his Sandinista ally.

An Ortega presidency would revive Latin America's "pink tide" of leftwing leaders but analysts say that Nicaragua, with just 6 million people and a near destitute economy, is a regional minnow.

"The United States just gets too worked up about Daniel Ortega," Michael Shifter, of the Inter-American Dialogue thinktank, told Cox News Service. "After 1990 a lot of people in Washington thought they wouldn't have to deal with him again, and now the possibility that he might come back is something they can't abide."

Bolivia leader forms socialist indigenous cabinet
Bolivia shocks world with gas nationalization { April 2006 }
Brazil poor occupy farms hoping for help
Bush tours latin america for social justice { March 8 2007 }
Chile elects first woman pro free trade socialist
Chile embraces free market socialism { March 20 2005 }
Chile replaces US ambassador { May 14 2003 }
Ecuador congress ousts president amid protests { April 20 2005 }
Half million brazilians killed over land disputes { December 2008 }
Hypocrisy of outcry over bolivia renationalisation { May 16 2006 }
Labor organized murdered in el salvador { December 2 2004 }
Latin america democracy strained by poverty
New bolivian leader criticized neoliberal reforms { January 23 2006 }
Peru crackdown strikers { May 28 2003 }
Priest defends landless peasants in brazils amazon
Sandinista leader hoping for return in nicaragua
Sandinista leader leads nicaragua polls { October 24 2006 }
South america eyes common currency { April 2008 }
US warns nicaraguans against coup { September 9 2005 }

Files Listed: 19


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple