José Daniel Ortega Saavedra
José Daniel Ortega Saavedra is the President of Nicaragua. He first became President of Nicaragua from 1985 to 1990, during the Sandinista government. His story is much more complex - some people believe he is a saint, while others believe he is the devil. Ortega was the presidential candidate for the Sandinista Front in 1984, 1990, 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2011. His candidacy in 2016 marked the seventh time he runs for president. Ortega won the elections in 1985 (for the 1985-1990 term), 2006 (2006-2011), and again in 2011, with 62.45% of the vote. Ortega does not speak English and would require Spanish interpretation for any bilateral or multilateral meeting.
Cuba must be regarded as something of a spent force when it comes to revolutionary incitement, and Venezuela was increasingly too bedeviled by internal instablity to offer the sort of inspiration provided in the early years of Chavez. But in recent years the Sandinistas have regrouped, and are poised to annoy neighoring states in Central America. The vision of Nicaraguan tanks wading the Rio Grande River in division strength bewitched the Reagan Adminstration. But today, even modest michief-making in frail neighoring states could become a significant distraction for American decision-makers, taking attention away from Mosow's mischief-making in the Easter Hemisphere. American domestic politics are already exacerbated by refugee and migrant questions, and it would not be difficult for Nicaraguan adventures in Central American to incite a flood of refugees such the tide of Syrian refugees that has bedeviled the European Union. Need it be said that Russia has a hand on the coflict in Syria that provokes this flood of refugees, and that Moscow has taken great delight in the resulting confusion of European politics.
2006-20?? - Ortega - The Prophet Restored
In 2006, with Nicaragua suffering from poverty and corruption, Ortega won the presidency once more after dropping Marxist slogans in favor of a pledge of 'Christianity, Socialism and solidarity'. In presidential elections November 5, 2006 he was elected president of Nicaragua. After the first year of his second administration, Ortega continued to skillfully use his political pact with former President and convicted felon, Arnoldo Aleman to keep pro-democracy forces divided, vulnerable to coercion, and unable to mount sustained opposition. Ortega continued to allow US and other donor assistance programs to operate, though he regularly attacked the evils of "savage capitalist imperialism."
In 2007, the Ortega Administration coasted on the achievements of the Bolanos government, but that ride is about to end. The government essentially adopted Bolanos' 2007 and 2008 budgets, and used them as the basis for negotiating a new Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility Agreement with the IMF. Foreign investment remained stable in 2007 thanks to commitments made during the Bolanos years. Exports are up this year by 21% over 2007 levels. In most other respects, however, the Ortega government was not faring well. Growth expectations had fallen while inflation expectations have risen. In 2007, inflation reached 17% and annualized inflation is running at 22% for 2008, the second highest rate in Latin America. The lack of a strong policy response to rising oil and food prices worries independent economists, some of whom suspect that hidden foreign assistance from Hugo Chavez created excess liquidity.
On November 6, 2011 Daniel Ortega was re-elected president of Nicaragua outperforming the radio businessman Fabio Gadea and Arnoldo Aleman. Several independent election observers (not accredited by the CSE) denounced irregularities during the day. A second consecutive term that leaves hands free to bolster his authoritarian populist political model. On January 10, 2012 was inaugurated president of Nicaragua with extensive control of Congress and in the presence of close allies like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. The leader of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) ruled for the second consecutive period having 63 of the 92 members of the legislature.
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