Daniel Ortega

José Daniel Ortega Saavedra (; born November 11, 1945) is a Nicaraguan politician serving as President of Nicaragua since 2007; previously he was leader of Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990, first as Coordinator of the Junta of National Reconstruction (1979–1985) and then as President (1985–1990). A leader in the Sandinista National Liberation Front (; FSLN), he has implemented policies to achieve leftist reforms across Nicaragua.

Born into a working-class family, from an early age Ortega opposed ruling President Anastasio Somoza Debayle, widely recognized as a dictator, and became involved in the underground movement against his government. Joining the Sandinistas as a student in 1963, Ortega became involved with urban resistance activities and was arrested in 1967. After his release in 1974, he travelled to Cuba to receive training in guerrilla warfare from Fidel Castro's Marxist–Leninist government. He played a crucial role in forming the Insurrectionist faction, which united the FSLN and sparked the mass uprisings of 1978–1979. After the Nicaraguan Revolution resulted in the overthrow and exile of Somoza's government, Ortega became leader of the ruling multi-partisan Junta of National Reconstruction. In 1984, Ortega, the FSLN candidate, won Nicaragua's free presidential election with over 60 percent of the vote. A Marxist–Leninist, Ortega pursued a controversial program of nationalization, land reform, wealth redistribution and literacy programs during his first period in office.

Ortega's relationship with the United States was never very cordial, as the U.S. had supported Somoza prior to the revolution. Although the U.S. supplied post-revolution Nicaragua with tens of millions of dollars in economic aid, relations broke down when the Sandinistas supplied weapons to leftist Salvadoran rebels. (Ortega later acknowledged this had taken place.) His government was opposed by the Contras in a civil war; the Contras were funded by the Reagan administration of the United States. A joint peace proposal by the Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Wright and President Ronald Reagan helped facilitate a peace agreement at a meeting of five Central American chiefs of state in July 1987. For this Costa Rican President Óscar Arias was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This resulted in free elections in Nicaragua in 1990, in which Ortega was defeated by Violeta Chamorro. He continued to be an important figure in Nicaraguan opposition politics, and gradually moderated his political position to democratic socialism. He also restored relations with the Catholic Church, with the adoption of anti-abortion policies by his government.

Ortega was an unsuccessful candidate for president in 1996 and 2001, but he won the 2006 presidential election. In office, he made alliances with fellow Latin American socialists, such as Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Under Ortega's leadership, Nicaragua joined the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas.

In June 2018, Amnesty International and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States reported that Ortega had engaged in a violent oppression campaign against protesters in response to anti-Ortega protests since April 2018. Government officials and government-owned media denied responsibility for such actions. Provided by Wikipedia
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