Latin America

With elections a year away, opposition to Ortega splits in Nicaragua

A broad opposition front hoped to unseat authoritarian President Daniel Ortega in 2021, but internal cracks have dashed expectations

President Daniel Ortega portrait is frequently displayed in public places. Photo: Barna Tanko/Shutterstock
President Daniel Ortega’s portrait is frequently displayed in public places. Photo: Barna Tanko/Shutterstock

In Central America, the 6.4 million inhabitants of Nicaragua held high expectations for 2021. With next year’s general elections, the hope was to finally overthrow President Daniel Ortega, who has ruled the country since 2006. Once a socialist freedom fighter, leading the Sandinista Revolution in the 1970s, Mr. Ortega has gradually turned into exactly what he once fought against: from an idyllic revolutionary to an authoritarian leader. And he wants more. 

For the opposition and civil society, patience ran out in 2018. After a major reform to the Nicaraguan pension system, people rose up in protests that were brutally

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