On July 29th, Sandinista President Daniel Ortega unseated 16 opposition members and 12 alternates from Nicaragua’s legislature, eliminating one of the few remaining obstacles to one-party rule. Days later, Ortega named his wife, Rosario Murillo, as his vice presidential running mate for the November elections. Political analysts inside and outside of the country see the move as an attempt to secure a line of family succession, as Ortega, 70, enters the final years of his political career.
When the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) led the Nicaraguan people to victory over the dictatorship of Anastasio Samoza in 1979, Wilmer (not his real name) was only 14 years old. Having come from a family of modest means, he identified with the revolution that ended the long repressive rule of the Samoza family that with U.S. backing had for 43 years run, ransacked and ultimately ruined Nicaragua.