Ortega Saavedra, Daniel

Ortega Saavedra, Daniel

(ôrtā`gä sävāth`rä), 1945–, president of Nicaragua (1979–90, 2007–). As a university student, he joined (1963) the clandestine Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN; see SandinistasSandinistas,
members of a left-wing Nicaraguan political party, the Sandinist National Liberation Front (FSLN). The group, named for Augusto Cesar Sandino, a former insurgent leader, was formed in 1962 to oppose the regime of Anastasio Somoza Debayle.
..... Click the link for more information.
), a Marxist guerrilla coalition that opposed the SomozaSomoza, Anastasio
, 1896–1956, president of Nicaragua (1937–47, 1950–56). After the end (1933) of U.S. military intervention in Nicaragua, he rose to power as head of the national guard.
..... Click the link for more information.
 dictatorship. In 1967, he was arrested and spent seven years in prison. Head of the Sandinista junta that took power following the 1979 revolution, he was elected president in 1984. As president, he attempted to consolidate the revolution along Marxist lines but was opposed by the United States and U.S.-backed guerrillas, the contras. He was unexpectedly defeated for reelection (1990) by Violetta Barrios de ChamorroChamorro, Violeta Barrios de
, 1929–, president of Nicaragua (1990–97). Widow of martyred newspaper editor Joaquim Chamorro, she briefly joined the ruling Sandinista junta following the 1979 revolution.
..... Click the link for more information.
, who led a coalition of opposition parties. Ortega subsequently twice lost in presidential elections, in 1996 to Arnoldo Alemán Lacayo and in 2001 to Enrique Bolaños, but in 2006 he again won the presidency, against a divided center-right opposition. His second government was marked by the use of government spending, street violence, judicial chicanery, and extraconstitutional presidential decrees in an attempt to expand the Sandinistas' hold on political power. He was reelected in 2011, again against a divided opposition.