Daniel Ortega, the rebel leader driven from power 16 years ago by a U.S.-backed war and the missteps of his own Sandinista movement, was cruising Monday toward victory and an unlikely political resurrection in Nicaragua's presidential vote.So ... what can the forces of evil do about this?
The result was a blow to the Bush administration, which worked actively to discourage Nicaraguans from voting for Ortega, a 60-year-old former Marxist now allied with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the bete noire of Latin American and U.S. conservatives.
With 62% of the ballots counted, Ortega was outpolling conservative challenger Eduardo Montealegre, 39% to 31%. Two separate "quick counts" that took samples of the vote found Ortega would win a clear and "irrefutable" first-round triumph.
Ortega's apparent victory was celebrated Monday evening in the impoverished neighborhoods of this and other Nicaraguan cities, where the Sandinista National Liberation Front's core supporters have remained loyal through years of revolution, counterrevolution and electoral defeats.
Cars cruised down Managua's main streets with horns honking and passengers waving the black and red flag of the Sandinista Front.
"I feel like I did in 1979, because this is a new revolution," said Violeta Mena, 44, remembering the day when the Sandinistas marched into Managua after defeating the army of dictator Anastasio Somoza. "This is not an armed revolution, it's a revolution for social justice."
How about this? Sell nuclear weapons to Iran and use the money to fund death squads in Central America. Then bomb Iran for having nuclear weapons while the death squads rampage in Nicaragua.
What's the matter? You don't like the plan?