President Daniel Ortega, who once was an almost legendary figure in the fight to establish democracy in Nicaragua, has become the exact opposite now that he is in power. His recent actions to ban minority parties from participating in municipal elections or suspending elections and threatening those who express dissident views has made him a caricature of the man he once was in life. Legendary guerrilla heroine, Dora Maria Tellez, is currently in the 9th day of a hunger strike which is aimed at persuading Ortega to cease his dictatorial behavior or resign. Her hunger strike has provoked concerts, vigils, and an outpouring of support, even from the Nicaraguan American Chamber of Commerce(AMCHAM) which has urged Ortega to bring together all political parties and work to maintain the nation’s democracy.
There once was a film entitled, “Zapata” about the famous Mexican revolutionary hero. In the film, Zapata has finally obtained power when into his office walks a poor farmer protesting military actions. Zapata’s initial reaction is anger until he realizes he once was that man. He storms out of his office and decides to return to his roots. Perhaps, Ortega might view the film and reflect.