Nicaragua may be a small country but it is an emblematic one. In 1979 the leftist Sandinista movement overthrew a corrupt dictatorship. In response, the United States organised the Contra guerrillas. In 1990 the Sandinistas agreed to hold free elections, which they lost. But their leader, Daniel Ortega, has returned to power, having won a presidential election in 2006 against a divided opposition. Now, armed with an alliance with Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, he seems determined to snuff out Nicaragua’s young democracy
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