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Sandinistas mark 30th anniversary

July 19, 2009 at 6:58 PM

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, July 19 (UPI) -- Nicaragua Sunday reached the 30th anniversary of its Sandinista Revolution, when leftist rebels overthrew the Somoza dictatorship, The Miami Herald reported.

The newspaper said since the Sandinista National Liberation Front, FSLN, was first voted out of power in 1990, many of its original revolutionary soldiers and leaders were tossed out of the party, but that since it regained power in the 2006 elections, it has touted itself as a continuance of the first Sandinista government, only in peacetime.

The Herald said Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who did not respond to interview requests, played a minor role in the Sandinistas' first government. But his critics now reportedly claim the FSLN has become the private property of Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo.

Drinking water has been extended to the rural poor, as have been land titles, while other social programs -- such as loans for women and subsidies to farmers -- have been successfully instituted by the government, the Herald said.

But Ortega's authoritarian style has been likened by critics to that of the Somoza dictatorship the Sandinistas fought against, the newspaper said.

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