Venezuelan oil fueled the rise and fall of Nicaragua’s Ortega regime

The downfall of Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega has been dizzyingly fast. In January 2018, he had the highest approval rating of any Central American president, at 54 percent. Today, Nicaraguans are calling for Ortega’s resignation.
Chávez greets Ortega during a welcoming ceremony in Caracas. Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Ortega, a former Sandinista rebel who previously ruled Nicaragua in the 1980s, first showed signs of weakness in early April, when students protested his mismanagement of a massive forest fire in Nicaragua’s biggest nature reserve.
By April 19, hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans, including former Ortega supporters, joined the demonstrations, after his government rammed through an unpopular social security reform.
Since then, police officers and pro-government forces have killed more than 450 protesters and injured at least 2,500.
In an echo of Nicaragua’s

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