José Daniel Ortega Saavedra (born November 11, 1945) is a Nicaraguan politician who has been President of Nicaragua since 2007; previously he was leader of Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990, first as Coordinator of the Junta of National Reconstruction (1979–1985) and then as President (1985–1990). A leader in the socialist Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, FSLN), his policies in government have seen the implementation of leftist reforms across Nicaragua.
Born into a working-class family, from an early age Ortega opposed ruling President Anastasio Somoza Debayle, widely recognized as a dictator, and became involved in the underground movement against his regime. Joining the Sandinistas, he also travelled to Cuba to receive training in guerilla warfare from Fidel Castro's Marxist-Leninist government. After the Nicaraguan Revolution resulted in the overthrow and exile of Somoza's government, Ortega became leader of the ruling multipartisan Junta of National Reconstruction. A Marxist-Leninist, his first period in office was characterized by a controversial program of nationalization, land reform, wealth redistribution and literacy programs...
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