Things began to look up for Ortega when Somoza resigned in 1979 as a result of the FSLN's efforts and some other factors. Ortega coordinated the junta called the Government of National Reconstruction which ruled the country for a few years after the revolution. Before Somoza stepped down, Ortega led the most moderate of the three FSLN guerrilla groups who warred against Somoza; this fact seems kind of strange considering that Ortega was the subject of strong criticism for his left-wing policies. In any case, when the junta took over, the task that faced them was one of the most daunting tasks imaginable--rebuilding a country, economically and physically, which had been absolutely
Jimmy Carter's foreign policy had been to economically support the US
global neighbors. However, Ronald Reagan's 1981 election brought many
changes to the US foreign policy and economic maneuvers were no longer the
medium used but rather military and diplomatic pressures. Therefore, in
order to survive the attacks from the US funded and trained contras,
Ortega began diplomatic talks with the US and finally signed a peace
treaty drafted by impartial nations in the late 1980s. In 1990, Ortega hosted free elections
in Nicaragua and was defeated by Chamorro only to become secretary
general of his beloved FSLN in 1991. He once again ran for president in
1996 as the FSLN's candidate but took only 39 percent of the vote
compared to Arnoldo Aleman's 49 percent. Ortega still speaks out often against the
the government's policies and "international aggressors"
and is the FSLN's most influential member, leading most student protests, worker's strikes, and other political maneuvers.