November 07, 2006

If his comeback is confirmed, Ortega would join a growing number of left-leaning Latin American rulers.

"This is good for the people of Nicaragua and for the integration of Latin America," Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque told The Associated Press on Monday.

Ortega's supporters celebrated in the streets, with caravans of hundreds of cars filing into the capital, honking,
waving party flags and blasting the Sandinista campaign song, set to the tune of John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance."

Many Nicaraguans worry Ortega's return to power will drive away the country's business leaders and elite, as did his first time in power in 1985.

"We're just trying to figure out which country to go to," said Karen Sandoval, a 27-year-old Coca-Cola marketer shopping with a friend at an upscale Managua mall. "This sets the country back 20 years."

But Herberto Jose Lopez, who earns about $235 a month selling CDs from a kiosk, said he voted for Ortega in hopes that he would help Nicaragua's poor.

"I've got a wife and kid and I'm lucky because I have a job, but most people will tell you the same thing: The current administration just governs for the guys in ties," said the 32-year-old Lopez.

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