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Herty Lewites: A Convenient Death

John Simkin

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Herty Lewites died of a heart attack on 2nd July, 2006. It is another example of a convenient death.

He is the son of a wealthy businessman in Nicaragua. The family were opposed to the Somoza dictatorship and in 1960 they took part in the failed attempt to overthrow the government. One brother, Israel, was killed, while another was caught and tortured. Herty and his father were forced into exile.

Herty continued to campaign against Somoza and in 1973 received an 18 month jail term in the US for his attempts to smuggle weapons into Nicaragua.

Herty Lewites welcomed the Sandinista victory in 1979 and became tourist minister in Daniel Ortega’s government. Later he served as mayor of Managua.

Herty, like many on the left, gradually became disillusioned with Daniel Ortega’s FSLN government. He was especially opposed to its corruption and its alliance with former president and right-winger, Arnaldo Aleman.

Last year, Herty challenged Ortega’s right to become FSLN’s presidential candidate. This resulted in Herty being expelled from the FSLN. Herty now formed the Movement to Restore Sandinismo (MRS) and became a presidential candidate for the elections in November. This would have split the vote on the left and posed a serious threat to Ortega. Herty’s death was well-timed. Ortega was quick to praise Herty Lewites in an attempt to pick up his support.

Edmundo Jarquín is a Nicaraguan politician. He was a candidate for vice president of Nicaragua alongside Herty Lewites who ran for president for the 2006 elections but died during the election campaign. He was offered the role of vice-presidential candidate by Lewites after the latter joined forces with the Movement to Restore Sandinismo (MRS). Edmundo Jarquín is now the MRS's presidential candidate.


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