Humberto Ortega
General Humberto Ortega Saavedra (January 10, 1947) is a Nicaraguan
Nicaraguans are people inhabiting in, originating or having significant heritage from Nicaragua. Most Nicaraguans live in Nicaragua, although there is also a significant Nicaraguan diaspora, particularly in Costa Rica and the United States with smaller communities in other countries around the world...

 military leader, often self-called leading Latin American revolutionary strategist, and published writer.


Humberto Ortega and his brother, current President of Nicaragua
President of Nicaragua
The position of President of Nicaragua was created in the Constitution of 1854. From 1825 until the Constitution of 1838 the title of the position was known as Head of State and from 1838 to 1854 as Supreme Director .-Heads of State of Nicaragua within the Federal Republic of Central America...

, Daniel Ortega
Daniel Ortega
José Daniel Ortega Saavedra is a Nicaraguan politician and revolutionary, currently serving as the 83rd President of Nicaragua, a position that he has held since 2007. He previously served as the 79th President, between 1985 and 1990, and for much of his life, has been a leader in the Sandinista...

, founded the Tercerista tendency of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in 1975. He,among others leaders crafted the urban insurrection strategy that ignited civil war in Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

 in October 1977, leading to the fall of the Somoza dynastic dictatorship in July 1979. As Minister of Defense during the decade of Sandinista rule, Ortega oversaw the build up of the Sandinista Popular Army
Sandinista Popular Army
The Sandinista Popular Army was the military established in 1979 by the new Sandinista government to replace the National Guard, following the overthow of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. In post-Sandinista Nicaragua, it has been remolded into the National Army of Nicaragua. Joaquín Cuadra was chief of...

 (EPS) and the prosecution of the war against the "contra" resistance factions and their peasant support base.

Following the electoral defeat of Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista Party in 1990, Humberto maintained control of the military. He retired in 1995, turning the job over to his second in command, Joaquín Cuadra
Joaquín Cuadra
Joaquín Cuadra Lacayo, a scion of Nicaragua's elite, joined the rebel Sandinista National Liberation Front in late 1972. After their victory in 1979, he became army chief of staff....

. General Humberto Ortega started transforming the EPS into the non-political Nicaraguan National Army. Allegedly, he was behind the assassination of many retired anti-sandinistas
The contras is a label given to the various rebel groups opposing Nicaragua's FSLN Sandinista Junta of National Reconstruction government following the July 1979 overthrow of Anastasio Somoza Debayle's dictatorship...


Published writer

In December 2004 he released a book titled La Epopeya de la Insurrección (Epic of the Insurrection). Ortega says he worked 10 hours a day on the book for two years using his own records, meeting notes, archives and analytical schemes to reconstruct the history of the struggle that ultimately brought down the 43-year Somoza family dictatorship. Among his other books are, 50 Años de Lucha Sandinista, Sobre la Insurrección and Nicaragua Revolución y Democracia.

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