Lewites' political profile may originally have been that of a traditional FSLN militant engaged in the anti-Somoza struggle, but his rupture with Daniel Ortega and the latter's eternal presidential candidacy earned him respect among two distinct groups. Sandinistas anxious not to continue eternally losing with the same candidate turned to him, as did many disillusioned Nicaraguans who were seeking a real change from an old politics defined by a pitiful choice between two caudillos: Arnoldo Alemán and Daniel Ortega himself, partners in a dark political enterprise that has multiplied corruption, impoverished the country and weakened its institutions.
Lewites died of a heart attack last week, and with the presidential election just a few months away, it isn't clear if his party is going to choose a new candidate. I was living in Nicaragua during the last presidential election, and the country's political fervor blows America's out of the water. Since the country's economy hasn't improved much over the last five years, it's entirely possible that a leftist candidate will be voted back into office.