San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nicaragua rebel hero Téllez ends hunger strike

MANAGUA – Skinnier and on the verge of serious health problems, legendary guerrilla leader Dora María Téllez ended her 12-day hunger strike yesterday and announced that she is now taking her protest movement to phase two: winning the streets.

At the behest of doctors and friends, Téllez, the heroic Sandinista rebel leader known as “Comandante Dos,” decided to call off her hunger strike yesterday morning after the medics performing her daily exams warned her that she was on the verge of “irreversible complications” to her health, including diabetes.

The doctors said that due to the heat in downtown Managua and her insistence on giving interviews and remaining active, Téllez had worn down her body much faster than if she had conducted her hunger strike under different conditions.

So instead of moving her hunger strike to an indoor, air-conditioned location under constant medical care, Téllez decided to call it off, along with her young hunger strike companion, Roger Arias, a candidate for Managua city council for the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS).

Téllez and Arias declared their hunger strike in protest of the government’s efforts to remove the MRS and other minority parties from the upcoming municipal elections – just one more step, she said, in the Ortega administration’s efforts to impose an “institutional dictatorship.”

As forewarned by Téllez, the Sandinista-controlled Supreme Elections Tribunal (CSE) eventually ruled June 11 to outlaw the MRS and Conservative Party – a decision that has been decried by civil society and foreign governments.

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