Famed Nicaraguan rebel heading home
MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) --A famed Nicaraguan guerrilla leader known
"Comandante Zero" says he is selling his house and heading for a seaside shack to
resume his original profession: shark fishing.
Eden Pastora became famous when he led a Sandinista rebel seizure of
Palace on August 28, 1978, helping to hasten the fall of dictator Anastasio Somoza.
He later turned against the increasingly leftist Sandinista government
and led a
contingent of Contra rebels during the 1980s.
Now 65, Pastora says being a retired rebel leader doesn't pay the bills.
"I'm broke. I owe the banks and nobody wants to buy my souvenirs," Pastora
in an interview.
Late last year, Pastora said he tried to sell a gold ring that former
strongman Omar Torrijos had given him and a gold watch that was a gift from the
Sandinistas after his attack on the National Palace.
"Nobody wanted to buy," he said.
While several friends spoke about starting a bank account to collect
the aging guerrilla, "the account was never opened," he said.
He has gradually sold off his belongings, including a lion he sold to
a circus for
$900. "Simba, my lion, found work before I did," Pastora said.
As soon as Pastora sells his Managua house -- which he thinks is worth
$85,000 -- he plans to move to land he owns on the Caribbean coast and build a
Many former Sandinista and Contra leaders have become wealthy. But Pastora,
famed for his wit, charisma and exuberant self-regard, said he had fallen on hard
times "because I am an honorable man.
"It was my father's fault," he said, "because he almost killed me once
when I stole a
peso from my sister to buy ice cream."
Copyright 2002 The Associated Press