World: Sergio Is Very Strong

It would be hard to imagine a more vivid contrast to strutting President Tacho Somoza than the cool, unflappable man who has taken his place as the dominant figure in Nicaragua's government. Sergio Ramírez Mercado, 36, is a baby-faced intellectual who attracts little attention until he begins to speak, in a soft, nasal voice. But his quiet charisma has enabled the tall (6 ft. 2 in.) writer to win the confidence of all the factions represented on the five-member ruling junta and its 15-member Cabinet, though the ideologies range from the doctrinaire Marxism of Sandinista Leader Daniel Ortega to the capitalism...

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