(TODAY NICARAGUA) When Howard Hughes entered through the main door of the Intercontinental Hotel Managua (today Crowne Plaza), he had to face something he was trying to avoid at any cost.
It was February 16, 1972, and Hughes, after getting off his private plane, had sat in an armored Mercedes-Benz vehicle, owned by Anastasio Somoza, and, escorted by a retinue of the Guardia Nacional (National Guard), arriving at where it would be his residence during two different stays in that year.
Fifty people entered the hotel lobby as one. They were going to occupy the entire sixth, seventh and eighth floors, the highest in the building.
In the middle of the group was a cart similar to those used by laundry services. Up on it was a man in his 70s. It was Hughes, the world’s most eccentric billionaire, the ace of aviation, the legendary film producer and director, the playboy for whom the most beautiful Hollywood actresses had sighed, the political conspirator involved in the Watergate scandal, the lunatic who only ate steak with peas and was not allowed to be touched or photographed by anyone.
Click! A camera shutter sounded and Hughes’s aides went on alert.
One of them located the photographed, violently took the camera from him, opened it, extracted the reel, and broke it by stepping it on the floor of the hotel lobby. Two national guards grabbed the photographer. It was a tourist who, before the arrival of one of the best known and elusive men in the world, wanted to take the opportunity to capture the image.