By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES – Ever since 1998, when Rosario Murillo chose to defend her powerful husband – accused by her daughter and his stepdaughter of 19 years of rape and sexual abuse-, she’s had her gaze fixed on power. Even 20 years ago, she knew that if the FSLN and Daniel Ortega managed to get back into the presidency the road would be paved for her to come next.
And it happened. Since 2007, Murillo has been the day-to-day operator of her husband’s government, as well as the short- and long-term strategist. She holds many titles and roles: First Lady, Vice President, Coordinator and the Ortega government’s one and only Spokesperson.
The orders of the “compañera”, as she likes to be called, are followed or the person who disobeys is simply banished from their position or worse. Those who have left the circle of power have described her as the one running the show with an iron fist.
Murillo’s omnipresence in the government media and those private TV stations owned or run by her children, is capped by a half hour speech she gives every day of the week. These speeches are broadcast on the government’s media as well as over the loudspeakers at large markets where nobody’s changing the station.
When the civic rebellion broke out in April and for two months the government seemed on the verge of collapse, many people wrote off Murillo’s hopes of becoming president.
Today, however, the months of police and paramilitary repression appear to have rejuvenated her drive for power. She has been instrumental in prohibiting all public opposition, killing, jailing or exiling protest leaders and driving out tens of thousands of Nicaraguans who supported the civic anti-government demonstrations.
Nicolas Maduro, the chief economic and political ally of Ortega/Murillo, won a resounding reelection in Venezuela last year under fraudulent conditions and with the opposition candidates and coalition disqualified. Polls showed only around 20% of the population approving of his presidency but he won with two thirds of the vote. Murillo may be dreaming of a similar outcome in 2021.
In the meantime, she has demonstrated that she is tough competition for Melania Trump, surpassing her wardrobe with as many colorful outfits as Imelda Marcos had shoes, and kilos of jewelry. One can only imagine what it would be like with her in the presidency.
This commentary wouldn’t be complete without some of Murillo’s own words about her and her husband’s government:
“Democracy is this new model that we are building that recognizes the capabilities, the talents, the potential of all. It doesn’t exclude anyone. A model that assures us good living that, with our honest work, with dedication and energy we can cross all roads. Get beyond the crossroads and move forward. Because we are precisely full of hope and trust in God.
“Democracy is what we know and live every day, seeking common good from Christian values and ideals, from loving our neighbor, to trying to support and accompany those who were violated and are still vulnerable and who demand a responsible, serious government with Christian values, to make available to them and their family all their talents, all their abilities, to work, to undertake, to prosper,” she said in her daily message to the people on December 19th.
The following gallery of a 98 pictures of Rosario Murillo are nearly all from the government’s 19digital website.
Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery. On your PC or laptop, you can use the directional arrows on the keyboard to move within the gallery. On cell phones use the keys on the screen.