Nicaragua’s First Lady Rosario Murillo, a poet and revolutionary, hopes to be elected vice president in Sunday’s presidential elections, in which President Daniel Ortega is running for reelection.

Murillo, whose rebel credentials rival Ortega’s, is a familiar face to Nicaraguans, having served as official government spokesperson during her husband’s past two consecutive terms in office.

A polyglot, who speaks at least four languages, she is well-equipped for her role as spokesperson, but many believe she is much more than that, serving as adviser to the president.

Ortega, 70, is rarely seen without Murillo, 65, by his side.

In fact, Ortega once told reporters: “In the presidency, Rosario is 50 percent and Daniel is 50 percent.”

Murillo and Ortega met in the late 1970s, when Ortega was living in exile in Cosa Rica following his participation in the Sandinista rebel movement, which overthrew dictator Anastasio Somoza in July 1979 after two years of civil war.

They have been together ever since, with Murillo by Ortega’s side as he returned to lead the government of national reconstruction, and during his trips abroad to raise funds for the new undertaking.

Murillo and Ortega married in 2005, in a traditional Catholic wedding, and have eight children.

Murillo is the daughter of Zoilamerica Zambrana Sandino, the grandniece of Nicaraguan national hero Augusto Sandino, after whom the rebel movement and ruling party is named.

A published poet, Murillo has said she was driven to write after the death of her first child in the 1972 earthquake.

Born in the capital Managua in 1951, she studied English and French at universities in Britain and Switzerland, and became a language professor.

She joined the Sandinista movement in 1969, and was arrested for her activism. She also took refuge in Costa Rica, and returned to Nicaragua with Ortega after the success of the revolution in 1979. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/


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