The Contrast of Two Of Nicaragua’s Most Prominent Ladies: Violeta and Rosario

Doña Violeta Chamorro is the antonym to Rosario Murillo. Doña Violeta worked to reconcile the country, worked for the peace of her people; Rosario, however, encourages war between the people.

Violeta Chamorro (left) and Rosario Murillo (right)

One was president. Chamorro fought along side Daniel Ortega to oust the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza. The other is considered the as the power behind the presidency of her husband, Daniel Ortega.

- payin the bills -

Both women are Sandinistas.But that is where the similarity ends.

La Honorable Violeta Chamorro, born on October 18, 1929, is known for ending the Contra War, the final chapter of the Nicaraguan Revolution, and bringing peace to the country. She was the first and, to date, the only woman to hold the position of president (1990-1997) in Nicaragua.

Violeta Chamorro

After leaving office on January 10, 1997, Chamorro worked on several international peace initiatives until poor health forced her to retire from public life.

- paying the bills -

The assassination of Chamorro’s husband sparked the Sandinista Revolution. His image became a symbol of their cause and when Daniel Ortega led the Sandinista guerrillas triumphantly into Managua in July 1979, Chamorro was with them.

Today, the former president is in “delicate state” in intensive care after “a stroke or cerebral embolism,” reported her relatives.

Rosario Murillo Zambrana, born June 22,, 1951, is currently vice president and first lady of Nicaragua. She is married to the current president Daniel Ortega. She was also first lady when, in 1985, her husband became president six years after the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) overthrew the Somoza dynasty.

Rosario “La Chayo” Murillo

Murillo has served as the Nicaraguan government’s lead spokesperson, government minister, head of the Sandinista Association of Cultural Workers, and Communications Coordinator of the Council on Communication and Citizenry. She was sworn in as vice president on January 10,  2017.

According to Nicaraguan historian Roberto Sánchez, Murillo is maternally related to Nicaragua’s national hero, Augusto Sandino.

- paying the bills --

Murillo started to gain power politically in 1998 after defending Ortega after he was accused by his stepdaughter, Murillo’s daughter, of sexually abusing her for many years. Murillo helped re-brand Ortega after three unsuccessful election bids in 1990, 1996, and 2001 as a less extreme candidate. Ortega was elected President in 2006 and re-elected in 2011. In the 2016 general election, Murillo ran as Ortega’s vice-presidential candidate.

“La Chayo” as she is commonly referred to is “widely seen as the power behind the presidency”, appointing herself as “communications chief”, a position which she used to address the public regularly before her vice-presidency and with her husband control the country with a tight grip.

As the extravagant wife, Murillo has been the unconditional companion of Daniel Ortega and a fundamental element in decision-making in Nicaragua. Always, the thin woman with lush curly hair and brightly colored clothes is by Ortega’s side. in his speeches, in his official visits, even when voting in the elections, he does not separate from her.

In contrast to Chamorro, Rosario is a rejected extravagant lady, unbelievably even less liked than her husband. Both are described as being alone, in a country divided, to which they do little to unite.

Nicaraguan write Juan Almendárez, founder of the Ministerio del Interior, wrote in an open letter in April 2018:  Read the complete letter, in Spanish, here.

To pave the way to the presidency, you cast yourself as a candidate because you knew that Daniel is sick. You were one step away from being president. You were close.

But it ended. Your time is up. You, Rosario, you destroyed the Sandinista Front. You played with the blood of the martyrs.

Sandinismo will never forgive you for all the damage you caused. Your cynical model of “love and reconciliation” will be a sad memory for future generations, ” a reference to the old story,” as the song says.

I do not know how much guilt your husband has in all this. It’s a pity that the commander, who gave us so much pride in the years of aggression, will retire a man who allowed you, his wife, to use him like a paper doll. Sad for the commander.

I know you will not read this letter, but surely the thousands of Sandinistas will read it and they will never forgive you.

Everything is paid in life.

Our wishes go out for Chamorro for a speedy recovery.

In the words of Andres Oppenheimer, who in July interviewed Daniel Ortega (Daniel Ortega Doesn’t Mind Being Called A “Dictator”), while La Chayo was in the shadows, controlling the interview, “She (Chamorro) is a historical figure that is very necessary to emulate today”.

 

 

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