Taking advantage of her soaring popularity in national opinion polls, first lady and self-styled spiritual guru Rosario Murillo appears to be flirting with the idea of a solo project.
A series of new pink posters have suddenly appeared on lampposts around the capital picturing a solitary and grinning Murillo, flashing a two-fingered victory/Sandinista “casilla 2” sign at the camera. Wearing bright red lipstick to match her silk shawl and blinged out with 30 rings and nearly as many necklaces, Murillo’s appearance in the poster clearly heralds her increasing protagonism and pervasiveness in the Sandinista Front.
The first lady made her billboard debut last month during the 33rd anniversary of the “Repliegue Táctico,” when she appeared alongside her husband in the massive sign that served as a backdrop to the political rally. Previous to that, Murillo had appeared only in smaller campaign posters alongside Ortega and Roman Catholic Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo. The new posters around Managua represent her first solo propaganda effort.
Murillo’s influence over the party and the government has increased notably in recent years. So too has her influence over the media. The first lady delivers daily soliloquies on Sandinista media outlets, taking a full 15 minutes to talk breathlessly about the day’s events, political happenings, her spirituality and other loosely related esoteric subject matter.
Murillo’s unique and colorful style seems to be working, as both her influence and popularity grow. A recent M&R Consultants poll shows the first lady is one of the most popular figures in the country, enjoying a 74% favorability rating.
Some have speculated that Murillo aspires to one day succeed her husband as president of Nicaragua—a campaign that already appears to be starting with her new political posters.