Venezuela just went through disastrous regional elections where the government won 18 out of 23 governor’s offices, but since chavistas aren’t known for their restraint, they stole the election in Bolívar state and voided Juan Pablo Guanipa’s victory in Zulia, imposing Legislative Council chair Magdely Valbuena (a chavista figurehead) as interim governor, while new elections are held.

Unsurprisingly, the Rosales clan just came out of the woodwork. Former governor and UNT founder, Manuel Rosales, had been barred from running for office since 2014, until very recently, so he did the sensible thing… for him: he’s running for Zulia’s governorship.

It’s all part of a game Manuelito has been playing for a while now, in which the main player is not even himself.

Francisco Arias Cárdenas may not have the governor title, but he was appointed “protector” of Zulia and head of Corpozulia which, just like Elías Jaua’s Corpomiranda, is meant to be a parallel administration. Regardless of who gets actually elected as new governor, Arias Cárdenas will manage public funds and make the decisions. Rosales is out of the cage, but still on a leash, which makes you wonder about what really goes on in his head.

It’s all part of a game Manuelito has been playing for a while now, on which the main player is not even himself.

When AD’s elected governors swore their oath of office before the National Constituent Assembly, UNT’s party leader and lawmaker, Enrique Márquez, bashed them for being “absolutely incoherent,” while his comrade Stalin González said they had to explain why they made the decision without consulting other MUD members.

A ruse; if Rosales had been able to run and win the election, there’s no doubt he would’ve been the first to get the prize directly from Delcy Rodríguez’s hands, as he certainly will if elected now. His wife, Eveling Trejo, has been Maracaibo’s mayor for the past seven years, in a clear example of how politics (and politicians) roll in chavista Venezuela: don’t get on Caracas’ bad side and you’ll be released from prison, you can send your people as negotiators in a highly destructive dialogue and, if you’re a really good boy, you’ll run for office again, albeit the one PSUV chooses for you.

This is what Rosales is. A lapdog, a fake dissident leader with hypocrisy as his banner and complete disregard for the duties and principles he should uphold. This man once wanted to be president; aside from the entirety of chavismo, I can’t imagine someone who’s worse for that job, or for any other public office.

But the regime finds him useful, so we’ll probably see him in the Casa Amarilla, shaking Delcy’s hand and betraying every single one of his constituents… again.

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