Who is Manuel Rosales, the opposition presidential candidate able to register in Venezuela?

(CNN Spanish) — It seems that Manuel Rosales is the only card left for the opposition in Venezuela. When Corina Yorris, the winner of the primaries, could not register her candidacy to replace the disqualified María Corina Machado, one of the political parties supporting Machado, Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT), at the last minute nominated its leader, the governor Decided to register. Manuel Rosales, of Zulia state, who did not participate in the primaries.

Despite the surprise of the nomination, Machado did not rule out a subsequent settlement with Rosales. “We are moving forward day by day,” he said, confirming that his candidate would be Corinna Yoris, who said in an interview with CNN that if there was another candidate it would break opposition unity.

This Tuesday, Rosales said in a press conference that he had signed a request to President and candidate for re-election Nicolás Maduro to “not leave the field vacant.” Rosales, who recognized Machado’s work, said he was going to “rebuild Venezuela without hatred” and that the country was between “voting or not voting” in the July 28 elections so that Venezuela secedes.

Manuel Rosales, leader in Zulia and Chávez’s opponent in 2006

Rosales, 71, is a Venezuelan opposition leader who, while already a presidential candidate, took on Hugo Chávez and was jailed. He has been national deputy of Zulia, mayor of Maracaibo, and governor of Zulia on two occasions.

In 2002 he was one of the signatories of the so-called “Carmona Decree”, which sought to establish a transitional government following the 11 April coup that expelled President Hugo Chávez from power for 47 hours and Pedro Carmona named president…Chávez was restored to power just two days later. In 2006, Rosales said that signing the decree was a “mistake” in “good faith”.

Later that year he represented the opposition in the elections against Chávez, where he lost with 36.9% of the vote compared to the president’s 62.82%.

In 2008, Manuel Rosales was accused of illicit enrichment following a report presented by the Comptroller General of the Republic and was formally accused by the Public Ministry in 2009. Rosales claimed to be innocent and a victim of political persecution.

In April 2009, a request for his capture was made, which could not be fulfilled due to his departure from the country to Peru.

In October 2015, Rosales announced his return to Venezuela, despite the fact that there was still an arrest warrant against him. Upon arriving in the country he was captured, detained and imprisoned, being released in December 2016 after being under house arrest since October. His case was never heard. In 2017, the Supreme Court of Justice suspended the disqualification imposed against him in 2014, along with precautionary protection, ruling that his rights to due process and defense had been violated.

That year he denied in an interview with CNN that he had negotiated his release with the Maduro government. He even reiterated that he would remain a critic of Chavismo.

Since 2021, Rosales has been the governor of Zulia, an oil state located in western Venezuela and bordering Colombia. He had already held that position between 2000 and 2008 as a representative of the Democratic Action Party, which has social democratic tendencies.

With information from Osmari Hernandez and Alfredo Meza

(tagstotranslate)Manuel Rosales

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