On January 5, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela presented the three candidates to preside over the National Assembly during 2020: Jorge Rodriguez, Iris Varela, and Didalco Bolívar. The minority sectors of the opposition in the Parliament were left out.
Jorge Rodriguez got elected as a lawmaker in the controversial vote from December 6, 2020. Now, he takes the presidency of the National Assembly of Maduro for the next year.
Of the many who were elected, Rodriguez is one of the few who had never been a Congressman, but he has been a top elections official, mayor of Caracas, Vice President, and minister.
However, this is not the first time Rodriguez enters the Parliament: in 2016, he headed a mob that assaulted the legislative, damaging the installations and wounding several lawmakers. It was also a new face of Rodriguez, which Venezuelans had never seen before.
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A psychiatrist by training, Rodriguez also for years had a show on state television devoted to attacking the opposition.
His father, the late Jorge Rodriguez, was a 1970s guerrilla who died while in police custody during the investigation of the kidnapping of a US business executive, a tragedy that admittedly marked him and his sister, Delcy, who is the current Vice President from Maduro’s regime.
Rodriguez is one of the several Chavista sanctioned on September 25, 2018, by the United States government through the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Jorge Rodriguez Gomez was born in Barquisimeto, Lara State, 55 years ago. With Chavez, he was a rector of the National Electoral Council (CNE) overseeing many hotly contested elections, which Chavez managed to win again and again. But it has been under Maduro that Rodriguez has jumped from position to position as needed by Maduro: vice president of the Republic, mayor of the Libertador municipality of Caracas for two terms, and minister of Communication.
However, on Twitter, he only identifies himself as “Venezuelan, militant of the Psuv. Candidate for Representative for Caracas.”
On December 7, Rodriguez said that the new legislation would serve as a scenario for rapprochement with other political factors, but not the Juan Guaido-led opposition, whose he accused of embezzling humanitarian aid and being involved in drug trafficking.
“The leaders implicated in crimes against the Republic will have to answer for their acts by the level of destruction they have brought to the National Assembly, of the alliances they have made with aggressive governments against Venezuela and of their relations with the drug trade,” he added.