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Nicolas Maduro

This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Maduro and the second or maternal family name is Moros.

Nicolás Maduro
President of Venezuela
Incumbent
Assumed office
19 April 2013
Acting: 5 March 2013 – 19 April 2013
Vice President Jorge Arreaza
Preceded by Hugo Chávez
Vice President of Venezuela
In office
13 October 2012 – 5 March 2013
President Hugo Chávez
Preceded by Elías Jaua
Succeeded by Jorge Arreaza
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
9 August 2006 – 15 January 2013
President Hugo Chávez
Preceded by Alí Rodríguez Araque
Succeeded by Elías Jaua
Speaker of the National Assembly
In office
January 2005 – 7 August 2006
Preceded by Francisco Ameliach
Succeeded by Cilia Flores
Personal details
Born Nicolás Maduro Moros
(1962-11-23) 23 November 1962 (age 51)
Political party Fifth Republic Movement (Before 2007)
United Socialist Party (2007–present)
Spouse(s) Cilia Flores
Signature

Nicolás Maduro Moros (Spanish pronunciation: [nikoˈlaz maˈðuɾo ˈmoɾos]; born 23 November 1962) is a Venezuelan politician who is the current President of Venezuela. He was previously the Vice President of Venezuela and the Minister of Foreign Affairs under President Hugo Chávez.

A former bus driver, Maduro rose to become a trade union leader, before being elected to the National Assembly in 2000. He was appointed to a number of positions within the Venezuelan Government under Chávez, ultimately being made Foreign Minister in 2006. He was described during this time as the "most capable administrator and politician of Chávez's inner circle".[1]

After Chávez's death was announced on 5 March 2013, Maduro assumed the powers and responsibilities of the President. A special election was held on 14 April of the same year to elect a new President, which he won by a tight margin as the candidate of the United Socialist Party; he was formally inaugurated on 19 April.[2]

Early life and education

Nicolás Maduro was born on 23 November 1962 in Caracas, Venezuela, the son of a union leader.[3][4] He attended a public high school at the Liceo José Ávalos in El Valle, a working-class neighborhood on the western outskirts of Caracas.[5][4] His first introduction to politics was when he became a member of his high school's student union.[3]

Maduro was raised as a Roman Catholic, and his paternal family ancestry is of Sephardic Jewish origin.[6][7][8][9][10]

Early political career

After leaving school, Maduro found employment as a bus driver for many years. He began his political career in the 1980s, by becoming an unofficial trade unionist representing the bus drivers of the Caracas Metro system. He was also employed as a bodyguard for José Vicente Rangel during Rangel's unsuccessful 1983 presidential campaign.[11] During the 1990s, Maduro was instrumental in founding the Movement of the Fifth Republic, which supported Hugo Chávez in his run for president in 1998.[5]

National Assembly

Maduro was elected on the MVR ticket to the Venezuelan Chamber of Deputies in 1998, to the National Constituent Assembly in 1999, and finally to the National Assembly in 2000, at all times representing the Capital District. The Assembly elected him as Speaker, a role he held from 2005 until 2006.

Foreign Minister

On 9 August 2006, Maduro was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. According to Rory Carroll, Maduro does not speak foreign languages.[12] During his time as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Venezuela's foreign policy stances included support for Libya under Muammar Gaddafi, and a turnaround in relations with Colombia.[13]

Vice President of Venezuela

Chávez appointed Maduro Vice President of Venezuela on 13 October 2012, shortly after his victory in that month's presidential election. Two months later, on 8 December 2012, Chávez announced that his recurring cancer had returned and that he would be returning to Cuba for emergency surgery and further medical treatment. Chávez said that should his condition worsen and a new presidential election be called to replace him, Venezuelans should vote for Maduro to succeed him. This was the first time that Chávez named a potential successor to his movement, as well as the first time he publicly acknowledged the possibility of his demise.[14][15]

Chávez's endorsement of Maduro sidelined Diosdado Cabello, a former Vice President and powerful Socialist Party official with ties to the armed forces, who had been widely considered a top candidate to be Chávez's successor. After Maduro was endorsed by Chávez, Cabello "immediately pledged loyalty" to both men.[16]

Interim President

My firm opinion, as clear as the full moon – irrevocable, absolute, total – is...that you elect Nicolas Maduro as President. I ask this of you from my heart. He is one of the young leaders with the greatest ability to continue, if I cannot.

Hugo Chávez (December 2012)[13]

Upon the death of Chávez on 5 March 2013, Maduro assumed the powers and responsibilities of the President. He appointed Jorge Arreaza to take his place as Vice President. Since Chávez died within the first four years of his term, the Constitution of Venezuela states that a presidential election had to be held within 30 days of his death.[17][18][19] Maduro was unanimously adopted as the Socialist Party's candidate in that election.[20] At the time of his assumption of temporary power, opposition leaders argued that Maduro violated articles 229, 231, and 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution, by assuming power over the President of the National Assembly.[21][22]

In his speech during the short ceremony in which he formally took over the powers of the President, Maduro said: "Compatriots, I am not here out of personal ambition, out of vanity, or because my surname Maduro is a part of the rancid oligarchy of this country. I am not here because I represent financial groups, neither of the oligarchy nor of American imperialism...I am not here to protect mafias nor groups nor factions."[23][24]

President of Venezuela

On 14 April 2013, Maduro was elected President of Venezuela, narrowly defeating opposition candidate Henrique Capriles with just 1.5% of the vote separating the two candidates. Capriles immediately demanded a recount, refusing to recognize the outcome as valid.[25] Maduro was later formally inaugurated as President on 19 April, after the election commission had promised a full audit of the election results.[2][26]

One of the first important presidency programs of Nicolas Maduro became the "Safe Homeland" program, a massive police and military campaign to build security in the country. Thousands police and troops were deployed to decrease homicide in Venezuela, which is one of highest in Latin America and world. Most of these troops were deployed in the state of Miranda (Greater Caracas) which has the highest homicide rate in Venezuela. According to the government, the program has reduced homicides by 55%.[27][28] Some commentators say that besides Miranda having the highest rates of homicide rate and criminality, Maduro may also have chosen to focus on Miranda because it is governed by his political rival, Henrique Capriles, thus giving Maduro the chance to be seen fixing a serious problem that has grown sharply during Capriles' time as governor.

On 5 July 2013, Maduro offered humanitarian asylum to ex-US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.[29]

In October 2013 Nicolás Maduro requested an enabling law to fight corruption.[30][31] Maduro also said the law was necessary to fight an 'economic war'.[32]

On 24 October 2013 the president announced the creation of a new agency, the Vice Ministry of Supreme Happiness, to coordinate all the social programmes.[33]

Ideological orientation

According to Professor Ramón Piñango, a sociologist from the Venezuelan University of IESA, "Maduro has a very strong ideological orientation, close to the communist ideology. Contrary to Diosdado, he is not very pragmatic."[4] However, the World Socialist Web Site has argued that Maduro intends to roll back Chávez's reforms, noting that, "In the conduct of his campaign, Maduro has continued his appeal to right-wing and nationalist sentiments, with repeated invocations of patriotism and the fatherland".[34]

Personal life

Maduro is married to Cilia Flores, a lawyer and politician who replaced Maduro as President of the National Assembly in August 2006, when he was resigned to become Minister of Foreign Affairs; she became the first woman to serve as President of the National Assembly.[35]

References

External links

  • Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores (Venezuelan Foreign Ministry) (Spanish)
  • Biography by CIDOB (Spanish)


Political offices
Preceded by
Alí Rodríguez Araque
Minister of Foreign Affairs
2006–2013
Succeeded by
Elías Jaua
Preceded by
Elías Jaua
Vice President of Venezuela
2012–2013
Succeeded by
Jorge Arreaza
Preceded by
Hugo Chávez
President of Venezuela
2013–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Hugo Chávez
Leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela
2013–present
Incumbent

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