Nicolas Maduro Moros
Nicolas Maduro Moros is always identified as "a former bus driver", as though he started life as a bus driver and somehow drifted into politics. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. In 1986 he obtained a scholarship from the far-left Socialist League political party and studied one year in Cuba. Presumably his training focused on political work. Upon his return, with the help of the Socialist League party, Maduro founded a new bus-driver's labor union. So Maduro is not a "bus driver" - he is a Cuban-trained radical labor organizer. Maduro used to look like a moderate, and Reuters reported on 12 December 2012 that Maduro was "seen as a pragmatic moderate" compared to Chavez. But after being designated the successor to Chavez, he began imitating Chavez’s role, and trying to be more belligerent. Maduro dropped his once “moderate” profile to make heavy use of words like “bourgeoisie” and “imperialism,” words that would come easily to someone trained in Castro's Cuba.
Nicolas Maduro Moros is the Executive Vice President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. He is a standing member of the Leadership Committee (Comando Tactico Nacional) of the Fifth Republic Movement (MVR), the Chavista political party. On 09 December 2012 Hugo Chavez said he was returning to Cuba for more surgery, after a recurrence of cancer led him to name Vice President Nicolas Maduro as his chosen successor should the disease force him from office. Chavez's departure from office would trigger an election within 30 days.
Maduro is married to Chavista National Assembly member Cilia Flores. As of 2006 Flores was serving as a "special envoy" in Lebanon where she vocally criticized US policy. By a unanimous 15 August 2006 vote, National Assembly (AN) Deputy Cilia Flores assumed the AN presidency, replacing her common-law husband, Nicolas Maduro. She remained President of the assembly until January 05, 2011, and was appointed Attorney General of the Republic on 31 January 2012. Maduro and Cilia Flores have one teenage son. Cilia also is the mother of three sons (ages 26, 17, and 15) from a previous marriage. He and his wife are said to consider themselves non-Catholic Christians. Maduro played guitar for a rock band ("Engima") during the 1970's and reportedly turned down a baseball contract from a U.S. Major League Baseball scout.
As stipulated by the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (1999), the country's Executive Vice President is responsible for the presidency if, for any reason, the President is unable to finish out his term. If this occurs during the first four years of the six-year term, the Executive VP holds office until a national presidential election can occur. If the President is unable to govern during the last two years of a period, the Executive VP holds office until the term comes to an end.
Immediately following his 07 October 2012 election victory, Hugo Chavez named labor leader turned Foreign Affairs Minister Nicolas Maduro as the country's new Executive Vice President, replacing Executive VP Elias Jaua, who stepped down to run for Governor of Miranda in elections set for mid-December 2012. A trusted member of President Chavez's cabinet, Maduro had been Vice President of the Council of Ministers since November 2010. International media responded to Chavez's announcement by suggesting that Maduro is the President's “most-likely successor”, while politically correct media focused their reporting on Maduro's “close ties to Cuba” and “unwavering loyalty to Chavez”.
The Associated Press (AP), for example, wrote, “Maduro, a burly former bus driver, is considered the member of Chavez's government with the closest ties to Cuba's Fidel and Raul Castro”. AP added that “the vice presidential job has assumed new importance because of Chavez's recent struggle with cancer” and, providing no evidence to back its claims, affirmed that “rumors have circulated that Maduro is being groomed as his (Chavez's) successor”. EFE quoted Vladimir Villegas, a former Chavez advocate turned opposition spokesman, who described Maduro as “the government's political cadre with the greatest potential”. Using Chavez's successful bout with cancer as cause for uncertainty, Villegas called Maduro “the government's heavyweight, which is why the President (Chavez) chose him to be his number two while he attends to his ‘health issues'”.
Venezuelan political analyst Nicmer Evans explained, “Chavez must of course have a great deal of trust in someone to name them Executive Vice President… but that doesn't mean people should begin to see phantoms nor successors”. The Office of the Vice President is a high-level government institution of strategic importance that works with the President of the Republic on government action and direction. The Vice President coordinates the public bureaucracy and evaluates public policies with the purpose of guaranteeing effective governance.
Nicolas Maduro Moros was born in Caracas, Venezuela, on 23 November 1962. Moros became politically active in high school in the 1970s and 1980s. Raised in a prominent Democratic Action (AD) family, Maduro moved to the extreme left. He received in 1986 a scholarship from the David Nieves Socialist League political party and studied one year in Cuba. Upon his return, he served as a member of the Socialist League's National Committee and the party's Caracas Regional Committee.
With the help of the Socialist League party, Maduro started his professional career as a driver for the Caracas MetroBus, the above-ground bus system that links the city's metro stations to bus routes. He was a founder of the new Union of the Metro de Caracas (SITRAMECA), and his leadership skills in the transportation workers' union got him elected president of the union, a position he retained until he joined Chavez's first successful election campaign in 1998.
Maduro was a civilian coordinator in the failed February 4, 1992, coup attempt against former President Carlos Andres Perez. He first met President Chavez when he visited Chavez at Yare Prison in December 1993.
Maduro was a member of the movement Bolivariano Revolucionario 200 (MBR-200), and a member of the national direction MBR-200 (1994-1997). He was a national founder of the Bolivarian force of workers (FBT), and National Coordinator of the Bolivarian workers force. He rose to become the coordinator of the pro-government Bolivarian Federation of Workers (FBT). He ran unsuccessfully in 1999 as Chavez's candidate for President of Venezuela's largest labor union, the Confederation of Venezuelan Workers (CTV). With his extensive contacts in the labor movement, Maduro played key role in launching the Movement for the Fifth Republic (MVR), the mass social movement that propelled Chavez to victory in the 1998 election. Maduro was Coordinator of the parliamentary team of the movement Fifth Republic (MVR) (2000-2001), and Team Coordinator parliamentarian of the change in the National Assembly (AN) block.
He served as a Member of the Congress of the Republic of Venezuela. 23 January 1999 to 15 December 1999. In the Congress of the Republic of Venezuela he was the Head of Fraction of the Fifth Republic movement (MVR). Maduro was a Member of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs (with special relevance in the debates on the issue of the minimum wage of workers). He was also a Member of the Permanent Commission on Social media, of the Permanent Commission on youth, recreation and sports, and of the Permanent Commission on citizen participation.
Maduro was a Constituent of the National Constituent Assembly from the month of August 1999 until January 2000. He served as the President of the Commission of citizen participation, and as a Member of the Committee on economic and Social.
Maduro was elected Deputy Chief for the Federal District for the five year period 2000-2005 activity in the National Assembly in the year 2000. He served as the President of the Permanent Commission of Integral Social development, and a Member of the Permanent Commission of citizen participation, decentralization and Regional development. He was a member or the Special Commission responsible for drafting the draft internal regulation and Debates of the National Assembly. on August 26, 2000, and of the Joint Commission appointed to study the Bill that authorizes the President to issue decrees with the force of law in matters delegated, 03 October 2000. He also served on the Commission of liaison between the National Assembly and the National Executive for the follow-up to the implementation of the law authorizing the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to issue decrees with the force of law in matters delegated, 23 November 2000.
His activity in the National Assembly in the year 2001 included serving as President of the Permanent Commission of Integral Social development, and Chairman of the Joint Committee that studies legislative initiatives for the promotion of employment. on February 15, 2001. Maduro was also a Member of the parliamentary group of friendship Venezuela-Argentina, the parliamentary group of friendship Venezuela - Syria, and the parliamentary group of friendship Venezuela - Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
In the National Assembly in 2002 he served as President of the Permanent Commission of Integral Social development. He was a Member of the Permanent Commission of citizen participation, decentralization and Regional development, and of the Joint Commission for the study of the law's protection to the mortgagor. on January 31, 2002. He was Chairman of the Joint Committee that studies legislative initiatives for the promotion of employment, 15 February 2002. He also served on the Special Commission to mediate in conflict in PDVSA, March 05, 2002, and the Commission on peace and democracy. October 01, 2002. Maduro served as one of the government's six representatives to the 2002-2003 OAS mediation efforts between the government and opposition.
His activity in the National Assembly in 2003 consisted of serving as a Member of the Permanent Commission of Integral Social development. In the National Assembly in 2004 he was a Member of the Standing Committee on finance. In the National Assembly in 2005 he was President of the National Assembly. He was also a Member of the Standing Committee on finance, and the Special Commission to investigate a new coup against the Government of President Hugo Rafael Chavez Frías, with participation of Colombian paramilitaries - May 18, 2005.
National Assembly president Nicolas Maduro said in late December 2005 that the new legislature would champion the crusade against corruption, mentioning the need to integrate the parliament with the people to fight the problem effectively. Of the 51 bills the chamber says it will pass, five deal with corruption: the organic penal law against corruption, a reform of the bidding law, the parliamentary ethics and discipline code, the social comptroller special law, and a reform of the law regulating public officials' appearance before the legislature.
Maduro's activity in the National Assembly in 2006 included service as President of the National Assembly from January until August 2006. The all pro-Chavez National Assembly (AN) was a result of the opposition's last-minute electoral boycott. Maduro loyally and firmly pushed through Chavez's legislative program, including laws that stacked the Venezuelan Supreme Court, restricted public protests, and infringed on press freedom. As President of the National Assembly, Maduro declined to meet with US Embassy officials, although he did make himself available to some visiting U.S. congressional delegations and some Department officials, including WHA/AND Director French. He was a sometime participant in the U.S.-Venezuelan bipartisan legislative forum, or "Boston Group," when the Venezuelan government was more open to US Government contacts.
Maduro has traveled extensively as President of the National Assembly, especially to the Middle East, in an effort to promote the BRV's "anti-Empire" campaign. Maduro was first elected President of the National Assembly in January 2004 and used this position as a platform to deliver some of Venezula's most outrageous, public anti-American attacks. To cite just a few of Maduro's many broadsides aimed at the US Government, Maduro:
- blamed a February 2006 trucking strike on "international agencies" and speculated on CIA involvement;
- warmly welcomed an Iranian parliamentary delegation in February 2006 and criticized the U.S. government for its policy on Iran's nuclear program; and,
- attributed in January 2005 tensions between Colombia and Venezuela to the "black hand of the United States."
On 14 February 2006, the Venezuelan National Assembly received a delegation of Iranian legislators, including the President of the Iranian Parliament Gholamali Haddad Adel, who emphasized that the governments of Venezuela and Iran were united in the fight against imperialism and committed to strengthening bilateral relations. Adel and Venezuelan National Assembly President Nicolas Maduro jointly criticized the US government for opposing nuclear energy programs in countries like Iran while allegedly supporting Israel's acquisition of nuclear weapons.
President Chavez threatened on 14 June 2006 to review private television and radio licenses. National Assembly President Nicolas Maduro lauded Chavez's initiative, calling television programming "pornography" which permeates throughout society, "just like in the United States." Maduro called for debate on the subject of a new communication paradigm in Venezuela, one that does not require the country to become entirely prudish but one that uses the power of the media to "stimulate values of co-existence, love, and society."
In August 2006 Maduro was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Maduro became Chavez's sixth Foreign Minister in less than eight years. The appointment of Nicolas Maduro as Foreign Minister denoted a further radicalization of Chavez's foreign policy. Outgoing Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez was said to be too sick to continue in office. Rodriguez has served as Foreign Minister since November 21, 2004, but had suffered from prostrate cancer, heart trouble, and recently underwent knee replacement surgery in Cuba. President Chavez's designated former foreign minister Ali Rodriguez as Ambassador to Cuba on 31 August 2006.
By a unanimous 15 August 3006 vote, National Assembly (AN) Deputy Cilia Flores assumed the AN presidency, replacing her common-law husband, Nicolas Maduro. Upon her Assembly victory, Flores immediately promised that the AN would continue to support the Bolivarian revolution with the laws it requires, as well as bring the "politics of the parliament closer to the street." In line with Maduro's quest to ensure the opposition-less legislature remains focused on helping to press Chavez's agenda rather than on internal squabbles, Flores commented that the AN must assume its legislative responsibility with "more passion" in order to better serve the revolution. Flores also announced that she would convoke special legislative sessions to approve additional laws.
Flores had substantial anti-US credentials to go along with her new job title. In March 2006, she led the International Women's Day March that culminated in a protest outside the US Embassy, where she delivered a petition against "US imperialist aggression" and demanded the United States withdraw troops from Iraq. Flores had also been part of recent outreach efforts -- spearheaded by Maduro -- toward the Middle East. Flores went in early August 2006 to Syria and Lebanon, where she and other AN deputies delivered a document "supporting the struggle of these peoples and rejecting the current massacre of innocent people." She is also reportedly a member of the Venezuela-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group, which was established in February 2006 during the visit of Iran's parliamentary president to Venezuela. She remained President of the assembly until January 05, 2011, the day of the installation of the new National Assembly.
Successful with numerous efforts to advance Latin American unity and integration while Foreign Minister, Maduro has become one of the most widely-recognized voices of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution. As Foreign Minister, he oversaw the expansion of the Bolivarian Alliance for the People's of the Americas (ALBA), the consolidation of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), and the birth, in December 2011, of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac). Minister Maduro also firmly pushed for Venezuela's acceptance into the Common Market of the South (Mercosur). A strong advocate of a “multi-polar” world, in direct opposition to US imperialism and the Washington Consensus in Latin America, Maduro also worked to strengthen ties between Venezuela and China, Russia, Belarus, Iran, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, and Bolivia.
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