Nicolás Maduro (Nicolás Maduro Moros) was born on November 23, 1962, in Caracas, Venezuela. Maduro worked as a bus driver before being named foreign minister of his home country in 2006. He worked as a bus driver for Caracas Metro and belonged to the transit union. Maduro campaigned for Hugo Chavez’s release from prison for the 1992 attempted coup to overthrow President Carlos Andres Perez. After Chavez’s release, Maduro helped him found the political party Fifth Republic Movement.
After Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez won a third term in October 2012, he selected Maduro to serve as vice president. Maduro worked alongside the outspoken president until Chávez’s death in March 2013. Prior to his passing, Chávez publicly named Maduro his successor. In April 2013, Maduro won the Venezuelan presidency in a close election against candidate Henrique Capriles.
Nicolás Maduro officially entered politics in the late ’90s. He was elected to the National Constituent Assembly in 1999, and later won election to the National Assembly. In 2005, he became speaker of the Assembly.
The following year, in August 2006, Maduro was named foreign minister of Venezeula. Following his new appointment, his wife, Cilia Flores, an attorney, took over as Assembly speaker.
After President Chávez won a fourth term in October 2012, he selected Maduro to serve as vice president. Maduro worked alongside the outspoken president, serving as one of his closest advisers as well as a loyal spokesman, until Chávez’s death on March 5, 2013, at the age of 58, from cancer. Prior to his passing, in December 2012, Chávez named Maduro his preferred successor.
Soon after news of Chávez’s death broke in March 2013, reports outlined speculation that the differing political styles of Nicolás Maduro and National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello could prove problematic for Venezuela, following Maduro’s ascension to the presidency.
During his 2013 presidential campaign, Maduro pledged to complete the socialist transformation of Venezuela begun by Chavez, to increase gun control in the country’s impoverished areas, and to increase the nation’s minimum wage by 30 to 40 percent.
In April 2013, Maduro won a close election against presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, winning by a less than two percentage point margin. Of the narrow election results, Maduro told The Washington Post, “Yesterday and today I said it—I win with one vote, I win. If I lose with one vote, I turn over [power] immediately. The electoral authorities said what the people wanted.” He later added, “These are the people of Chavez. This is Chavez’s place. Chavez continues as an example for us! I am ensuring the legacy of my commander, Chavez, the eternal father.”
The Guardian reported that voter turnout was around 78.71 percent, down from the October 2012 election’s 80.4 percent of the nation’s nearly 19 million registered voters.
Nicolás Maduro Moros Quick Facts:
Birth name: Nicolás Maduro Moros
Father: Nicolás Maduro García
Mother: Teresa de Jesús Moros
Marriage: Cilia Flores
Children: Nicolás Jr.
- 1983 – Bodyguard for presidential hopeful Jose Vicente Rangel.
- 1992 – Is introduced to Chavez.
- 1999 – Maduro is elected to the National Constituent Assembly, the body convened to draft a new constitution.
- 2000 – Is elected to the National Assembly, the country’s legislative branch of government
- 2005-2006 – Serves as Speaker of the National Assembly.
- 2006-2013 – Serves as Foreign Minister.
- October 12, 2012 – Is selected by President Chavez to serve as his vice president.
- December 9, 2012 – Facing his fourth surgery for cancer, Chavez endorses Maduro to succeed him.
- March 8, 2013 – Is sworn in as interim president following the death of Chavez three days earlier.
- April 14, 2013 – Wins the presidential election by fewer than two percentage points over Henrique Capriles Radonski.
- April 19, 2013 – Maduro is sworn in a day after the National Electoral Council announces plans to complete an audit of votes cast in the April 14 election.
- September 30, 2013 – Maduro announces on state-run TV that he is expelling three US diplomats. He claims they were involved in a widespread power outage earlier in the month. “Get out of Venezuela,” he says, listing several names. “Yankee go home. Enough abuses already.”
- February 12, 2014 – Ongoing student protests attract global attention when three people are killed. Major social and economic problems have fueled the protests, with some blaming the government for those problems.
- February 20, 2014 – Venezuela revokes press credentials for CNN journalists in the country and denies them for other CNN journalists entering the country, following Maduro’s announcement that he would expel CNN if it did not “rectify” its coverage of anti-government protests, calling it war propaganda.
- February 21, 2014 – Maduro calls for US President Barack Obama to “accept the challenge” of holding direct talks with Venezuela.
- February 22, 2014 – Venezuela reissues press credentials for CNN journalists in the country.
- January 15, 2016 – Following the release of years of economic data, Maduro declares a state of “economic emergency.”
- May 13, 2016 – Maduro declares a “constitutional state of emergency,” which expands on the “economic emergency” he declared in January.
- October 30, 2016 – Maduro sits down to engage in talks with political opponents for the first time in two years, in order to find a compromise among Venezuelan political parties.
- July 31, 2017 – The US Treasury Department sanctions freeze Maduro’s assets subject to US jurisdiction and bar US citizens from dealing with him. This comes a day after elections are held for a new lawmaking body in Venezuela. The department says the National Constituent Assembly “aspires illegitimately to usurp the constitutional role of the democratically elected National Assembly, rewrite the constitution, and impose an authoritarian regime on the people of Venezuela.”
- January 24, 2018 – Announces he will run for re-election.
- May 20, 2018 – Maduro is re-elected president with 68% of the vote. Turnout is 46%, below the 2013 rate, which was 80%. Henri Falcon, his opponent, says he will not recognize the results. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounces the election as a sham.
- May 21, 2018 – An alliance of 14 Latin American nations and Canada, known as the Lima Group, releases a statement calling the vote illegitimate. They will “decrease their diplomatic relations with Venezuela” and call back their ambassadors in Caracas for “consultation.” The alliance includes Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and St. Lucia.
- August 4, 2018 – Survives an apparent assassination attempt after several drones armed with explosives fly toward him during a speech at a military parade. Maduro blames the attack on far-right elements and Colombia’s outgoing president, Juan Manuel Santos. A Colombian presidential source tells CNN that Maduro’s accusations are “baseless.”
- August 5, 2018 – Venezuela’s Interior Minister Néstor Reverol says that six people have been arrested after the apparent assassination attempt on Maduro.
- September 8, 2018 – A report is published in the New York Times detailing secret meetings between US officials and Venezuelan military officers planning a coup against Maduro. CNN confirms the report, which describes a series of meetings over the course of a year. Ultimately, the US government decided not to back the coup.
- September 17, 2018 – Maduro is criticized for eating a lavish meal by celebrity chef Nusret Gökçe, also known as Salt Bae, in the midst of a food crisis.
- September 25, 2018 – The United States imposes sanctions on Maduro’s wife and three other members of his inner circle, as an attempt to weaken his grip on power.
- September 26, 2018 – Maduro speaks at the UN General Assembly, calling the humanitarian crisis in his country a “fabrication.” He accuses the United States and its Latin American allies of “trying to put their hands in our country.”
- October 8, 2018 – One of the suspects in the apparent assassination attempt, a Maduro critic named Fernando Albán, dies in a fall from the tenth floor of a building. Intelligence officials say Albán’s death was a suicide, but critics accuse the regime of murder amid a crackdown on opposition groups and human rights activists.
- January 10, 2019 – Maduro begins another six years in power.
- January 23, 2019 – Juan Guaido, leader of the opposition who has been head of the National Assembly for three weeks, declares himself acting president amid widespread anti-government protests. The United States and other countries, including Canada, Argentina and Brazil, recognize Guaido as president. Maduro gives US diplomats 72 hours to leave Venezuela.
Assassination attempt of Nicolás Maduro
In August 2018, Maduro survived what appeared to be an assassination attempt carried out by drones armed with explosives. The president was delivering a speech at a military parade in the capital of Caracas when two explosions sounded; seven members of the national guard were hurt, though Maduro escaped unscathed.
Venezuela’s attorney general said he immediately ordered an investigation into the episode. Meanwhile, Maduro pinned the assassination attempt on far-right entities and outgoing Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, an accusation that Santos’s office called “baseless.”
- Nicolás Maduro Biography and Profile