Who is Nicolas Maduro, possible successor to Hugo Chávez?

With his health declining, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez has urged his supporters to vote for his vice president if he becomes too ill to remain in office. 

Matilde Campodonico/AP/File
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, (l.), talks to then Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro at the University of Uruguay in Montevideo, Uruguay in 2007. Chavez is heading back to Cuba on Sunday, for more surgery for cancer, announcing that if he suffers complications Vice President Nicolas Maduro should take his place as Venezuela's leader and continue his socialist movement.

President Hugo Chávez has named Vice President Nicolas Maduro as the heir of his self-styled socialist revolution should cancer force him out of office. He urged Venezuelans to vote for Maduro in the event of a snap election.

Here are some facts about Maduro:

* A former bus driver and trade unionist with Caracas public transport, the mustachioed Maduro, 50, has been foreign minister since 2006 and also was named vice president in October.

* As foreign minister, he has been a faithful ambassador of Chávez's views, including often radical critiques of global affairs from a hard left-wing stance.

* Maduro has won plaudits from foreign diplomats for his affable, easygoing manner. "He's the smoothest and least prickly of all the top Chávistas to deal with," one European envoy said.

* Maduro has been increasingly close to Chávez since his first cancer diagnosis in mid-2011, often at his side in Havana and giving brief updates to Venezuelans, although without giving away too many details of his boss's condition.

* Maduro's trade union background appeals to Chávez's working-class supporters and he is highly respected among the president's inner circle. Past polls have shown that opposition leader Henrique Capriles would beat him in an election but analysts say that could change in a new electoral scenario given that Maduro would have Chávez's blessing.

* Maduro was elected in 2000 as a deputy to the National Assembly, where his combative defense of Chávez's policies made him one of the president's favored proteges.

* He rose to become president of the legislature, and upon becoming foreign minister passed his previous post to his wife, Cilia Flores, a lawyer who became the first woman to serve as National Assembly president, between 2006 and 2011.

* When Chávez was sent to prison following his failed coup attempt in 1992, it was Flores who led the legal team that won his freedom two years later. She now serves as the country's attorney general. She and Maduro are seen as a "power couple" in government circles.

* Chávez' endorsement of Maduro has sidelined ambitions of other powerful Socialist Party figures such as Diosdado Cabello, who was widely considered a candidate for the top job in the future. Cabello, a military man with close ties to the armed forces and business, is not as well liked as Maduro among Venezuelans. He immediately pledged loyalty to both Chávez and the vice president after Chávez made his announcement.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Who is Nicolas Maduro, possible successor to Hugo Chávez?
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2012/1209/Who-is-Nicolas-Maduro-possible-successor-to-Hugo-Chavez
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe