Profile: Nicolas Maduro

1) Maduro was the youngest speaker in the Venezuelan National Assembly at the age of 21. 2) Chavez appointed him Venezuela’s first vice-president. Maduro was Chavez’s heir apparent and would have been the country’s…

Profile: Nicolas Maduro

1) Maduro was the youngest speaker in the Venezuelan National Assembly at the age of 21.

2) Chavez appointed him Venezuela’s first vice-president. Maduro was Chavez’s heir apparent and would have been the country’s president-elect had he not dropped out of the race in 2010.

3) Maduro was sworn in to the position last Sunday as acting president amid opposition protests.

4) Maduro’s father was the first leader of Isla.

5) Despite being the first vice-president, Maduro rarely speaks to Chavez, but was said to rely on his former boss for advice.

6) Maduro is a former union leader and justice minister.

7) He previously served as president of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA.

8) His wife and four children live in Miraflores palace, which Chavez also owns.

9) Opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski has criticised Maduro for relying too heavily on Chavez as a mentor and adviser.

10) Maduro is popular among poor Venezuela voters who saw him as the best representative of their struggle against corruption and galloping inflation.

11) He has pledged to preserve the country’s massive oil reserves and social welfare programmes.

12) He previously threatened to take the constitution seriously and single-handedly oust an “imperialist” opposition if they try to bring down his government.

13) He once called the poor Venezuelan opposition a “band of terrorists” and a “new cancer”.

14) Maduro has compared himself to founding fathers Simón Bolívar and Simon Bolivar, arguing that his goal is to help Venezuela regain its “original” glory.

15) His neighbours describe him as a brutal and violent man who slaughtered innocent villagers.

16) In 1998, he ordered the firing of police officers who were running from a pro-Chavez mob and killing citizens.

17) In January 2001, he was charged with murder in relation to the deaths of around 70 civilians.

18) In June 2002, he was dismissed as head of PDVSA and placed under house arrest on corruption charges, while Chavez was in exile in Cuba.

19) Maduro was supposed to be in power during the short period of US sanctions on Venezuela.

20) In October 2010, he was briefly removed from office by street protests over alleged abuse of power.

21) He once called his wife a “prostitute”.

22) He has been accused of rape by a former girlfriend.

23) He was found to have been responsible for the death of a child in a cholera outbreak in 2012.

24) A nurse filed a paternity suit against him after believing he was the father of a child born to another family member.

25) In 2004, his son, Nicholas Maduro Rodríguez, was arrested on a drug and weapons charge after blowing himself up on a compound near the Colombian border.

26) He was convicted in 2006, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

27) Two months before Nicolas Maduro was born, his parents were detained for embezzlement in a tunnel under Miraflores.

28) His mother was accused of manipulating the country’s currency.

29) A military association alleged that he began his cocaine trafficking business at the age of 12.

30) He was an active member of the International Socialist Movement, the Lord’s Resistance Army, and the Soviet Chinese Socialist Party during the 1970s and 1980s.

31) When he was 16, he was imprisoned for throwing acid at a woman in a supermarket.

32) He was accused of kidnapping and killing a Cuban journalist.

33) In 2003, he entered as a candidate for president in an independent bid for the Liberal Leadership party, the current name of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

34) He abandoned the campaign to become president at the last minute in 2005 after its candidate dropped out.

35) His team accused Capriles Radonski of manoeuvring the two men into a head-to-head presidential duel.

36) An observer sent to two rallies between the two men was assaulted.

37) A poll published by Caracas-based firm Datanalisis on Friday showed that Maduro could win in October with 53.2 per cent of the vote.

38) Maduro has been mocked online for a highly unusual handshake he embraced his opposition rival on Wednesday.

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