Nicolás Maduro

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Person.png Nicolás Maduro  
(politician)
Nicolas Maduro.jpg
Born Nicolás Maduro Moros
1962-11-23
Caracas, Venezuela
Children Nicolás Maduro Guerra
Spouse Cilia Flores
Party United Socialist Party,  Fifth Republic Movement
Website http://www.nicolasmaduro.org.ve/

Employment.png President of Venezuela Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
19 April 2013 - Present

Employment.png Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement

In office
17 September 2016 - Present
Preceded by Hassan Rouhani

Employment.png Vice President of Venezuela

In office
13 October 2012 - 5 March 2013

Employment.png Minister of Foreign Affairs

In office
9 August 2006 - 15 January 2013

Employment.png President of the National Assembly

In office
5 January 2005 - 7 August 2006

Nicolás Maduro (born 23 November 1962) is a Venezuelan politician who has been the President of Venezuela since his formal inauguration on 19 April 2013. Previously he served under President Hugo Chávez as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2013 and as Vice President of Venezuela from 2012 to 2013. After Chávez's death on 5 March 2013, Maduro assumed the powers and responsibilities of the president. A special election was held on 14 April 2013 to elect a new president, and Nicolas Maduro won with 50.62% of the votes as the candidate of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).[1]

Nicolás Maduro is, since September 2016, Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement, which has condemned the United States for its unilateral coercive measures against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.[2]

Election meddling

A week before the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) elections took place on 30 July 2017, President Maduro accused the United States of plotting “regime change” in Caracas after CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a comment about discussing “transition” in Venezuela with regional partners.[3]

Following months of street protests and clashes in which more than 100 people had died and, despite the violence and an opposition boycott, more than 8 million people participated in the democratic process by casting their votes for the 545 NCA members, who will be empowered to draft a new constitution.

Ahead of the vote, the US Treasury had already slapped sanctions on 13 senior Venezuelan officials for allegedly “undermining democracy” with the initiative. According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the White House considers the elections held in Venezuela to be illegitimate and holds Maduro responsible:

“Yesterday’s illegitimate elections confirm that Maduro is a dictator who disregards the will of the Venezuelan people,” Mnuchin said in a statement. “By sanctioning Maduro, the United States makes clear our opposition to the policies of his regime and our support for the people of Venezuela who seek to return their country to a full and prosperous democracy.”

President Maduro promised to continue to protect his country, despite the newly announced sanctions. In a televised address to the nation, the president emphasised that he does not "take orders from the empire," telling his American counterpart, "Keep up your sanctions, Donald Trump!"

"I am proud of the alleged sanctions... because I do not wag my tail like a lying dog," Maduro said Monday after the Election Commission announced Sunday's voter's turnout. "I am punished for defending the natural resources of Venezuelan lands. I am the independent president of a free nation," he said, according to Globovision. "You're with Trump or Venezuela, you're with Trump or with democracy, you're with Trump or the free world."

President Maduro claimed victory in Sunday’s vote, but a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, the US and Argentina refused to recognise the election. Russia, however, praised the vote as laying the basis for a peaceful resolution of the contradictions plaguing Venezuelan society:

“We regret to note that opposition forces did not respond to the call to take part in the vote, but instead tried to hamper the elections, provoking clashes that have resulted in loss of life. We urge the opposing parties to stop the pointless violent confrontation.”[4]

The newly elected NCA quickly voted to remove Luisa Ortega from her role as Venezuela's Chief Prosecutor.[5]

Dictatorship or Democracy

On 19 July 2017, Abby Martin published a video entitled "Empire Files: Constituent Assembly Dictatorship or Democracy in Venezuela?" with the following commentary:

On July 30th, Venezuelans will elect a people's body called the 'Constituent Assembly' comprised of hundreds of representatives across the country with the power to redraft the constitution.
US politicians, press and opposition in Venezuela are calling the process a "coup" that should be boycotted by all.
Abby Martin addresses the criticisms with Head of the Presidential Commission to oversee the Constituent Assembly process, Elias Jaua, speaks to supporters and participants of the Assembly, interviews historian Chris Gilbert and explains what is at stake in Venezuela if the social programmes instituted under Chávez are terminated by the opposition.[6]

On 1 August 2017, President Donald Trump warned Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro to release two opposition leaders seized by masked government agents and denounced his regime as a “dictatorship":

“The United States condemns the actions of the Maduro dictatorship,” Trump said in a statement released hours after the Venezuelan government took opposition figures Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma into custody. “Mr Lopez and Mr Ledezma are political prisoners being held illegally by the regime,” Trump said, adding that Washington would hold Mr Maduro “personally responsible for the health and safety of Mr Lopez, Mr Ledezma, and any others seized. We reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners,” Trump said.[7]

Mutual respect

Speaking for the first time at the Constituent Assembly on 10 August 2017, President Maduro invited the governments of Latin America to take part in a meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, in an effort to improve relations:

“To all the presidents, I call on them to approve a meeting and through mutual dialogue, we can find a solution," said Maduro. “Respect is the only path to peace, not threats or violence or the economic and commercial blockade."

Maduro also invited the United States to agree to "mutually respectful" dialogue, adding that he will be in New York in September for the United Nations General Assembly.

President Maduro's invitation follows an earlier plea for dialogue after a group of neighbouring countries took part in a meeting in Peru to discuss isolationist measures against the Venezuelan government. In the face of these threats, Maduro announced he would activate a national constituent process to strengthen the structure of the Bolivarian Armed Forces.

During the special session, the NCA ratified Nicolás Maduro as the President of Venezuela.[8]

 

Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Coordinating Regime Change in Iran and Venezueladiplomatic communication25 August 2010Trowbridge FordIran and Venezuela, prime candidates for regime change
Ken Livingstone: Venezuela should have followed my economic adviceInterview3 August 2017Julia Hartley-Brewer
Luke Dolan
"America played a major part in Venezuela's current crisis but we won't know until 30 years from now, when all the papers get published."
Venezuela critics are just Blairites having a kick at Jeremy CorbynInterview7 August 2017George Galloway
Luke Dolan
For nineteen years the United States government and its secret agents have been trying to overthrow the Venezuela political process. Why might that be? Well, there are many reasons but the biggest among them has the smallest name: OIL.


References