Maduro Moros, Nicolás

Maduro Moros, Nicolás,

1962–, Venezuelan trade union and political leader. He was trained as a union organizer in Cuba, and later became a leader in an unofficial transit union while working as a bus driver. In the early 1990s he joined Hugo ChávezChávez Frías, Hugo Rafael
, 1954–2013, Venezuelan political leader, president of Venezuela (1999–2013). Raised in poverty, he was educated at the Military Academy of Venezuela (grad. 1975).
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's movement, and when Chávez failed in his attempted coup and was jailed (1992), Maduro campaigned for his release. In 1999, after Chávez was elected president, Maduro helped draft a new constitution. He was elected to National Assembly in 2000, becoming deputy speaker and then speaker. In 2006 Chávez named him foreign minister; in 2012 he was appointed vice president. After Chávez died in 2013, Maduro became interim president and then was elected president. Price controls, the collapse of oil prices, and increasingly strong political opposition contributed to economic and popular crises beginning in 2014, and Maduro regularly accused his opponents of attempted coups and increasingly investigated or arrested opposition politicians. The 2015 opposition landslide in legislative elections was largely regarded as a rejection of his policies. Beginning in Jan., 2016, he ruled by decree with the approval of the supreme court as the economy collapsed, resulting in widespread food shortages; he subsequently faced increasing demonstrations against his rule. In mid-2017 he secured the creation of a constitutional assembly to supersede the national assembly.