Who is Maduro?

Man in charge, with Maduro to his right
Man in charge, with Maduro to his right

My take on the big, fat question mark we may be electing tomorrow – over at Transitions, by Foreign Policy. An excerpt:

One of the failures in this campaign is that we have yet to learn much about Maduro’s life prior to politics. Earlier this week, a document presuming to be Maduro’s work evaluation from his days on the subway circulated extensively on the Internet. In it, Maduro comes across as having spent relatively little time on the job and plenty of time working in the unions and taking sick leave. In an interesting side note, the document says Maduro has not graduated from high school; the Maduro campaign has yet to comment on the document’s veracity.

Another interesting aspect is the yet-to-be-refuted claim that Maduro spent considerable time in the 80s living in Cuba. The nature of his alleged stay there has not been explained, but some opposition activists have little doubt that it meant he was part of an  part of an indoctrination program run by the Cuban Communist Party, under the guidance of hardline General Ramiro Valdés. It is widely believed that Chávez picked Maduro as his heir because he is trusted by the Castros. So far Maduro has done little to counter that belief. The broadcast of the Cuban National Anthem during an official act on TV a few days ago, simultaneously broadcast over all TV and radio stations in the country, raised eyebrows. It is however, not clear if Maduro actually sang it as some in the opposition claim.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. What do you guys think about this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjNlB9yGJYg
    JJ Rendón shows a tracking poll where Capriles is around 10 points ahead and talks about how he considers it is very accurate. He compares it to the Colombian election were everyone thought Mockus would be ahead in the first round and Santos ended up beating him comfortably. Nobody expected such a margin, except for JJ, who has the fatal flaw of character of always being right.

  2. I had thought that Maduro’s training in a Cuban cadre-school was well established. One of his fellow-students has made public some photos of Maduro there. http://www.6topoder.com/venezuela/politica/en-fotos-nicolas-maduro-estudio-en-la-habana-hace-27-anos/.

    As well, Chavez’s ex-lover and history professor Herma Marksman believes he was in Cuba before becoming Chavez’s bodyguard, after 1993. http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/130413/maduro-carece-de-capacidad-para-gobernar

  3. Simply: Maduro is an uneducated worker, but perfectly indoctrinated and the service of communism. Is a Cuban agent and better than Chavez, Maduro does not love Venezuela, but communism and Cuba so, for that reason was named successor to Chavez, and tomorrow, the CNE politicized try to legitimize a cheating person whose interest is to destroy the country for a revolution that reclaim blood for broken promises.

  4. I find it peculiar that official propaganda has so little to say about Maduro and his past , origins and career prior to becoming part of the Chavez political machinery . Nothing about his studies or journey to Cuba ( maybe because they know the dangers of linking him too closely to Castro) only that he was a regular bus driver who dabbled in union politics which is not much to say about a man . Nothing about his family life prior to meeting Cilia , The revelation that he started as a trusted bodyguard of Chavez in the early days before his rise to political prominence seems to paint him as a rather gray , mediochre man . His infatuation with esoteric hindu gurus also tells us something about the man , not the kind of thing one would expect from a deeply indoctrinated revolutionary , or an intellectually educated man. His main virtue seems to be having the kind of personality that doesnt naturally raise other people’s distrust or dislike . His showing absolute submission to Chavez , an almost canine loyalty to this very narcicistic man, who could not stand anyone not standing well below his shadow, and ended breaking up with almost all of his former companions may have made him a favourite in Chavez eyes . It is said by people who dealt with him from the opposition during the oil strike and later in Congress that he seemed more conciliatory and reasonable that his fellow Chavista bigwigs. Maybe this explains why Chavez made him International Affairs Minister , a job which clearly requires certain diplomatic skills in a man . His pliability in front of people of authority , his faithfully shadowing every gesture and word of his boss might have attracted the favour of both Castro and Chavez as a man to be trusted . Someone more sanguine and independent with his own power base might on assuming power break away from Cuban guidance, so the safest bet was Maduro the loyal balanced minion who would accept close coaching from the Castro regime . I suspect that for Castro Maduro is an interim man , useful at this time to allow the more reliably indoctrinated jauja and adam chavez time to gain more power inside the regime and ultimately do away with Maduro without much danger of the latter putting up too much of a resistance. What we have seen of Maduro in his earliest days as president and campaigner dont signal a man of strong character and command skills , still there are people who once they occupy power surprise everyone , only time will tell!!

  5. Regime apologists such as Greg Wilpert claim that Maduro “has roots in the labor movement”. This is a way to appeal to the international left. So, would be interesting for someone to investigate his expulsion from the transit union, by a disciplinary tribunal, in 1996. “SE AFILIA A SITRAMECA (SINDICATO DE LOS TRABAJADORES DEL METRO DE CARACAS) EN FECHA 2-9-1991.FUE EXPULSADO DE SITRAMECA EL 15-02-96 POR EL TRIBUNAL DISCIPLINARIO POR CONDUCTA ANTISINDICAL.SE INSCRIBE EN LA ORGANIZACIÓN ASUTMETRO(ASOCIACION UNITARIA DE LOS TRABAJADORES METRO)RECIEN CREADA para esa época, EN FECHA 11-12-96. ”
    Surely someone in the union must remember why this happened; there might even be files left lying around! (If he becomes President, they won’t be there for long.)

  6. Chavez chose Maduro because he didn´t trust Diosdado, Diosdado took the presidential oath quickly after Carmona´s demise, and chavez didn´t like that, chavez believed that he would beat cancer in the ass, and he didn´t want a shark like Diosdado taking care of his royal throne in the meantime


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here