Who is Nicolas Maduro? 5 Facts About Hugo Chavez's Possible Successor
The king is dead. Long live the king.
Following news that Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez has died of cancer at 58 in Caracas, here's five facts about Nicolas Maduro, Chavez's successor:
1. From Bus Driver to Minister of Foreign Affairs: Maduro, born on November 23, 1962, went from bus driver to union leader to congressman to foreign minister and now to president.
2. Married Into Power: Maduro is married to Cilia Flores, a prominent lawyer within Chavez's Fifth Republic Movement, who became the first woman to serve as president of the National Assembly in 2006 and is now the country's Attorney General.
3. He Secured Chavez's Release From Prison in 1994: Maduro, one of the founders of the Fifth Republic Movement (MVR), is credited with securing Chavez's release from prison in 1994 — after his unsuccessful coup d'etat in 1992.
4. He'll Continue Chavez's Anti-American Delusion: Maduro accused "the domestic and foreign enemies of Venezuela" of somehow infecting Hugo Chavez with cancer. He also expelled a U.S. Embassy diplomat who Maduro said was seeking military support for a plot against the government.
5. He Needs to Watch Out For Diosdado Cabello: Chavez's endorsement of Maduro alienated Diosdado Cabello, a powerful Socialist Party official with ties to the armed forces, who had been considered another top candidate as the strongman's successor.