The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, His Excellency Nicolás Maduro Moros, arrived in the island on May 21, 2016 for a Working Visit. He was met on arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and other dignitaries. While visiting the President laid a floral tribute at the Simon Bolivar Statue before departing.
President Nicolás Maduro first visited the island in September 2015 for the Summit to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the PetroCaribe Agreement, the 200th Anniversary of the Jamaica Letter, written by the Great Liberator Simón Bolívar in Kingston on 6th September 1815, and for the inauguration of the Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre in downtown Kingston.
Early Political Career
Born on November 23, 1962, in Caracas, Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros worked as a bus driver before becoming politically active in the early 1990s. He began his political career by becoming an unofficial trade unionist representing the bus drivers of the Caracas Metro system.
Maduro was introduced to future Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in 1992, after Chávez and other disenchanted members of the military were imprisoned for an attempted coup. Maduro began campaigning for Chávez’s release. Chávez was freed in 1994 and won the presidential election four years later.
Nicolás Maduro officially entered politics in the late ’90s. He was elected to the National Constituent Assembly in 1999, and later won election to the National Assembly. In 2005, he became speaker of the Assembly.
The following year, in August 2006, Maduro was named Foreign Minister of Venezuela. Following his new appointment, his wife, Cilia Flores, an attorney, took over as Assembly Speaker.
After President Chávez won a fourth term in October 2012, he selected Maduro to serve as vice president. Maduro worked alongside the outspoken president, serving as one of his closest advisers as well as a loyal spokesman, until Chávez’s death on March 5, 2013, at the age of 58, from cancer. Prior to his passing, in December 2012, Chávez named Maduro his preferred successor.
The Petrocaribe Agreement also contains a social agenda where surplus generated from the economic agreement can be used for the upgrading of social and physical infrastructure and projects which promote the use of alternative sources of energy.
Elected to the Presidency
During his 2013 presidential campaign, Maduro pledged to complete the socialist transformation of Venezuela begun by Chávez, to increase gun control in the country’s impoverished areas, and to increase the nation’s minimum wage by 30 to 40 percent. In April 2013, Maduro won a close election against presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, winning by a less than two percentage point margin.
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