Nicolás Maduro started his political career while driving a bus full time for the Caracas Metro system in the 1980s, when he began unofficially organizing workers of the transportation system.
In the 1990s, he helped to found the Movimiento V República (Fifth Republic Movement) as a left-wing, Socialist political party which Hugo Chavez represented in his bid for the presidency in 1998. Maduro was elected the same year to the Venezuelan Chamber of Deputies.
He would go on to be appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2006, and Vice President in December, 2012, when Chavez personally endorsed Maduro as his successor, as he fled to Cuba again for emergency treatment for a fatal bout of cancer. Maduro promised to carry on in Chavez’s absence, stating, “Chavez has been and is a father to us. He trained us in anti-imperialism, and ideas of a socialist society.”
After Chavez’s death on March 5th, 2013, Maduro furthered the idea (suggested by Hugo Chavez himself) that “historical enemies” had poisoned Chavez, and gave him fatal cancer. A spokesman for the United States State Department has described the suggestion that the CIA was responsible for his cancer as “absurd.”
Alberto Barrera Tyszka, co-author of a biography of Chavez, has described Maduro as being “Chavez in style, though without his grace and charisma.”
Maduro has crudely slandered opposition movements in the country, famously calling them “mariconzones” (“big faggots”) during a speech in early 2012, and this past Sunday, while acting as President of Venezuela, called the runner up in the 2012 presidential election, Henrique Capriles, a “Nazi” and “wretched loser” for questioning the lack of transparency surrounding Chavez’s death.
As required by law, a presidential election will be held in Venezuela on April the 14th, due to the death of President Hugo Chávez while in office.