|“||Like you, people of the United States, we Venezuelans are patriots. And we shall defend our homeland with all the pieces of our soul. Today Venezuela is united... we demand the cessation of the aggression that seeks to suffocate our economy and socially suffocate our people, as well as the cessation of the serious and dangerous threats of military intervention... We appeal to the good soul of the American society, victim of its own leaders, to join our call for peace, let us be all one people against warmongering and war.||„|
|~ Maduro in an open letter to the American people.|
Nicolás Maduro Moros (born November 23rd, 1962) is a Venezuelan politician serving as the dictator of Venezuela since 2013, with his presidency being disputed with Juan Guaido since January 2019.
Beginning his working life as a bus driver, Maduro rose to become a trade union leader before being elected to the National Assembly in 2000. He was appointed to a number of positions under President Hugo Chávez and was described in 2012 by the Wall Street Journal as the "most capable administrator and politician of Chávez's inner circle". He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2013 and as Vice President of Venezuela from 2012 to 2013 under Chávez. After Chávez's death was announced on March 5th, 2013, Maduro assumed the presidential powers and responsibilities. A special presidential election was held in 2013, which Maduro won with 50.62% of the vote as the United Socialist Party of Venezuela candidate. He has ruled Venezuela by decree since 19 November 2013 through powers granted to him by the pre-2015 Venezuela legislature.
Shortages in Venezuela and decreased living standards led to protests beginning in 2014 that escalated into daily marches nationwide, repression of dissent, and a decline in Maduro's popularity. According to The New York Times, Maduro's administration was held "responsible for grossly mismanaging the economy and plunging the country into a deep humanitarian crisis" and attempting to "crush the opposition by jailing or exiling critics, and using lethal force against anti-government protesters". An opposition-led National Assembly was elected in 2015 and a movement toward recalling Maduro began in 2016; Maduro maintained power through the Supreme Tribunal, the National Electoral Council, and the military. The Supreme Tribunal removed power from the elected National Assembly, resulting in a constitutional crisis and protests in 2017. Maduro called for a rewrite of the constitution, and the Constituent Assembly of Venezuela was elected in 2017, under what many—including Venezuela's chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega and Smartmatic, the company that ran the voting machines—considered irregular voting conditions; the majority of its members were pro-Maduro. On 20 May 2018, presidential elections were called prematurely; opposition leaders had been jailed, exiled, or forbidden to run, there was no international observation, and tactics to suggest voters could lose their jobs or social welfare if they did not vote for Maduro were used. The majority of nations in the Western world did not recognize the Constituent Assembly election or the validity of Maduro's 2018 reelection; the Canadian, Panamanian, and the United States governments sanctioned Maduro.
Maduro has been described as a "dictator", and an Organization of American States (OAS) report determined that crimes against humanity have been committed during his presidency. Maduro allies including China, Cuba, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Serbia support and denounce what they call interference in Venezuela's domestic affairs. AP News reported that "familiar geopolitical sides" had formed in the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis, with allies Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Turkey, and Serbia supporting Maduro, and the US, Canada, the rest of South America, European Union, Israel, South Korea, Japan, and Australia supporting Guaidó as interim president. Amid widespread condemnation, President Maduro was sworn in on January 10th, 2019, and the President of the National Assembly, Guaidó, was declared the interim President by that body on January 23rd, 2019. Maduro's government states that the crisis is a "coup d'état led by the United States to topple him and control the country's oil reserves." Guaidó denies the coup allegations, saying peaceful volunteers back his movement. He is also friends with other authoritarian leaders like Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Bashar al-Assad, Kim Jong-un, Alexander Lukashenko, and Aleksandar Vučić. However, not all authoritarian leaders are friends with him as he is enemies with Jair Bolsonaro, Viktor Orbán, and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Maduro usurped power; He is not the duly elected president. Juan Guaidó was the person who chose the Venezuelan people. The United States and now another 54 nations have simply ratified, they have said that: "Yes, we recognize that this is what Venezuelans want." - United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, March 19, 2019.
Human rights abuses
Venezuela's former regime, led by Nicolás Maduro, has systematically violated the human rights and dignity of its citizens, has looted the country's natural resources, and led a nation that was once prosperous to economic ruin with its authoritarian government and Your socialist economic policies.
Maduro's thugs have committed extrajudicial killings and torture, have taken political prisoners and severely restricted freedom of expression, all in a brutal effort to retain power.
In 2015, opposition parties in favor of democracy flatly defeated the Maduro regime in the legislative elections. Shortly after, Maduro began dismantling several branches of government. The outgoing President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, hastened to fill the country's courts with unskilled fans of the party to serve as guarantors of Maduro's power.
On January 11, 2016, when the National Assembly proceeded to place three legitimately elected deputies, the Supreme Court declared the National Assembly in contempt, voiding all subsequent legislation passed by this democratically elected body. Since then, Maduro has deliberately marginalized this constitutionally legitimate Assembly. Maduro's accomplices in the National Electoral Council (CNE) supervised the conduct of all elections and declared the winners. Since 2015, they have included the scale to help Maduro not lose. All major opposition parties and most opposition candidates have been disqualified since 2017. In 2017, following Maduro's orders, the CNE organized a contested election for the National Constituent Assembly, whose main objective was to draft a new Constitution. Instead, Maduro used the Assembly to usurp the powers of the legitimate National Assembly, ratify their orders and enact laws, many of which vilify and discredit opposition figures and their political proposals. This false electoral system culminated in the presidential elections of May 20, 2018. With most of the opposition figures arrested, exiled or with the prohibition of running for elections, Maduro faced a field of weakened candidates in a rigged election. To boost pro-Maduro participation, the regime bribed controls with food and other subsidies that desperately needed a change in their votes. On January 10, 2019, Maduro illegally assumed the presidency in an illegitimate ceremony by many Venezuelans and more than 50 countries, including most of Venezuela's neighbors and the majority of the European Union. In this context, Juan Guaidó, elected on January 5, 2019, as President of the National Assembly, the only legitimate and democratically elected institution remaining in the country, invoked relevant articles of the Venezuelan constitution and will be seen as Interim President of Venezuela .
Maduro's most serious corruption plan consisted of the embezzlement of the state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PdVSA). In 2015, the Financial Crime Control Network (FinCEN) of the US Department of the Treasury issued a ruling under Section 311 of the US PATRIOT Act. (USA PATRIOT Act). A European bank accepted exorbitant commissions to process approximately US $ 2 billion in transactions related to third-party money launderers, fictitious companies and complex financial products to divert funds from PDVSA. In 2018, a US $ 1.2 billion money laundering plan that involved Matthias Krull, a German citizen and a Panamanian resident, and Gustavo Adolfo Hernández, a Colombian citizen and a naturalized US citizen, exploited PdVSA and took advantage of corruption in the systems of Foreign currency exchange of Venezuela by exchanging US dollars for Venezuelan bolivars at market prices and then investing the exchange. In 2016, Maduro declared that approximately 12% of the country was part of an "Orinoco Mining Arc" and was given extensive authority to oversee the exploitation of resources for personal gain. In 2017, the regime expelled legitimate foreign companies engaged in commercial activities and replaced them with unregulated miners who operated with the support of senior Venezuelan military officers. In 2017, after a seven-month investigation, the National Assembly of Venezuela discovered cases in which the regime “spent” US $ 42 for a food box, which it then distributed in exchange for votes, at a time when those foods cost less than US $ 13. Maduro's internal circle kept the difference, which amounted to more than US $ 200 million in at least one case. Venezuela ranks 169th out of 180 countries in the 2017 Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International.
In October 2018, the Councilor of Caracas, Fernando Alban, traveled to New York to denounce the brutality of the Maduro regime, outside the General Assembly of the United Nations. Upon his return to Venezuela on October 5, Maduro's secret police arrested him at the airport. He died in custody a few days later, when he mysteriously fell from a window on the 10th floor of a maximum security prison in Caracas. Maduro is increasingly trusting the National Police Special Action Forces (FAES) he created in 2017 to carry out illegal raids and extrajudicial killings. The FAES, made up of 1,300 officers, is accused of killing more than 100 people in low-income neighborhoods from June to December 2018. (Report of the Provea NGO of January 26, 2019) On March 20, 2019, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, FAES executed 37 people in connection with illegal home invasion raids in January. The regime has deployed the National Guard and civilian militias known as collectives to repress peaceful protesters. According to the National Assembly, the previous regime is responsible for at least 40 deaths related to the protest so far this year. 175 arrests related to the protest and 7 deaths reported on January 23, 2019 (NGO Penal Forum) 1,255 people detained since January 21, 2019 (NGO Criminal Forum) 864 prisoners of conscience, including 95 military members (NGO Criminal Forum, as of April 1, 2019) On April 5, 2019, the human rights NGO PROVEA announced the discovery of several clandestine detention centers, including three allegedly led by collectives, police, state security forces and intelligence agencies, where the former regime stopped and mistreated extralegally to Venezuelan citizens. On April 4, 2019, the police raided the house of the National Assembly deputy, Roberto Alcalá, in an effort to prosecute him for fabricated terrorism charges. On March 21, 2019, Maduro police raided the house of the acting chief of interim President Juan Guaidó, Roberto Marrero, and arrested him. Maduro's intelligence agency supported by Cuba, SEBIN, continues to hold him. SEBIN has a history of using cruel and inhuman treatment to force confessions.
On 26 March 2020, the United States government issued a warrant for the arrest of Maduro on charges of drug trafficking and narco-terrorism, claiming that the Venezuelan government had shipped tons of cocaine into America in order to wage a health war against the United States.