Nicolás Maduro Fast Facts: A Chávez Assassination and a Cuban Assassination
The Bolivarian Revolution suffered a catastrophic setback just as it had begun. The first blow came to the presidency of Hugo Chávez in the form of the removal of his closest advisors from the Venezuelan government: his brother, Leopoldo, and his son, Leopoldo. The second blow came with the ouster of his vice president, Delcy Rodríguez. The third blow came with the imprisonment, without charge or trial, of the president-elect, Nicolás Maduro. From the moment he was sworn in as president, in March, Maduro faced a crisis of legitimacy. One could say it was the moment the Revolution stopped being Venezuela’s revolution.
It is impossible to pinpoint the exact moment of the loss of a leader. There were numerous contributing factors, including regional challenges, internal unrest, mismanagement, and even internal conflict among the members of the Chávez government. But on October 11, 2015, just a few days after his inauguration, Maduro was forced to resign when his vice president, Delcy Rodríguez, was shot dead by a disgruntled former minister of his own socialist party, Diosdado Cabello, at the hands of armed assassins in Caracas. Maduro had just been sworn into the presidency. A day or two after her murder, he was already calling for the investigation of Rodríguez’s murder. Just a few days after Rodríguez’s death, the first of three attempts to kill the president of the Bolivarian Republic, a Cuban, with a sniper shot failed.
The assassination of Delcy Rodríguez was the third major blow to the Chávez presidency, and the second major assassination.
The first was the failed assassination attempt on Chávez in April. Chávez had just been inaugurated. He was riding a motorcycle with his security detail in the car. As he passed through the city of Maracay, an armed Cuban killed him with a sniper shot. The failed assassination on Chávez was preceded by a year-long struggle to remove the leader. He was never to recover the trust of his countrymen, who saw him as an usurper of revolutionary