Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro took the reins of power from Hugo Chavez in 2013, and quickly became one of the world’s most polarizing leaders, thanks to a series of increasingly disastrous economic measures and policy decisions. He also established close ties with Cuba’s communist regime, a source of much controversy throughout his term.
The economy is now suffering a hyperinflation that experts believe could soon reach more than 10 million percent. Many Venezuelans have abandoned the country, and the opposition’s rule has increased tensions in the South American nation as it struggles to find food, medicines and fuel.
Amid the unrest, Maduro’s administration has been criticized for eliminating congressional oversight, and the country’s opposition has repeatedly called for his resignation.
A member of the National Assembly called the deadly violence on Tuesday, March 27, “a fascist attack” on the country.
Here are a few facts about the embattled leader.
Born: Carlos Nicolás Nicolas Maduro, December 5, 1971
Family ties: His mother was killed by the military during the coup attempt of 1992; his father, a former air force officer, was executed in 1992 for aiding the coup attempt.