The process and results of the May 2018 Venezuelan presidential election were widely disputed.  His introduction to politics was when he became a member of his high school's student union.  In March 2018 former Colombian president Andrés Pastrana made reference to the baptism certificate of Maduro's mother, noting that the disclosed document reiterates the Colombian origin of the mother of the president and that therefore Nicolás Maduro has Colombian citizenship. The operations reportedly resulted in thousands of arrests and an estimated 9,000 deaths, with the Venezuelan opposition claiming that the operations are actually a state instrument of repression. , On 11 January 2018, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice of Venezuela in exile decreed the nullity of the 2013 presidential elections after lawyer Enrique Aristeguita Gramcko presented evidence about the presumed non-existence of ineligibility conditions of Nicolás Maduro to be elected and to hold the office of the presidency. What is ballot harvesting — and should you hand your ballot to a stranger? Since Chávez died within the first four years of his term, the Constitution of Venezuela states that a presidential election had to be held within 30 days of his death. , Observers say that Maduro uses such conspiracy theories as a strategy to distract Venezuelans from the root causes of problems facing his government.  The ruling does not reproduce Maduro's birth certificate but it quotes a communication signed on 8 June by the Colombian Vice minister of foreign affairs, Patti Londoño Jaramillo, where it states that "no related information was found, nor civil registry of birth, nor citizenship card that allows to infer that president Nicolás Maduro Moros is a Colombian national". , In April 2019, the US Department of State alleged that Venezuela, "led by Nicolas Maduro, has consistently violated the human rights and dignity of its citizens" and "driven a once prosperous nation into economic ruin with his authoritarian rule" and that "Maduro's thugs have engaged in extra-judicial killings and torture, taken political prisoners, and severely restricted freedom of speech, all in a brutal effort to retain power.
 After election officials closely aligned with the government blocked an attempt to summon a recall referendum against Maduro, Venezuelan political analysts cited in The Guardian warned of authoritarianism and a dictatorship. Maduro was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2006, and served under Chávez in that position until being appointed Vice President of Venezuela in October 2012, after the presidential elections. His mother, Teresa de Jesús Moros, was born in Cúcuta, a Colombian border town at the boundary with Venezuela on "the 1st of June of 1929, as it appears in the National Registry of Colombia".  Juan Guaidó denied involvement in the operation.  Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin stating "Maduro is a dictator who disregards the will of the Venezuelan people". This choice was made due to Maduro's loyalty to Chávez and because of his good relations with other chavista hard-liners such as Elías Jaua, former minister Jesse Chacón and Jorge Rodríguez.  One informant stated that the two often flew out of Terminal 4 of Simon Bolivar Airport, a terminal reserved for the president.  Roger Noriega wrote in the Miami Herald that a "lawless regime" and "narcodictatorship" headed by Maduro, Tareck El Aissami and Diosdado Cabello had driven "Venezuela to the brink of collapse".
, Maduro was raised as a Roman Catholic, although in 2012 it was reported that he was a follower of Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba and previously visited the guru in India in 2005.
 The same year several former members of the Electoral Council sent an open letter to Tibisay Lucena requesting to "exhibit publicly, in a printed media of national circulation the documents that certify the strict compliance with Articles 41 and 227 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, that is to say, the birth certificate and the Certificate of Venezuelan Nationality by Birth of Nicolás Maduro Moros in order to verify if he is Venezuelan by birth and without another nationality". So How Did Maduro Secure a Second Term? Into the vacuum left by Chavez stepped Nicolás Maduro, his right-hand man.  He stated in a 2013 interview that "my grandparents were Jewish, from a Sephardic Moorish background, and converted to Catholicism in Venezuela". In particular, Maduro had been offering to hold talks with the opposition about handling the outbreak in the country shortly before the indictment, and then called this off.
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