Vladimir Padrino López

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Vladímir Padrino López
Vladimir Padrino López (2018-04-03) 2.jpg
Padrino in 2018
Minister of Defense
Assumed office
24 October 2014
PresidentNicolás Maduro (disputed)
Preceded byCarmen Meléndez
Personal details
Born (1963-05-30) 30 May 1963 (age 59)
Caracas, Venezuela
Political partyPSUV
Alma materMilitary Academy of Venezuela
Military service
Allegiance Venezuela
Branch/service Venezuelan Army
Years of service1984 – present
RankGeneral-in-Chief (Venezuela).PNG General-in-chief

Vladímir Padrino López (born 30 May 1963) is a Venezuelan four-star general serving as the current Minister of Defense for the National Armed Forces of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela since 24 October 2014.

Military career[edit]

On 5 July 1984, Padrino graduated from Military Academy of Venezuela.[1] He commanded mortar personnel of the Antonio Ricaurte Infantry Battalion in Rubio, Táchira State. Between February and May 1995, Padrino was sent to the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia for a "Psychological Operations" and "Advanced Officer training" course by the US Army.[2] During the 2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt, he was a colonel of the Simon Bolivar Infantry Battalion in Fuerte Tiuna,[1] remaining loyal to the government of Hugo Chávez. He was later appointed Chief of Joint Staff of the Strategic Defense Central Region Integral by President Chavez.

In 2013, Padrino became the commander in chief of the Venezuelan Armed forces.[1] On 24 October 2014, Padrino was named by President Nicolas Maduro to be the successor of Carmen Melendez as the Minister of Defense. Currently Padrino and the Minister of People's Power for Defense hold the positions of Strategic Operational commander of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces.

Increased authority[edit]

On 12 July 2016, President Nicolás Maduro granted Padrino the powers to distribute food and medicine, authority over all Bolivarian missions, while also having his military command five of Venezuela's main ports,[3] with Maduro stating:[4]

All ministries and government institutions are subordinated to the National Command of the Great Mission for Safe Sovereign and Safe Supply, which is under the command of the President and of the top General, Vladimir Padrino López.

This action performed by President Maduro made General Padrino one of the most powerful people in Venezuela, possibly "the second most powerful man in Venezuelan politics".[4][5] The appointment of Padrino was also seen to be similar to the Cuban government's tactic of granting the Cuban military the power to manage Cuba's economy.[4][5]

Written work[edit]

Padrino is the author of the manual Preparation Process Operations, which is used as query and serves as a reference in all institutes, schools and universities and vocational training of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces.


With Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu.
Padrino Lopez with his Brazilian counterpart Joaquim Silva e Luna.

Padrino López has been sanctioned by several countries and is banned from entering neighboring Colombia. The Colombian government maintains a list of people banned from entering Colombia or subject to expulsion; as of January 2019, the list had 200 people with a "close relationship and support for the Nicolás Maduro regime".[6][7]

On 22 September 2017, Canada sanctioned Padrino due to rupture of Venezuela's constitutional order following the 2017 Venezuelan Constituent Assembly election.[8][9]

The United States government has also sanctioned Padrino on 25 September 2018 for his role in solidifying President Maduro's power in Venezuela.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "¿Quién es Vladimir Padrino?". El Nacional. 24 October 2014. Archived from the original on 22 December 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Conozca en detalle: ¿Quién es el General Padrino López?". 2 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Venezuela Military Seizes Major Ports as Economic Crisis Deepens". Voice of America. 13 July 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Martín, Sabrina (13 July 2016). "Venezuela: Maduro Hands over Power to Defense Minister". PanAm Post. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Venezuela Gets a New Comandante". Bloomberg News. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Maduro encabeza lista de 200 venezolanos que no pueden entrar al país" [Maduro tops list of 200 Venezuelans who can not enter the country]. El Tiempo (in Spanish). 30 January 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Primera parte de lista de colaboradores de Maduro que no pueden ingresar a Colombia" [First part of list of Maduro collaborators who can not enter Colombia] (in Spanish). RCN Radio. 31 January 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Venezuela sanctions". Government of Canada. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Canada sanctions 40 Venezuelans with links to political, economic crisis". The Globe and Mail. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  10. ^ "U.S. targets Venezuelans with new sanctions for corruption". UPI. Retrieved 2018-09-27.