Cilia Flores is many things in Venezuela: the woman who helped Hugo Chávez win his freedom when he was imprisoned during a coup, the former attorney general, former member of the National Assembly, loyal “Chávista” who once served as president of the Assembly, and now she could be the next first lady. Flores’s partner, acting President Nicolas Maduro, is running to succeed Chávez in the April 14 election. “She is a fiery character,” Maduro says. “What you saw in Parliament, that’s exactly what she is like at home. But I always have the last word, when I say ‘you’re right, my dear!’” The pair are considered a Chávista “power couple,” with Maduro saying Flores won’t be a so-called “First Lady” but rather “the First Fighter of the fatherland.” Officials who work with Maduro say the couple work together, with one calling her Maduro’s “strong arm.” But it hasn’t always been an easy road for Flores—she has been accused of securing plum jobs for her family and close associates.
As attorney general, she helped free Hugo Chávez from prison.