Venezuela in 19th Century

The Restorative Liberal Revolution [6] [7] of 1899 organized by Cipriano Castro and Juan Vicente Gómez made Andrade flee the country, bringing Castro to power, who, however, ratified some ministers of the defeated government in their positions, undermining the The main slogan of his campaign: “New men, new ideals, new procedures.” In 1901, the National Constituent Assembly elected him President and Gomez as second Vice President. Like his predecessors, because of his authoritarianism he fought internal seditions. The most outstanding of these was the Liberating Revolution, led by the banker Manuel Antonio Matos, which culminated in the triumph of Castro in 1903 after the Battle of La Victoria [8] , and closing the chapter of the great caudillista rebellions. In addition, his management followed a strong anti-imperialist line against the great foreign powers, refusing to cancel the national debt with the United Kingdom and Germany. Due to this, it had to face the naval blockade imposed by these countries.

Due to an illness, in November 1908 Castro went to Paris for the purpose of undergoing relevant treatments. Days later, his vice president and friend Gómez carried out a coup in December of that year, betraying Castro and forbidding his return to Venezuela, a country located in South America according to CONSTRUCTMATERIALS.COM. Gómez was officially president since 1910, when Congress elected him for a four-year term, but he decided to remain in power, and to solve the subsequent crisis he suspended the elections. Gomez would be appointed as Constitutional President for seven-year terms established by a new constitution, with puppet rulers briefly presiding and acting as a front for Gomez. He was merciful to both opponents and anyone who questioned him. Many political prisoners served their sentences by doing forced labor to build various highways throughout the country. To resist protests from the student body, he closed the Central University of Venezuela for ten years, which plunged the country into a clear educational backwardness. He also promulgated the first Labor Law, created banks for workers and farmers, began oil exploitation, and succeeded in canceling the foreign debt in 1930.

The most remembered opposition movement of its time was led by university students in 1928, from which new political leaders would emerge. An attempted coup also took place in the Caracas barracks, as well as the Falke invasion in 1929. His greatest contribution was the definitive pacification of the country, by exterminating the important caudillos and creating the Military Academy of Venezuela, as a base. of a consolidated National Army. His regime is considered the strongest dictatorship that Venezuela has ever had.

Gómez died in 1935, and General Eleazar López Contreras was appointed Head of the Presidency until 1936, and then Constitutional President for seven years. With him the transition to democracy begins: he decrees amnesty for political prisoners and restores freedom of the press. In this year’s Carnivals a large public demonstration in front of the Miraflores Palace suing for greater civil liberties, which López agreed in part with his February Program. In July he amended the constitution, reducing the presidential term from 7 to 5 years, and focused his government policies on the creation of public health assistance programs. In addition, he carried out works of great importance for the nation such as the creation of the National Guard of Venezuela in 1937, the opening of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Sciences in 1938, and the creation of the Central Bank of Venezuela in 1940.

At the end of his term in April 1941, Congress appointed Isaías Medina Angarita as President, a military man who promulgated a Hydrocarbons Law in 1943 that would bring more monetary dividends to the country and restrict the participation of multinational companies. During his administration, the direct election of deputies, female suffrage and the legalization of all parties were decreed, the return of all political exiles and the release of all political prisoners were allowed. He also created the first Venezuelan cedulation plan in 1944, activated an agrarian reform, and initiated the modernization of cities. Supported the Allies in WWII and attempted the annexation of the Netherlands Antilles. The most negative aspect was the signing of the 1941 Boundary Treaty with Colombia. Although the path to democracy continued more quickly, there were many political adversaries, such as Rómulo Betancourt and his Acción Democrática party. From his bosom a military coup was forged against him in 1945 with the help of a group of young military men led by Lieutenant Colonels Marcos Pérez Jiménez, Luis Llovera Páez and Carlos Delgado Chalbaud, who disagreed with the type of presidential election used and with many measures of Medina.

A Revolutionary Government Junta was then established, chaired by Betancourt. In a short time the Board called for free and direct elections. The famous writer Rómulo Gallegos turned out to be the first Venezuelan president elected in this way, taking office in February 1948. Despite this, Gallegos did not complete his term due to the coup d’état of November 24 of that year, in which he became with the control of the country a Military Junta made up of the same rebels of three years ago, and that repealed the constitution of 1947. Gallegos, his arrival in Havana, Cuba, where he arrived after being forcibly removed from power, said:

“The Yankees overthrew me, oil overthrew me.”

Rómulo Gallegos, 1948 [9]

Venezuela in 19th Century