Dictatorship and Politics
Intrigue, Betrayal, and Survival in Venezuela, 1908-1935
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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List of Tables
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Part of the research for this book was financed by a Foreign Area Fellowship granted by the (US) Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies, and by grants from the Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos Rómulo Gallegos, Fundación John Boulton, and St. Antony’s College, Oxford. I am also indebted to George Philip for having ...
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General Juan Vicente Gómez came to power in a bloodless coup on December 19, 1908,1 and died in his sleep still in power twenty-seven years later, on December 17, 1935. In 1908, Venezuela was little known to the outside world, but by the time of Gómez’s death the country was of vital strategic importance to the British Empire and, in addition, a significant supplier of oil to ...
PART I Establishment of Power,1908 ‒ 1916
Chapter One: A New Era
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The arrival of Gómez at the presidential palace on December 19, 1908, was perceived by many as the dawning of a new era after the excesses of Castro’s administration. A period of political liberalization developed, with the various Liberal and Conservative political factions taking advantage to reorganize themselves. The Gómez administration also instituted a series of policies
Chapter Two: G�mez Takes Over
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Gómez’s coup appeared to open a new era of political freedom, with the promise of a real shift toward permanent democratic rule. One of Gómez’s underlying assumptions, however, was that he would be the sole arbiter in deciding when this shift took place. While allowing political freedom to develop, Gómez would always remain in power to prevent the various factions ...
Chapter Three: An Opportunity for the Exiles
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The political upheaval that took place in Venezuela during 1913 and 1914 encouraged the exiles to continue their efforts to unite under one banner to topple G�mez. After the failure of Curacao, Castro reached agreement with Mocho Hern�ndez whereby the latter would invade Venezuela in April 1914 through British Guyana, while the former would follow from Trinidad either ...
PART II Consolidation of Power,1917 ‒ 1928
Chapter Four: The Odin/Harrier Expedition
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Gómez withstood the attempts by the United States during 1917‒18 to bring him down and the abortive January 1919 coup. Having lost the support of the United States, the exiles during the 1920s gained the support of the Mexican governments of Alvaro Obregón (1920‒24), Plutarco Elías Calles (1924‒28), and what is termed the Maximato, when Calles was known as the jefe máximo ...
Chapter Five: The Angelita Expedition
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The effect of the collapse of the Odin/Harrier expedition on the morale of the exiles was contradictory. Some of the exiles felt that the G�mez regime would never be toppled, while others thought that the way forward was to unite all opponents of the regime under one political party. Some of the revolutionaries refused to join the new political organization, arguing that there ...
Chapter Six: The Civil-Military Movements of 1928
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The stability and development of the country together with the added commercial wealth accumulated during the first twenty years of the G�mez dictatorship created new social forces that wanted social reform and political freedom. The economic development of the country was accompanied by the softening of the regime, which decreed a number of general amnesties for ...
PART III Maintenance of Power,1929 ‒ 1935
Chapter Seven: Renewed Hope for the Rebels
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The political events of March and April 1928 shook the Gómez regime and gave the political exiles renewed hope that the end of the Gómez dictatorship was fast approaching. The main problem for them was the usual one of securing enough financial backing to organize a filibustering expedition against the regime. The plan was to take advantage of the country’s discontentment ...
Chapter Eight: The Falke Expedition
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The best equipped expeditionary force against the Gómez regime was organized by Delgado Chalbaud in 1929. The Falke expedition was the culmination of Delgado Chalbaud’s opposition to Gómez, which started in 1913 with his abortive coup. Delgado Chalbaud started planning the expedition in 1927, soon after his release from La Rotunda jail after fourteen years in ...
Chapter Nine: One Last Try
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The Gómez regime was shaken by the events of 1928 and 1929, and would now endure the impact of the Great Depression, which would bring with it the threat of further possible disturbances. The Venezuelan dictator was one of the few in Latin America to survive intact the savagery of the world’s greatest economic depression. There are three main reasons for such an ...
Chapter Ten: The Succession Is Resolved
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After Gómez took over the presidency in 1931, his health began to deteriorate; he became physically frail and visibly elderly, although he remained mentally alert. Gómez was convinced that his army continued to back him, stating in 1932 that the armed forces had “deserved, as always, special attention”1 because although “I have not maintained it perfectly organized from ...
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Gómez’s December 1908 coup d’état was a popular move because the country was tired of the excesses of the previous Castro government, which followed a ruinous economic and foreign policy isolating the country from the rest of the world. Gómez, with his “rural and affable aspect,”1 surrounded himself with enlightened and prestigious men who helped modernize the ...
Appendix A: Background Information on Important Political Actors of the G�mez Era
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Appendix B: Currency and Exchange Rate Information
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Page Count: 592
Illustrations: Graphics removed; no digital rights.
Publication Year: 2008
Series Title: From the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies
Series Editor Byline: Scott Mainwaring, series editor