Juan Vicente Gómez


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Gómez, Juan Vicente

 

Born July 24, 1857, in San Antonio de Tachira, in the state of Tachira; died Dec. 17, 1935, in Maracay. Military and government figure of Venezuela. President and de facto dictator of the country from 1909 to 1935. From 1901 to 1908 he was vice-president.

Gómez came to power in 1909 after a military coup that was carried out with the help of the imperialists of the USA. He distributed the high government offices to his closest relatives, often changed the constitution, prohibited all political parties and trade unions, and established a regime of bloody military and police terror. With the help of Gómez, the oil monopolies of the USA gained a position of control in the country’s economy and began to determine its external and internal policies. On bribes alone, which he collected in return for concessions and speculations, the dictator made $30 million and became one of the largest landowners in the western hemisphere. The Venezuelan workers were heroically opposed to Gómez’ dictatorship. After his death, the people destroyed the tyrant’s palace.

E. L. NITOBURG