Rómulo Betancourt

(redirected from Romulo Bentacourt)

Betancourt, Rómulo


Born Feb. 22, 1908, in Guatiré, the state of Miranda. Venezuelan politician and statesman.

Betancourt studied at the department of law of the Central University, but failed to graduate because of his arrest in 1928 for participation in the movement against the dictatorship of J. V. Gómez (1909–35); he was later exiled from the country. He returned to Venezuela in 1936. (He was also in exile during 1939–41 and 1948–58.) In 1941 he founded the bourgeois nationalist party Democratic Action and became one of its leaders. In 1945–47 he headed the government junta. From 1959 to 1964, Betancourt was president of Venezuela. His government established a regime of terror and violence against the Communist Party and other progressive forces and maintained a hostile position toward revolutionary Cuba. Since 1964 he has been living in Switzerland, maintaining contact with the leaders of Democratic Action.

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