Vallenilla Lanz, Laureano

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vallenilla Lanz, Laureano


Born 1874; died 1936. Venezuelan neopositivist historian and statesman. Vallenilla was the minister of internal affairs under the Gómez dictatorship. He revised the views of the liberal school on the history of Venezuela, noting that its development differed from that of other Latin American countries and thereby seeing the “special” character of Venezuelan democracy. He advanced a theory that saw the war for independence primarily as a civil war. He originated the reactionary nationalistic theory of so-called democratic Caesarism, according to which democracy can exist in agrarian countries only as the personal dictatorship of a military leader or a police official. He characterized this dictatorship as a power called upon to represent the direct will of the people, suppress the oligarchic aspirations of the aristocracy, and promote the unity of the nation.


Venesuela. Moscow, 1967. Pages 109-40.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.