Velasco Alvarado, Juan

Velasco Alvarado, Juan

(hwän vāläs`kō älvärä`thō), 1910–77, president of Peru (1968–75). Born of working class parents, he entered the army (1929) and rose to the rank of general. As army commander in chief, he led (1968) the junta that deposed President Belaúnde Terry after his failure to expropriate U.S.-owned oil operations. Velasco appointed an all-military cabinet, and immediately seized the disputed oil fields. He restricted the press, launched a sweeping agrarian reform aimed at breaking up the country's large estates, and worked toward the nationalization of selected industries.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Velasco Alvarado, Juan

 

Born June 16, 1909 or 1910, in Piura; died Dec. 27, 1977, in Lima. Peruvian military and state figure. Division general (1965).

A professional military man, Velasco held a series of important posts in the Peruvian armed forces, including chief of staff of the army, chief of the ground forces, and head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He represented the Peruvian armed forces on the Inter-american Defense Committee.

Velasco led a military coup in October 1968 and became the president of Peru. The Velasco government, which lasted from 1968 to 1975, pursued an anti-imperialist, antioligarchic policy whose aims were to secure the economic independence of Peru, to make the state sector of the economy the dominant sector, and to improve the lives of the working people. Diplomatic relations with the USSR were established in 1969.

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