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Related to caudillo: El Caudillo


(kôdēl`yō Span. kouthē`yō), [Span.,= military strongman], type of South American political leader that arose with the 19th-century wars of independence. The first caudillos were often generals who, leading private armies, used their military might to achieve power in the newly independent states. Many were large landowners (hacendados) who sought to advance their private interests. They had in common military skill and a personal magnetism capable of commanding the allegiance of the masses. Caudillos were not associated with particular ideologies or political philosophies. Although they often began their career by opposing the oligarchy, they almost invariably became oligarchs and rarely upset the existing social order. In power, their authority was largely unchecked. Caudillos, or caudilhos in Portuguese-speaking Brazil, left their mark on the histories of all South American nations. Well-known caudillos were Juan Manuel de RosasRosas, Juan Manuel de
, 1793–1877, Argentine dictator, governor of Buenos Aires prov. (1829–32, 1835–52). As a boy he served under Jacques de Liniers against the British invaders of the Rio de la Plata (1806–7).
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 and Juan Facundo QuirogaQuiroga, Juan Facundo
, 1790–1835, Argentine caudillo. One of the most brutal of the early gaucho chieftains, he was called el tigre de los llanos (the tiger of the plains).
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 in Argentina, Gabriel García MorenoGarcía Moreno, Gabriel
, 1821–75, president of Ecuador (1861–65, 1869–75), b. Guayaquil. A conservative with deep religious convictions, he gradually came to believe that Ecuadorans could only be united as a nation through their common Roman Catholic
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 in Ecuador, Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana and Porfirio DíazDíaz, Porfirio
, 1830–1915, Mexican statesman, a mestizo, christened José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz. He gained prominence by supporting Benito Juárez and the liberals in the War of the Reform and in the war against Emperor Maximilian and the
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 in Mexico, and Rafael Leonidas Trujillo MolinaTrujillo Molina, Rafael Leonidas
, 1891–1961, president of the Dominican Republic (1930–38, 1942–52). Trained by U.S. marines during U.S. occupation of the country, he was army chief in the presidency of Horacio Vásquez, whom he ousted in 1930.
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 in the Dominican Republic. In Spain, General Francisco FrancoFranco, Francisco
, 1892–1975, Spanish general and caudillo [leader]. He became a general at the age of 32 after commanding the Spanish Foreign Legion in Morocco.
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 gave himself the title of el Caudillo, using the term literally without its disparaging connotations.



(1) The official title of Generalissimo F. Franco, the former head of state of Spain. The caudillo is invested with virtually unlimited powers of supreme governmental, political, and military leadership (“the caudillo is responsible before god and history”).

(2) In several Latin American countries, the caudillo is thehead of state, ruling as a personal dictator.

References in periodicals archive ?
For starters, Latin America's strongmen and caudillo traditions have translated into occasionally extreme presidential regimes where other constitutional powers end up at the mercy of the strong president's decisions or favors.
The corruption continues until the caudillo is above the law.
Another crisis with Colombia probably benefits the caudillo, who is desperate to distract attention from his country's imploding economy and soaring violence.
Others will cherish the chance to live without worrying about the depredations of some party bureaucrat, caudillo, or religious fanatic.
Volviendo al caudillo de la TV centroamericana, la tecnologia pudo haber alentado a Gonzalez a la cobertura de un tipo de prensa 'controlada'.
Then, veteran mixed martial artist Gideon Ray added his 31st career victory after defeating Luke Caudillo by unanimous decision in fight six.
Zelaya, for his part, was starting to seem like a standard-issue caudillo as he maneuvered for constitutional changes that would extend his time in office.
With its foggish black moire and Krazy Kat fork stabbed into the apple of original sin, the body of Christ as the heel of a loaf of bread, and the gin bottle and old shoe of the Spanish dirt-poor, Still Life with Old Shoe represents Spain itself, speaking at the same time to the privations of the Loyalist struggle at home (as well as in France, where refugees, Miro among them, were received with grim hostility) and the depredations of those living under the victorious regime of "El Caudillo.
She has written about her life with El Caudillo in her book 'Franco, My Father', published in Spain on Friday.
My first holiday abroad was in 1964 when tour companies flew large numbers of us to newly built, concrete resorts - dotted along the Spanish coast at the behest of Francisco Franco, the country's brutal and humourless dictator, known as Caudillo to his timorous admirers.
Though I wasn't as well informed as my friend, I knew that the caudillo had risen to power with the help of Hitler and Mussolini.
After a year in the Spanish headquarters, Craig was sent to the Resident Shipbuilding Liaison Office at the shipyard in El Ferrol del Caudillo.