Ancient history

The Andean Dictatorships

The long Venezuelan dictatorial period began in 1908, when General Juan Vicente Gómez (the “tyrant of the Andes”) came to power.

Gómez remained dictator until 1935, and his government was characterized by the enrichment and corruption of the army's top officers, especially those originating from the Eastern Andean region.

Soon after the Gómez dictatorship was established, oil exploration began by foreign companies. The situation of the country changed profoundly, since then, dedicated almost exclusively to oil production and, given the abandonment of agriculture, the most diverse products began to be imported, at high costs.

The opposition, made up of liberals, socialists and communists, was always kept under strong repression and constantly increased the number of political exiles.

In 1937, the Democratic Action was founded, which, by grouping elements of the middle class, became the strongest of the opposition parties.

On the occasion of Gómez's death, a popular uprising took place in Caracas with the looting of the homes of the regime's top leaders.

However, the Andean officers' dictatorship remained until 1946, when it was overthrown by a coup of civilians and military personnel, in which the figures of Rômulo Betancourt (leader of Democratic Action) and Major Marcos Pérez Jiménez stood out.

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