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Guido Vildoso


In office
21 July 1982 – October 10, 1982
Preceded by Celso Torrelio
Succeeded by Hernán Siles

Born 1937
La Paz, Bolivia
Nationality Bolivian

General Guido Vildoso Calderón (b. 1937, La Paz, Bolivia) was an officer in the Military of Bolivia and de facto President of Bolivia in 1982.

Born in La Paz, Vildoso joined the Bolivian armed forces and took specialized courses in Brazil, Panama, and the United States. In the 1970s he served in the cabinet of military dictator General Hugo Banzer. Vildoso was second in command in the Bolivian Army when, in July 1982, he was entrusted by his peers with the task of extricating the military from power and returning the country to constitutional, democratic rule. His appointment followed the debacle of the highly unpopular 1980-82 dictatorships of generals Luis García Meza (1980-81) and Celso Torrelio (1981-82).

Faced with a grave social, economic and fiscal crisis, Vildoso accelerated the re-democratization process. In essence, he and his fellow commanders had two options: to call new elections, or to reconvene the 1980 Congress and respect the results of that year's presidential contest. Choosing the latter in order to avoid further social unrest and quite possibly civil war, the 1980 Congress was recalled, which confirmed the election of Hernán Siles as per the results of the 1980 elections. Vildoso returned the presidential emblems and control of power to Congress on October 10, 1982, thus closing the door on military control of Bolivia. This gesture allowed Congress to annoit the democratically elect candidate Hernán Siles. Nonetheless, Vildoso and his cabinet were loudly booed by the population present at the transfer of power to Siles. The Bolivian Congress did later acknowledge Vildoso for his two main accomplishments: restoring democracy to Bolivia with no bloodshed and developing the fundamentals of the economic plan, 21060, that was later used by Victor Paz Estenssoro to restore sound macroeconomic variables to the nation.

After Presidency

After the handover of authority, Vildoso retired from the military. To date, he is the last non-constitutional ruler in his country.

References

  • Prado Salmón, Gral. Gary. "Poder y Fuerzas Armadas, 1949-1982."
Preceded by
Celso Torrelio
President of Bolivia
1982
Succeeded by
Hernán Siles
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