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Raúl Leoni


In office
13 March 1964 – 11 March 1969
Preceded by Rómulo Betancourt
Succeeded by Rafael Caldera

Senator for life
In office
March 11, 1969 – July 5, 1972

President of the National Congress of Venezuela
In office
1959 – 1962

Minister of Labor of Venezuela
In office
1945 – 1948

Born 26 April 1905(1905-04-26)
El Manteco, Bolívar state, Venezuela
Died 5 July 1972 (aged 67)
New York City, New York, USA
Political party Acción Democrática
Spouse(s) Carmen América Fernández Alcalá (Menca de Leoni)
Religion Roman Catholic
Signature
Website Raúl Leoni Foundation

Raúl Leoni Otero (26 April 1905 - 5 July 1972) was President of Venezuela from 1964 until 1969. He fought against the dictators Juan Vicente Gómez and Marcos Pérez Jiménez, and was a charter member of the Acción Democrática party.

He was born in El Manteco, Bolívar State from a mason born in Corse. He graduated at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas as a lawyer. Was member of the Generation of 1928, and the first Labor minister of Venezuela.

One of the pillars of a political consolidation in Venezuela, the Pacto de Punto Fijo, was underestimated by Leoni, since in his opinion it reduced the "coherence and organization of the regime". Strictly, the pact mandated that the composition of the executive cabinet be limited to representatives of three of the more important political parties: Acción Democrática (AD), COPEI and Unión Republicana Democrática (URD). Leoni initially formed a cabinet with a few members of his party and a good number of independents. Later, in November of 1964, Leoni initiated conversations with leaders of the involved parties to rescue the spirit of the pact. A new cabinet was formed, but it lasted for only 16 months.

Contents

Presidency

Monument to Leoni and his wife Menca, Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela

Leoni took control of the presidency on 13 March 1964, succeeding Rómulo Betancourt; both were members of the Acción Democrática.

During his government, Leoni carried out important structural projects in Venezuela, specifically the development of heavy industry in Guayana (hydroelectric, iron and steel), inauguration of the Bank of the Workers, and construction of road infrastructure (highways, freeways, and bridges - the most important of which crossed the Orinoco). Important changes to labor and social programs also occurred; unions gained force and the Social Security law was modified. Leoni made an attempt at reforming tax structure, but was restrained by a coalition of left and right that openly served the interests of oil companies.

In 1967 the Invasion of Machurucuto happened during the presidency where 12 guerrillas attempted to help Venezuelan guerrillas in the Venezuelan Andes.

Also, in this same period Leoni signed the Cartagena Agreement (precursor to the Andean Community trade bloc) in Bogotá between Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Perú and Ecuador.

During Leoni's presidency the conflict with the leftist guerrilla movement Armed Forces for National Liberation (FALN) intensified. In 1967 he suspended constitutional guarantees.

On the 11 March 1969, Leoni transferred power to Rafael Caldera, member of the Christian Democratic Party COPEI and signatory of the Pacto de Punto Fijo. This transfer definitively instituted the alternation of power between the important parties through the end of the 20th century in Venezuela.

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Raúl Leoni´s cabinet

Ministries [1]
OFFICE NAME
President Raúl Leoni
Home Affairs Gonzalo Barrios
  Reinaldo Leandro Mora
Outer Relations Ignacio Iribarren Borges
Finance Andrés Germán Otero
  Benito Raúl Losada
Defense Ramón Florencio Gómez
Development Luis Hernández Solís
Public Works Leopoldo Sucre Figarella
Education José Manuel Siso Martínez
  Humberto Rivas Mijares
Labor Hens Silva Torres
  Simón Antoni Paván
Communications J. J. González Gorrondona
  J. M. Domínguez Chacín
Agriculture Juan José Palacios
  Pedro Segnini La Cruz
  Alejandro Osorio
Health and Social Assistance Domingo Guzmán Lander
  Alfonso Araujo Belloso
Justice Ramón Escovar Salom
  José S. Núñez Aristimuño
Mines and Hydrocarbons Manuel Pérez Guerrero
  José Antonio Mayobre
Secretary of Presidency Manuel Mantilla


See also

References

  1. ^ Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Venezuela (1965). Oficina de Información, Prensa y Publicaciones. “El Presidente y su Gabinete.”
Political offices
Preceded by
Rómulo Betancourt
President of Venezuela
1964 – 1969
Succeeded by
Rafael Caldera
Party political offices
Preceded by
Rómulo Betancourt (1958)
AD presidential candidate
1963 (won)
Succeeded by
Gonzalo Barrios (1968)

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