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Rómulo Betancourt

(1908—1981)


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(1908–81)

Venezuelan statesman. An avowed democrat, he served as President from 1959 to 1964, presiding over a period of redemocratization following a long period of military juntas. He initiated a modest programme of agrarian reform, increased the taxes paid by the foreign oil companies, and secured a series of benefits for organized labour. Attacked by the right-wing supporters of his predecessor and by the radical socialists, he turned the presidential office over to a freely elected successor in 1964.

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