Marcos Pérez Jiménez

Pérez Jiménez, Marcos (märˈkōs pāˈrās hēmāˈnās) [key], 1914–2001, president of Venezuela (1952–58). As an army captain he took part in the coup that installed (1945) the Democratic Action party in power, but he subsequently objected to its leftist reforms and was a member of the three-man junta that overthrew President Rómulo Gallegos in 1948. After one of the junta members was mysteriously killed, he emerged (1952) as self-appointed president. He imposed a corrupt dictatorship marked by virulent anti-Communism and brutal repression, and spent money lavishly on highways and tourist attractions, especially in Caracas. He was ousted by a popular revolt in Jan., 1958. He lived in exile in Miami, Fla., until 1963, when he was extradited to Venezuela on charges of embezzling some $200 million during his presidential tenure. He was imprisoned (1963–68) and after his release lived in exile in Spain.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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