Plaza Lasso, Galo (gäˈlō pläˈ sä läˈsō) [key], 1906–87, president of Ecuador (1948–52) and secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS; 1968–75), b. New York City. He served (1944–46) as Ecuadorian ambassador to the United States and was a signer of the Charter of the United Nations. A liberal democrat and an expert in mechanized agriculture, as president he forwarded the agricultural development of Ecuador. Bananas, coffee, and cacao exports reached record heights. In spite of chronic political turbulence, Plaza brought a measure of economic prosperity to the country; he was the first constitutionally elected president in 28 years to complete his term. He later served as a UN mediator in Lebanon (1958), the Congo (1960), and Cyprus (1964–65). As secretary-general of the OAS, he earned a reputation for vigorous leadership.
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