Villeda Morales, Ramón (rämōnˈ vēyāˈħä mōräˈlās) [key], 1909–71, president of Honduras (1957–63). A physician, he was prominent in the Liberal party and served as Honduran ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American States. Selected president of Honduras by a constituent assembly, he launched a Liberal, prolabor regime that aroused considerable opposition, introducing welfare benefits, a social security law, and a new labor code. In 1963, 10 days before scheduled presidential elections in which the Liberal candidate appeared likely to win, Villeda was overthrown in an army coup led by Col. Osvaldo López. Villeda later served as head of the Honduran delegation to the United Nations. He died in New York City.
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