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Venezuela, military uprisings, 1960–1962

Dario Azzellini


The beginning of the 1960s in Venezuela was marked by general discontent with the results of the overthrow of dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez. The bourgeois parties, entrepreneurs, Catholic Church, and high-ranking military officials had agreed to share power and had excluded the Communist Party and the leftist and progressive forces which had played a crucial role in the struggle against Pérez Jiménez. Since 1957, the revolutionary left had begun to infiltrate the army and form the Frente Militar de Carrera, a clandestine organization. On June 26, 1961, the Barcelonazo, a military rebellion in the eastern coastal city of Barcelona, took place. While some authors describe the event as a right-wing conspiracy against the government of Rómulo Betancourt and Acción Democrática, other authors and contemporary witnesses, mainly former members of the guerilla Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR), who were involved in the rebellion, tell a different story. The Barcelonazo was led by nationalistic and anti-imperialistically oriented soldiers with connections to the entrepreneurs association Fedecamaras and to the old elites, and cooperating also with leftist sectors of the Republican Democratic Union (URD) and the MIR. The rebels brought the city and one military barracks under their control. But the rebellion failed, because no further army units followed. Moreover the rebellion had ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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