Rómulo Gallegos

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Rómulo Gallegos
Romulo Gallegos 1940s.jpg
48th President of Venezuela
In office
17 February 1948 24 November 1948
Preceded by Rómulo Betancourt
Succeeded by Carlos Delgado Chalbaud
Senator for life
In office
23 January 1961 5 April 1969
Personal details
Born(1884-08-02)2 August 1884
Caracas, Venezuela
Died5 April 1969(1969-04-05) (aged 84)
Caracas, Venezuela
Political party Acción Democrática
Spouse(s)Teotiste Arocha Egui (1888-1950)
Signature Gallegos firma.jpg

Rómulo Ángel del Monte Carmelo Gallegos Freire (2 August 1884 5 April 1969) [1] [2] [3] was a Venezuelan novelist and politician. For a period of some nine months during 1948, he was the first cleanly elected president in his country's history.[ citation needed ]

Venezuela Republic in northern South America

Venezuela, officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and a large number of small islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea. The capital and largest urban agglomeration is the city of Caracas. It has a territorial extension of 916,445 km2. The continental territory is bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Colombia, Brazil on the south, Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east and on the east by Guyana. With this last country, the Venezuelan government maintains a claim for Guayana Esequiba over an area of 159,542 km2. For its maritime areas, it exercises sovereignty over 71,295 km2 of territorial waters, 22,224 km2 in its contiguous zone, 471,507 km2 of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean under the concept of exclusive economic zone, and 99,889 km2 of continental shelf. This marine area borders those of 13 states. The country has extremely high biodiversity and is ranked seventh in the world's list of nations with the most number of species. There are habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon basin rain-forest in the south via extensive llanos plains, the Caribbean coast and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.


Early life and writings

Rómulo Gallegos was born in Caracas to Rómulo Gallegos Osío and Rita Freire Guruceaga, into a family of humble origin. He began his work as a schoolteacher, writer, classical music enthusiast, and journalist in 1903. His novel Doña Bárbara was first published in 1929, and it was because of the book's criticisms of the regime of longtime dictator Juan Vicente Gómez that he was forced to flee the country. He took refuge in Spain, where he continued to write: his acclaimed novels Cantaclaro (1934) and Canaima (1935) date from this period. He returned to Venezuela in 1936 and was appointed Minister of Public Education.

Caracas Capital City in Capital District, Venezuela

Caracas, officially Santiago de León de Caracas, is the capital and largest city of Venezuela, and centre of the Greater Caracas Area. Caracas is located along the Guaire River in the northern part of the country, following the contours of the narrow Caracas Valley on the Venezuelan coastal mountain range. Terrain suitable for building lies between 760 and 1,140 m above sea level, although there is some settlement above this range. The valley is close to the Caribbean Sea, separated from the coast by a steep 2,200-metre-high (7,200 ft) mountain range, Cerro El Ávila; to the south there are more hills and mountains. The Metropolitan Region of Caracas has an estimated population of 5,243,301.

<i>Doña Bárbara</i> book written by Rómulo Gallegos

Doña Bárbara is a novel by Venezuelan author Rómulo Gallegos, first published in 1929. It was described in 1974 as "possibly the most widely known Latin American novel".

Juan Vicente Gómez President of Venezuela

Juan Vicente Gómez Chacón was a military general and de facto ruler of Venezuela from 1908 until his death in 1935. He was president on three occasions during this time, and ruled as an unelected military strongman for the rest of the era.

Political career

In 1937 he was elected to Congress and, in 194041, served as Mayor of Caracas. In 1945, Rómulo Gallegos was involved in the coup d'état that brought Rómulo Betancourt and the "Revolutionary Government Junta" to power, in the period known as El Trienio Adeco. In the 1947 general election he ran for the presidency of the republic as the Acción Democrática candidate and won in what is generally believed to be the country's first honest election.[ citation needed ] He took over 74 percent of the vote, still a record for a free election in Venezuela. He took office in February 15, and was noted for raising the state's tax revenue for oil profits increase from 43% to 50%, a tax scheme known as "fifty / fifty" and which was subsequently replicated in several producing countries as Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, army officers Carlos Delgado Chalbaud, Marcos Pérez Jiménez and Luis Felipe Llovera Páez, threw him out of power November in the 1948 Venezuelan coup d'état. He took refuge first in Cuba and then in Mexico. Gallegos returned to his country after the fall of the dictatorship of Marcos Pérez Jiménez in 1958. While he was named a senator for life, he no longer took an active role in politics.

Coup détat Sudden deposition of a government; illegal and overt seizure of a state by the military or other elites within the state apparatus

A coup d'état, also known as a putsch, a golpe, or simply as a coup, means the overthrow of an existing government; typically, this refers to an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a dictator, the military, or a political faction.

Rómulo Betancourt President of Venezuela

Rómulo Ernesto Betancourt Bello, known as "The Father of Venezuelan Democracy", was the 47th and 54th President of Venezuela, serving from 1945 to 1948 and again from 1959 to 1964, as well as leader of Acción Democrática, Venezuela's dominant political party in the 20th century.

El Trienio Adeco was a three-year period in Venezuelan history, from 1945 to 1948, under the government of the popular party Democratic Action. The party gained office via the 1945 Venezuelan coup d'état against President Isaías Medina Angarita, and held the first democratic elections in Venezuelan history, beginning with the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly election, 1946. The Venezuelan general election, 1947 saw Democratic Action formally elected to office, but it was removed from office shortly after in the 1948 Venezuelan coup d'état.

Gallegos was awarded the National Literature Prize (1958, for La doncella), and elected to the Venezuelan Academy of the Language (the correspondent agency in Venezuela of the Spanish Royal Academy). [4]

The National Prize for Literature is a literary award made annually to Venezuelan writers.

From 1960 to 1963, he was a Commissioner of the newly created Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (created by OAS in Washington on 18 August 1959), and he was also its first President (1960) a position he held until 1963.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is an autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS).


He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1960, largely due to the efforts of Miguel Otero Silva, and gained widespread support in Latin America, [5] but ultimately lost out to Saint-John Perse. The Rómulo Gallegos international novel prize was created in his honor in 1964, with the first award being made in 1967. The Rómulo Gallegos International Novel Prize (Spanish: Premio internacional de novela Rómulo Gallegos) was created on 6 August 1964 by a presidential decree enacted by Venezuelan president Raúl Leoni, in honor of him. The declared purpose of the prize is to "perpetuate and honor the work of the eminent novelist and also to stimulate the creative activity of Spanish language writers". It is awarded by the government of Venezuela, through the offices of the Rómulo Gallegos Center for Latin American Studies (Celarg). The first prize was given in 1967. It was awarded every five years until 1987, when it became a biannual award. The award includes a cash prize of €100,000 making it among the richest literary prizes in the world.

Nobel Prize in Literature One of the five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize in Literature is a Swedish literature prize that is awarded annually, since 1901, to an author from any country who has, in the words of the will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction". Though individual works are sometimes cited as being particularly noteworthy, the award is based on an author's body of work as a whole. The Swedish Academy decides who, if anyone, will receive the prize. The academy announces the name of the laureate in early October. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895. It was not awarded in 2018, but two names will be awarded in 2019.

Miguel Otero Silva Venezuelan politician and writer

Miguel Otero Silva, was a Venezuelan writer, journalist, humorist and politician. A figure of great relevance in Venezuelan literature, his literary and journalistic works related strictly to the socio-political history of Venezuela. Throughout his life he was repeatedly forced into exile. Later on, after the establishment of a democratic state in 1958, he was elected to the Venezuelan Senate.

Saint-John Perse French poet

Saint-John Perse was a French poet-diplomat, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1960 "for the soaring flight and evocative imagery of his poetry." He was a major French diplomat from 1914 to 1940, after which he lived primarily in the United States until 1967.

Personal life and death

Gallegos was married to Teotiste Arocha Egui,[ citation needed ] who served as First Lady of Venezuela in 1948.[ citation needed ] Rómulo Gallegos Freire died in Caracas on 5 April 1969.

Published works

Venezuelan Presidential election 1947
Rómulo Gallegos871,752
Rafael Caldera 262,204
Gustavo Machado 36,587

See also

Further reading

Related Research Articles

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Míster Peligro, or Señor Peligro, is the name of a character in the novel Doña Bárbara, written by Venezuelan novelist and former president Rómulo Gallegos. Both Spanish and English forms of the name appear in the novel.

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  1. Fundación Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos Rómulo Gallegos
  2. Profile of Rómulo Gallegos
  3. Geni.com
  4. Real Academia Española / Academia Venezolana de la Lengua Archived 30 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Jeannine Hyde (1960), "Rómulo Gallegos and the Nobel Prize in 1960", Hispania, Vol. 43, No. 2 (May, 1960), pp. 241-242

  • DUNHAM, LOWELL. 1990: "Cartas familiares de Rómulo Gallegos". Cuadernos Lagoven. Lagoven, S.A. Caracas - Venezuela.
  • MORON, GUILLERMO. 1979: "Los presidentes de Venezuela 18111979". Meneven, S.A. Caracas - Venezuela.
  • ROMERO MARTÍNEZ, VINICIO. 1987: "Mis mejores amigos". Editorial Larense. Caracas - Venezuela.
  • SUBERO, EFRAÍN. 1984: "Aproximación sociologica a la obra de Rómulo Gallegos homenaje en el centenario de su nacimiento".Cuadernos Lagoven. Lagoven, S.A. Caracas - Venezuela.

Political offices
Preceded by
Rómulo Betancourt
President of Venezuela
Succeeded by
Carlos Delgado Chalbaud