Geopolitical & Socioeconomic

Dictatorship Series - Memories of Dictatorship in Venezuela

  • Instituto Cervantes, 15-19 Devereux Court, London

Canning House and Instituto Cervantes are co-presenting this series of talks that looks at military dictatorships in 20th Century Latin America and their legacies to present day.

Canning House and Instituto Cervantes are co-presenting this series of talks that looks at military dictatorships in 20th Century Latin America and their legacies to present day. Each talk will focus on a different country.

General Juan Vicente Gómez, 1908-1935: 27 years as the necessary gendarme?

  • Gómez’s background in Táchira
  • Gómez’s involvement in local politics with his ‘compadre’ Cipriano Castro
  • Gómez’s triumphant entry together with Castro in October 1899 to assume the Vice Presidency of the country
  • Gómez’s own December 1908 coup against Castro
  • Gómez’s governing method and his desire to modernise the country
  • And, finally, a look at the development of the oil industry (mainly British capital initially), which is considered to be Gómez’s his ‘enduring legacy’. During his dictatorship, the country became the second largest crude oil producer after the US as well as becoming an important strategic supplier of crude oil to the UK.

With Dr Brian S McBeth:

Brian S McBeth trained as an economist and holds a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies and a doctorate in Politics from the University of Oxford. He is a former director of Schroder Securities Ltd. and worked as a stockbroker in the City of London between 1979 and 2008 specialising in oil companies. He has written extensively on oil, privatization and Venezuela over the years. His first book was Juan Vicente Gómez and the Oil Companies in Venezuela, 1908-1935 (Cambridge University Press, 1983). This was followed by British Oil Policy, 1919-1939 (London, Frank Cass & Co., 1983). In the same year together with William M Sullivan he published, Petroleum in Venezuela ‑ A bibliography ( Boston, G.K. Hall & Co.) In 1993, he published Colombia (London, Euromoney Books), followed by Venezuela: The Way Forward  (London, Euromoney Books) in 1994, and Global Privatizations: A Strategic Report (Euromoney Books), in 1996. In 2001, his book on the Cipriano Castro dictatorship in Venezuela, Gunboats, Corruption and Claim: Foreign Intervention in Venezuela, 1899-1908 was published by Greenwood Press in the USA. In 2008, his book on the relationship between the Gómez dictatorship and the political exiles, Dictatorship & Politics: Intrigue, Betrayal and Survival in Venezuela, 1908 – 1935 was published by the University of Notre Dame Press in the USA. His latest book La Política Petrolera Venezolana: Una perspectiva histórica, 1922-2005, was published earlier this year in Caracas by the Universidad Metropolitana. Dr. McBeth is currently working on a major study of the 1943 Venezuelan oil law as well as a separate study on the Venezuelan oil concessionaires during the Gómez dictatorship. He is a Senior Common Room Member at St Antony’s College, Oxford,  and a Director of the British Venezuelan Society.

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