Cuestas, Juan Lindolfo (1837–1905)

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Cuestas, Juan Lindolfo (1837–1905)

Juan Lindolfo Cuestas (b. 6 January 1837; d. 21 June 1905), president of Uruguay (1899–1903). A veteran politician, Cuestas was president of the Senate between 1895 and 1898 and provisional president between 1898 and 1899. In his early career he subscribed to the collectivist Colorado group led by Herrera y Obes, which had overseen the transition from militarism to civilian government. As president of the Senate exercising executive power after the death of the constitutional president, he modified his politics in order to broaden his base of support within both the Colorado and the Blanco (National) parties. The preceding president, Juan Idiarte Borda, assassinated in 1897, had left a legacy of revolution in the Blanco Party, led by Aparicio Saravia. Cuestas made a pact with Saravia, accepting what amounted to a formula for cogovernment. In 1898, unable to assure his own election by the Parliament, he dissolved the assembly by decree and assumed dictatorial powers. During his provisional presidency, military and presumably collectivist factions attempted a coup d'état and an invasion, which ultimately failed. Cuestas's constitutional presidency deserves credit for bringing the peace and order so longed for. José Batlle y Ordóñez succeeded him as president, beginning a new era in Uruguayan politics and suppressing the cogovernment of Cuestas and Saravia.

See alsoUruguay, Political Parties: Blanco Party; Uruguay, Political Parties: Colorado Party.


Eduardo Acevedo, Manual de historia uruguaya: Desde el coloniaje hasta 1930 (1935), esp. pp. 241-298.

Enrique Méndez Vives, El Uruguay de la modernización (1977), esp. pp. 87-95, 117-122.

Additional Bibliography

Rock, David. "State-Building and Political Systems in Nineteenth-Century Argentina and Uruguay." Past and Present 167 (May 2000): 176-202.

                                  Fernando Filgueira