Gálvez, Juan Manuel (1887–1972)

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Gálvez, Juan Manuel (1887–1972)

Juan Manuel Gálvez (b. 1887; d. 19 August 1972), president of Honduras, 1949–1954. Gálvez succeeded the long-time dictator, Tiburcio Carías Andino, whom he had served as minister of defense. As Carías's handpicked successor, Gálvez perpetuated National Party dominance and many of his predecessor's policies. He launched a more vigorous program of public works, infrastructure development, economic diversification, and tax reform while also easing restrictions on civil liberties.

The United Fruit Company workers' strike in 1954 precipitated a political crisis at the end of Gálvez's administration. Gálvez, who had been a United Fruit attorney for many years, showed little sympathy for the strikers and was clearly annoyed by the encouragement that Guatemala's pro-labor government of Jacobo Arbenz gave the strikers. He actively collaborated with Guatemalan exiles and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in the overthrow of the Arbenz government in June 1954. In the November 1954 elections, Carías sought to return to office, but Liberal candidate Ramón Villeda Morales received a plurality of the votes, with no one receiving a majority. Before the Congress could decide the election, Gálvez's vice president, Julio Lozano Díaz, seized power, ending Gálvez's administration. Gálvez, now in ill health, did not contest Lozano's seizure of dictatorial power, and Lozano later appointed Gálvez president of the Supreme Court.

See alsoCarías Andino, Tiburcio; Honduras; United Fruit Company.


James D. Rudolph, ed., Honduras, a Country Study, 2d ed. (1983).

James A. Morris, Honduras: Caudillo Politics and Military Rulers (1984).

Alison Acker, Honduras: The Making of a Banana Republic (1988).

James Dunkerley, Power in the Isthmus: A Political History of Modern Central America (1988).

Tom Barry and Kent Norsworthy, Honduras: A Country Guide (1990).

Additional Bibliography

Funes, Matías. Los deliberantes: El poder militar en Honduras. Tegucigalpa: Editorial Guaymuras, 2000.

Salomón, Leticia. Política y militares en Honduras. Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Editorial Millenium, 1992.

                                 Ralph Lee Woodward Jr.