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Machado, Gustavo (1898–1983)

Machado, Gustavo (1898–1983)

Gustavo Machado (b. 1898, d. 1983), leader of Venezuelan Communist Party. Born into a wealthy Caracas family, Machado, while still in high school, became a revolutionary in opposition to the dictatorship of Juan Vicente Gómez (1908–1935). Over the course of his political career, he spent many years in exile and in prison for his revolutionary and Communist activities. During the Democratic Action trienio (1945–1948), the Communist Party now legalized, he was a vocal member of the Constituent Assembly and later of the Chamber of Deputies. In 1947 Machado ran for president on the Communist ticket, finishing third and last. After the military dictatorship (1948–1958) Machado returned from exile and was again elected to the Chamber of Deputies (1958), where he served as head of the Communist delegation. He was subsequently imprisoned (1963–1968), however, for allegedly fomenting guerrilla insurgency. After his release he resumed command of the Communist Party, but he renounced armed violence and instead stressed the peaceful road to socialism. From 1973 to 1978, he served in Congress, eventually retiring altogether from public life. In 1981, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Universidad de Los Andes in Merida, Venezuela. He died in Caracas in 1983.

See alsoVenezuela, Political Parties: Movement to Socialism (MAS)xml .


Robert J. Alexander, The Communist Party of Venezuela (1969).

Juan Bautista Fuenmayor, Historia de la Venezuela política contemporánea, 1899–1960, 10 vols. (1978–).

Robert J. Alexander, ed., Biographical Dictionary of Latin American and Caribbean Political Leaders (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Azpúrua E., Miguel. El último general: Vida y obra revolucionaria del Dr. Gustavo Machado. Venezuela: s.n., 1999.

Moran Beltran, Lino, Lorena Velazquez and Vileana Melean. "Gustavo Machado and the origins of Marxism in Venezuela." Revista de Filosofía 49 (Jan 2005): 28-46.

Nazóa, Anibal, and José Agustín Catalá. Gustavo Machado, caballero de la revolución. Caracas, Venezuela: Ediciones Centauro, 1985.

Rangel, Domingo Alberto. Gustavo Machado: Un caudillo prestado al comunismo. Caracas, Venezuela: Centauro Ediciones, 2001.

                                 Winfield J. Burggraaff

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