Cipriano Castro (sēprēä´nō käs´trō), 1858?–1924, president of Venezuela (1901–8). In 1899 he usurped the government, overthrowing Andrade. Called the Lion of the Andes by his followers, he was a stern and arbitrary caudillo, who nevertheless improved the country's economy. Castro's administration is notable because of the financial claims (see Venezuela Claims) made by several foreign powers and his defiance of them. He retired briefly in 1906 and was succeeded by Juan Vicente Gómez, but after having violent disagreements with Gómez, Castro again assumed power. In 1908 Castro went to Europe. Gómez immediately deposed him and took control. Castro died in exile.