Lusinchi, Jaime Ramón

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Jaime Ramón Lusinchi (hī´mā rämōn´ lōōsĬn´chē), 1924–2014, Venezuelan political leader. Lusinchi joined the Democratic Action party (AD) upon its founding in 1941 and was involved in resistance to the military dictatorships of the 1940s and 50s. Jailed for a time, he went into exile in 1953. Returning to Venezuela in 1958, he was elected to congress for four terms beginning in 1959 and later served in the senate (1979–84). After becoming general secretary of AD (1981–83), he was elected president of Venezuela in 1984, at a time when the country was suffering from declining oil revenues, massive foreign debt, excessive government spending, and corruption. In spite of introducing austerity measures and rescheduling the country's foreign debt, he was unable to control the economic crisis, including rampant inflation. He was succeeded (1989) by Carlos Andrés Pérez Rodríguez. In the 1990s Lusinchi was accused of corruption during his presidency, and he fled the country in 1993, returning in 1999.