Herrera Campíns, Luis

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Herrera Campíns, Luis

Luis Herrera Campíns (lōōēs´ ārā´rä cämpēns´), 1925–2007, Venezuelan politician and president (1979–84). A lawyer and journalist, he was a founder of the moderate Social Christian (COPEI) party. Accused of prodemocracy and antigovernment activities, in 1952 he was first jailed by the Venezuelan dictator Gen. Marcos Pérez Jiménez and then went into exile in Spain and Germany. While in exile, he and other members of his party founded the antigovernment newspaper Tiela, which was secretly distributed in Venezuela, and he also wrote influential pieces in other Venezuelan periodicals. When the dictatorship was overthrown in 1958, Campíns Herrera returned home and was elected to congress. Elected president in 1978, he enjoyed a few years of high oil prices that enabled him to build at home and to supply oil to Central American and Caribbean countries. However, when oil prices fell Herrera was forced to devalue the national currency. As the economy faltered, he lost much of his popularity and was defeated in the 1983 elections.

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