Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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GUZMAN-BLANCO, Antonio, president of Venezuela, born in Caracas in 1830. His father, Antonio, was a Venezuelan journalist and politician. The son was banished by the government of General Castro, and accompanied General Juan C. Falcon in his invasion of Venezuela, becoming his general secretary. After the final defeat of Falcon at Cople in September, 1860, Guzman accompanied his chief in his flight, and was sent to the West Indies to solicit assistance. Toward the end of 1861 he landed again with Falcon on the coast of Coro, and after numerous engagements signed on 22 May, 1863, the treaty of Coche, by which arms were laid down, and a general assembly called at Victoria, which elected Falcon president and Guzman-Blanco vice president. The latter was at the same time secretary of the treasury, and went to London to negotiate a loan. On his return he was for a short time in charge of the executive, and afterward was elected president of congress. After the overthrow of Falcon in 1868, Guzman left the country, but headed a revolution in 1869, and in 1870 became provisional president with extraordinary powers, ruling the country for years as a dictator. His successor, General Alcantara, died in December, 1878, and there were several revolutionary uprisings, till Guzman assumed the government again. In the elections of 1883 General Joaquin Crespo, one of his friends, was declared president, and Guzman-Blanco became ambassador to France, living with great ostentation in Paris. In 1886 he again assumed the presidency.
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