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MENDEZ y LA BARTA, Ramon Ignacio (men'-deth), Venezuelan archbishop, born in Barinas in 1784; died in Villeta, Colombia, 6 August, 1839. He studied in the Seminary of Caracas and the University of Merida, was graduated at an early age with honors in philosophy, law, and theology, and appointed canon of the cathedral of Merida. When the revolutionary movement of 19 April, 1810, began, he was at Barinas as vicar-general, and espoused the cause of independence with enthusiasm. He was elected a member of the provisional government, and appointed in 1811 a member of congress, signing the act of independence on 5 July. He also fought in the battles of Guayana, Apure, and New Granada, and was the companion of Paez in Arichuna at the capture of Achaguas and San Fernando and in the brilliant battle of the Yagual. It e occupied a seat in the Colombian congress at Cueuta in 1821, and was senator in the same congress from 1823 till 1826. A dispute with Senator Gomez resulted in a personal attack by Mendez, for which he was expelled from the senate. He then went to Venezuela, where he was warmly welcomed, and elected archi deacon of the cathedral of Caracas, and in 1828 he became archbishop of Venezuela. Refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the constitution of Venezuela, as he thought it incompatible with the rights and immunities of the church, he was compelled to leave the country and went to Curazao, 21 November, 1830. In 1832 he returned, but in November, 1836, on account of his refusal to invest the prebendaries that had been appointed by the government, he was again compelled to leave the country. After residing nearly three years in Curazao, he sought an asylum in New Granada, but died on his way to Bogota.
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