5 Characteristics Of The Government Of Cipriano Castro

Some characteristics of the government of Cipriano Castro are its personalism and tyrannical character in the exercise of power, the problems it faced with several countries or its bad relations with part of the economic power of his country.

This last point is related to foreign intervention in the country, which he faced by raising the doses of nationalism in his public interventions.

Cipriano Castro was president of Venezuela between 1899 and 1908. Initially, he came to power after a civil war and, from 1901, as constitutional ruler.

In any case, he is credited with having made several legal changes to increase his period of government and so that all power rested on his person.

Characteristics of the government of Cipriano Castro

1-  Authoritarian government

Either because of the way he got to the government, after a civil war in which he clashed with the supporters of Ignacio Andrade, or because of his personality, described by some scholars as capricious and despotic, the presidency of Cipriano Castro is a period in which that civil rights were very little respected.

He was a very personalist ruler, who suppressed several public freedoms. Nor did he hesitate to reform the Constitution in order to be reelected. He was also accused of running the country’s economy like that of his companies.


Changes in administration and territorial reorganization

With his motto “new men, new ideas and new procedures”, Castro changed the entire administrative structure that his predecessors had created. On many occasions, however, it was more a matter of simple name changes.

3- Internal rebellions 

Internal opposition to the government of Cipriano Castro, resulted in a series of attempts to remove him from power.

In this regard, one can highlight the so-called Liberating Revolution (1901-1903) or the plot known as “The Conjuration” (1907), which took advantage of the absence of the president for health reasons to try to overthrow him.

4- External debt 

Although it is true that the country’s economic situation was very precarious when Castro came to power, in his first years in office he was unable to manage the situation.

This causes that, in 1900, the foreign debt reached 190 million bolivars. The drop in prices of the most important product in the country, coffee, means that the payment of this debt has to be suspended.

5- Confrontation with foreign powers

Some of the creditor powers, who not only wanted the collection of the debt, but also compensation for damages to their interests during the Liberation Revolution, become more belligerent.

For example, England and Germany proceeded to blockade Venezuelan coasts with gunboats in December 1902. Other countries, such as Italy, soon joined.

Finally, although they are not participating in this blockade, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United States, Spain and Mexico request that their claims be taken into account.

This crisis ends in 1903, when the so-called Washington Protocol is signed. Through this document, Venezuela undertakes to pay what it owes.



  1. Venezuela Yours. Cipriano Castro. Obtained from venezuelatuya.com
  2. Notes on History. Social situation of the government of Cipriano Castro. Obtained from apunteshistoria.info
  3. Mitchell, Nancy. Venezuela Blockade (1902-1903). Recovered from onlinelibrary.wiley.com
  4. The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. Cipriano Castro. Retrieved from britannica.com
  5. Singh, Kelvin. Big Power Pressure on Venezuela during the Presidency of Cipriano Castro. Recovered from cai.sg.inter.edu

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