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Datum objave: 05.05.2019

Jorge Ubico

History!Jorge Ubico Castañeda (10 November 1878 – 14 June 1946), nicknamed Number Five or also Central America's Napoleon, was a Guatemalan dictator

Jorge Ubico

Jorge Ubico Castañeda (10 November 1878 – 14 June 1946), nicknamed Number Five or also Central America's Napoleon, was a Guatemalan dictator. A general in the Guatemalan army, he was elected to the presidency in 1931, in an election where he was the only candidate. He continued his predecessors' policies of giving massive concessions to the United Fruit Company and wealthy landowners, as well as supporting their harsh labor practices. Ubico has been described as "one of the most oppressive tyrants Guatemala has ever known" who compared himself to Adolf Hitler. He was removed by a pro-democracy uprising in 1944, which led to the ten-year Guatemalan Revolution.

Ubico's repressive policies and arrogant demeanor led to a widespread popular insurrection led by middle-class intellectuals, professionals, and junior army officers. School teacher María Chinchilla Recinos' death during a peaceful demonstration on June 25, 1944 sparked an outcry that led to Ubico's resignation on July 1st 1944, amidst a general strike and nationwide protests. Initially, he had planned to hand over power to the former director of police, General Roderico Anzueto, who he felt could control. But his advisors recognized that Anzueto's pro-Nazi sympathies had made him very unpopular, and that he would not be able to control the military. Instead, Ubico chose to select a triumvirate composed of Major General Buenaventura Piñeda, Major General Eduardo Villagrán Ariza, and General Federico Ponce Vaides.

The three generals promised to convene the national assembly to hold an election for a provisional president, but when congress met on 3 July, soldiers held everyone at gunpoint and forced them to vote for General Ponce, rather than the popular civilian candidate Ramón Calderón. Ponce, who had previously retired from military service due to alcoholism, took orders from Ubico and kept many of the officials who had worked in the Ubico administration. The repressive policies of the Ubico administration continued.

Revolution and overthrow

Opposition groups began organizing again, this time joined by many prominent political and military leaders who deemed the Ponce regime unconstitutional. Among the military officers in the opposition were Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán and Major Francisco Javier Arana. Ubico had fired Árbenz from his teaching post at the Escuela Politécnica (Politechnic School), and since then Árbenz had been in El Salvador organizing a band of revolutionary exiles. On 19 October 1944, a small group of soldiers and students led by Árbenz and Arana attacked the National Palace, in what later became known as the "October Revolution". Ponce was defeated and driven into exile. Árbenz, Arana, and a lawyer named Jorge Toriello established a junta which held democratic elections before the end of the year, and were won by a professor named Juan José Arévalo.

Ubico went into exile to New Orleans in the US and died of lung cancer on 14 June 1946.

V5 Jorge Ubico



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