, 1858?-1924, president of Venezuela (1901-8). In 1899 he usurped the government, overthrowing Andrade. Called the Lion of the Andes by his followers, he was a stern and arbitrary caudillo, who nevertheless improved the country's economy. Castro's administration is notable because of the financial claims (see Venezuela Claims
) made by several foreign powers and his defiance of them. He retired briefly in 1906 and was succeeded by Juan Vicente Gómez
, but after having violent disagreements with Gómez, Castro again assumed power. In 1908 Castro went to Europe. Gómez immediately deposed him and took control. Castro died in exile.
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