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Julian Castro

Julian Castro Contreras (c. 1810 12 June 1875) was a Venezuelan military officer and President of Venezuela between 1858 and 1859.

He was presumably born in Petare circa 1810, although this date is not certain. His parents were Juan Manuel Castro and Margarita Contreras. He had a brother, Inocente Castro. He joined the Army and in 1830 he held the rank of Alferez (Second Lieutenant in modern military hierarchy). In 1835, as Captain, he took part in the Revolution of Reforms which withdrew President Jose Maria Vargas from power. Defeated the coup, he was imprisoned, but released some years later. Then he and his brother moved to Bejuma (Carabobo State). He married Maria Nieves Briceno, natural daughter of Jose Laurencio Silva, a hero of the Venezuelan War of Independence, and had four sons: Julian, Inocente, Ramon and Francisco de Paula.

From the rise of Jose Tadeo Monagas to the Presidency in 1847, Castro began to promote in the military system: in 1849 he was promoted to Commander (now Major). In 1849 was commissioned to fight against Jose Antonio Paez, who led an insurrection against Monagas, and gained some reputation of courageous. After several promotions, he arose the rank of General de Brigada (Brigadier General) in 1853; the next year, he was appointed Military Commander (Comandante de Armas) of Valencia. In April, 1856, Monagas appointed Castro as Governor of Carabobo and promoted him to General de Division (Major General).

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Julian Castro

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