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Luis Herrera Campins

Luis Antonio Herrera Campins was President of Venezuela from 1979 to 1984. He was elected to one five-year term in 1978. He was a member of the COPEI party.

Moved in part by territorial claims, Herrera developed a muscular foreign policy. He signed an agreement with Mexico in 1980 to jointly provide Central American and Caribbean countries with a steady flow of oil, a precursor of Hugo Chavezs wide-reaching oil diplomacy in the developing world. In 1982 Luis Herrera sided with Argentina in its war with Britain over the Falklands, adroitly exploiting anti-British and anti-American sentiment to boost his flagging popularity. His support for Argentina came while he was asserting Venezuelas longstanding claim to more than half of neighboring Guyana, a former British colony.

In 2001 Herrera made headlines when gunmen stole his car. Afterward, he could be seen on foot wearing old clothes and carrying his own groceries. He underwent surgery for two years for an abdominal aneurysm that led to a kidney infection and other complications. By the time he died, he was already retired from Venezuelan politics. Luis Herrera is survived by his wife Betty Urdaneta and three sons.

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Luis Herrera Campins

Luis Herrera Campins

Obituary in The Times, 14 November 2007


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