Alternate History

Colombian Politics (President Gaitan)

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President Gaitan
Colombian Politics
US Politics
World Politics
Differences with OTL
Populist leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was chosen as the candidate for the Liberal Party but some reactionary fraction of the party supported instead Gabriel Turbay, dividing the majority Liberal Party votes and allowing Conservative Mariano Ospina Pérez to win the elections.
During the following years Gaitán was chosen as chief of the Liberal Party and was nominated to run again in 1950 with the whole support of the Party. Gaitán looked like he would win the presidential race in 1950.
President Ospina, aware of this situation, followed prudent politics, avoiding direct confrontation against the Liberals, and trying to pave the road for his successor: Laureano Gómez.
None of Ospina's politics could prevent the outcome,however.

Gaitán was elected president in 1950.

Gaitán was less incendiary than his former speeches. While he tried to introduce many social measures, he was a clever politician that managed to keep support from the Colombian oligarchies and from the United States.
New FUR (Frente Unido de la Revolución/United Revolution's Front) guerrilla group appears in Low Magdalena river. Two casualties from confrontation with police forces. FUR lider, Vicencio Claro calls for a military uprising against the parties system. 


After a short but bloodthirsty attack on positions of FUR in Tolima and Valle del Cauca during 1951 March-September, the FUR initiates negotiations with national government at January 1952, at March the FUR deceases military operations in Ibagué, Tolima and signed a peace agreement between Claro and a representative of President Gaitán. Declared amnesty for militia members in acts under criminal law and recess of judicial prosecutions to armed national forces members. Finally, the FUR leaders, while the former members return to their ancient workplaces, fund the PSI (Partido Socialista Insurgente/Insurgent Socialist Party) in alliance with Colombian Communist Party to next local elections. The FUR during 1950-1952 was the only armed group during Colombian contemporary history.
President Gaitán signs the Little Farmers' Improvement Law, to absorb rural disappointment with political and economical distress. 
Gaitán was followed by Liberal Darío Echandía, who was a fervent continuator of Gaitán's progressive reforms.
Echandía approved universal women suffrage and revoked the Concordat. This last action provoking a lot of opposition from both Liberals and Conservatives.
Liberal Alberto Lleras Camargo, more reactionary than Echandía and Gaitán, opposed even more reactionary Conservative Laureano Gómez. The Conservatives won closely.
Lleras ran again against Conservative candidate Guillermo León Valencia. This time Lleras won both the center and the left, defeating Valencia.
Liberal Alfonso López Michelsen competed against Conservative Jorge Leyva. The Liberals win.
Liberal Julio César Turbay competed against Conservative Misael Pastrana Borrero. The conservative candidate wins.
Pastrana's problems trying to control public order leads to the political leaders of both parties supporting Defense Minister General Hernando Currea Cubides to seize power in a coup d'etat in September.
In March, Currea is deposed by General Abraham Varón Valencia, and Varón is deposed in May by General Carlos Arturo Lombana who holds power until November 1984.
A newly organized political class, guilds, unions and a student movement organize a series of strikes against Lombana's government, forcing him to resign in November. A transitional military junta assumes the head of state and chief of government while democratic elections take place.
The elections are celebrated and Liberal leader Luis Carlos Galán Sarmiento wins over Conservatives Belisario Betancurt and Álvaro Gómez Hurtado, and Socialist Jaime Bateman Cayón.
Bateman runs again, closely defeating Álvaro Gómez Hurtado. Liberal candidates Alberto Santofimio and Daniel Samper Pizano did not have much chance in those elections.
Socialist Party align with new global order, equilibrating social issues and incorporation of Colombia to multilateral economic pacts. At 1992 U.S. Department of State
initiates conversations with Gómez Hurtado's government, but Republicans representatives at U.S. Congress dismiss the possibility of a trade agreement with South America for that year. 
Socialist leader Gloria Gaitán Jaramillo became the first woman elected President, defeating again Gómez Hurtado and Samper Pizano.
Liberal Horacio Serpa Uribe defeated fourth time runner Álvaro Gómez Hurtado, and socialist Carlos Pizarro Leongómez.
Socialists came back to power when Francisco Santos Calderón defeated liberal candidate Enrique Peñalosa, and conservative Carlos Castaño Gil.
Liberal Enrique Peñalosa defeats conservative Carlos Lloreda. Socialist Party around Carlos Gaviria and Carlos Pizarro Leongómez.

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