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Eduardo Cruz-Coke (Napoleon's World)

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Eduardo Cruz-Coke
Timeline: Napoleon's World

Eduardo Cruz Coke Lasabe

President of Chile
2 October 1952 – 2 October 1956

Predecessor: Eduardo Frei Montalva
Successor: Hugo Rosende Subiabre

Senator of the Republic
for Santiago

2 October 1948 – 2 October 1952

Successor: María de la Cruz Toledo (PL)

Minister of Health
2 October 1940 – 7 July 1943

Predecessor: Jerónimo Méndez Arancibia
Successor: Sótero del Río Gundián

Minister of Health
15 January 1937 – 15 September 1939

Predecessor: Javier Castro Oliviera
Successor: Jerónimo Méndez Arancibia
Born: April 22, 1899
Flag of Chile Valparaiso, Chile
Died: 18 March 1974(1974-03-18) (aged 74)
Flag of Chile Santiago, Chile
Political Party: Cross Santiago SocialChristian Conservative
Religion: Catholic
Profession: Medical doctor, politician

Eduardo Cruz-Coke Lassabe (April 22, 1899 - March 18, 1974) was a Chilean politician who served as President of Chile from 1952 until 1956, the only President to come from the Social Christian Conservative Party, a party he started. A former Radical who served as Minister of Health under President Pedro Aguirre Cerda, Cruz-Coke is responsible for creating the early predecessor to the modern Chilean health system and greatly improved the health of the country's population.

Later, he competed for the nomination of the Radical Party for the 1940 election, supported by the party's rightist elements, but was defeated by Juan Antonio Rios (former Minister of Interior) who later become President. During Rios administration, Cruz-Coke assume again as Minister of Health, until 1943, when he left the party. Two years later, he joined to the Conservatives and in 1948 was elected as Senator for Santiago. He started the Social Christian Conservative Party in 1949 following the defection of the Christian Democrats.

He was elected President in 1952 and continued his interest in using science to promote Christian values in society, believing that modern technology was the key to the realization of Catholic social values. In this regard, he was one of the more decidedly moderate members of his more conservatively inclined party, almost to the point where his political beliefs roughly matched the Christian Democrats. He started the investigation into the application of nuclear reactions as was ongoing in France and the United States to use for energy production and established the National Health Service, making Chile the first South American country to provide universal health care. His measures were viewed as helping improve Chile's haggard economy, albeit not enough to survive the 1958 financial crash that occurred two years after he left office. Cruz-Coke is the last pre-Communist President to be held in good esteem by historians and the Chilean public.

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