Wolfgang Larrazábal : biography
Wolfgang Enrique Larrazábal Ugueto (5 March 1911 – 27 February 2003), commander of the Venezuelan Navy, became President of Venezuela following the overthrow of Marcos Pérez Jiménez on 23 January 1958.
Larrazábal was born in Carúpano, Sucre state, son of Fabio Larrazábal and Jerónima Ugueto. Attended college at the Pestalozzi Institute of Maracaibo. From 1928 to 1932 study at the . Between 1942 and 1945, Larrazábal was captain of the Venezuelan Navy’s ships: General Urdaneta, Leandro and Soublette, later becoming commander of the Naval Base of Puerto Cabello. In July 1947 was named commander of the Military of Venezuela, and, in 1949, naval attaché of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, DC. Larrazábal also served as director of the National Institute of Sports (1952–1955), director of the Armed Forces Circle (1957–1958), and in early 1958, commander of the Venezuelan Navy.
After the overthrow of dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez, Larrazábal was appointed as interim president of the Government Junta on 23 January 1958. His term was characterized by an Emergency Plan, designed to ameliorate adverse economic conditions during the return to democracy. Fairly popular, resigned later that year in order to run in the 1958 presidential elections for Unión Republicana Democrática (Edgar Sanabria was appointed as provisional president). Larrazábal obtained 903,479 votes, finishing second to AD’s Rómulo Betancourt.
Wolfgang Larrazábal served as ambassador of Venezuela in Chile (1959–1969). Ran again for president along with the parties Frente Democrático (FDP) and Movimiento Electoral Nacional Independiente (MENI), in the 1963 elections, in which obtained only 9.43% of votes. He later served several terms in the Venezuelan parliament.
During his last years, he was opposed to Hugo Chavez´s policies. He died in Caracas at the age of 91 on 27 February 2003.