On Tuesday, Venezuela lost Gumersindo Rodríguez, the leftwing radical turned Carlos Andres Pérez Planning Minister and one of the most influential economic thinkers of Venezuela’s 20th century.

In his memory, we reprint this profile published in The New York Times on September 2nd, 1975: a week after the government whose economic team he headed nationalized the oil industry.



Gumersindo_NYT_1975 2

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  1. It’s good to read this. Outside of Venezuela, too many people think that in the years before Chavez, Venezuela was a right wing dictatorship. Few know that Perez nationalized oil, either.

    • Sad but true. And even fewer realize that Hugo Chavez invited Marcos Pérez Jiménez,the last right wing General Dictator President, to his 1999 inauguration.

      As Jeffry full well realizes, Marcos Pérez Jiménez, a.k.a. MPJ or PJ, wasn’t the President Pérez who nationalized oil- that would be President Carlos Andrés Pérez, a.k.a. CAP or el Gocho. To make things even more confusing, MPJ, like CAP, was a Gocho [from Tarija].

      Which shows that Venezuela is not easy to explain in sound bites.

  2. Thank you for posting this wonderful profile of my father. 40 years later, the man was unchanged. He still believed in utilizing natural resource revenue for investing in human capital, he held firm to the conviction that economics was too important to be left to the economists, and, for 57 years, he had only one wife.


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