Ernesto de la Guardia

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Ernesto de la Guardia Navarro (May 30, 1904 in Panama City, Panama – May 2, 1983 in Panama City) was president of Panama from October 1, 1956 to October 1, 1960. He belonged to the National Patriotic Coalition (CNP).

Born in Panama City, he was educated at Dartmouth College in the United States, where he obtained a masters degree in Finance. Prior to his administration, he held diplomatic positions, as well as serving as secretary of state and First Vice President.

During his administration, he was involved in disputes with the United States involving interpretations of the treaties regarding the Panama Canal Zone. On April 26, 1959, he faced an attempted coup planned by diplomat Roberto Arias, nephew of deposed ex-president Arnulfo Arias and husband of famous British ballerina Margot Fonteyn 1. The coup, allegedly sponsored by Fidel Castro, was suppressed with help from the United States and other American countries.

After vacating the presidency, he was a member of the Academia Panameña de la Lengua (directing it in 1973 2), and directed the weekly Mundo Gráfico. He died in Panama City.

Preceded by
Jeptha Duncan
First Vice President of Panama
1945–1948
Succeeded by
Daniel Chanis
Preceded by
Ricardo Arias
President of Panama
1956–1960
Succeeded by
Roberto Chiari

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