Pedro Gual Escandón
|President of Venezuela|
15 March 1858 – 18 March 1858
|Preceded by||José Tadeo Monagas|
|Succeeded by||Julián Castro|
|President of Venezuela|
August 2, 1859 – September 29, 1859
|Preceded by||Julián Castro|
|Succeeded by||Manuel Felipe de Tovar|
|President of Venezuela|
May 20, 1861 – August 29, 1861
|Preceded by||Manuel Felipe de Tovar|
|Succeeded by||José Antonio Páez|
|1st Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Colombia|
7 October 7, 1821 – 17 September 1825
|Preceded by||*Office created|
|Succeeded by||José Rafael Revenga y Hernández|
17 January 1783|
|Died||6 May 1862
|Political party||Conservative Party|
|Spouse(s)||Rosa María Domínguez|
Pedro José Ramón Gual (Caracas, Venezuela, 17 January 1783 – Guayaquil, Ecuador, 6 May 1862), was a Venezuelan lawyer, politician, journalist and diplomat. Creator of the foreign policy of Venezuela and the Greater Colombia, President of Venezuela in three opportunities and member of the Conservative Centralist party.
Early life and career
Being born in Caracas, son of José Ignacio Gual and Josefa Mónica Escandón, was nephew of Manuel Gual, who in 1797, along with José María España, organized a revolutionary movement against Spanish domination in Venezuela, known as the Conspiracy of Gual and España; As consequence of that, his family was subject of persecution by the authorities.
Gual, completed his studies at the Royal and Pontifical University of Caracas, where obtained the degrees of Licentiate in 1806, Doctor of Theology in 1807 and lawyer in 1808. Having as teacher Juan Germán Roscio, future Foreign Secretary of the Supreme Junta of Caracas. Began his career as a lawyer at the legal desk of Felipe Fermín Paúl, between 1809 and early 1810, strong rumors against the Spanish regime circulates in Caracas. Authorities suspect that Gual is one of those who illegally spread news favorable to the cause of the Independence of Latin America, that promotes Francisco de Miranda from London.
In order to avoid being sent to Spain, Gual obtained from Governor and Captain-General of Venezuela Vicente Emparan permission to exercise as lawyer in the island of Trinidad, then under British rule, but there remains little time because he returned to Caracas Following the events of 19 April 1810. When Miranda (who maintained revolutionary correspondence with Manuel and José Ignacio Gual years earlier) returns from Europe in December, Gual was appointed as his personal secretary. Is also affiliated to the Patriotic Society of Caracas, being its president in three opportunities, and collaborates with the daily “El Patriota de Venezuela”.
In 1811 was elected procurator of the Municipal Council of Caracas, being one of the signers of the manifesto that this council leads to citizenship, after being declared by Congress the Independence of Venezuela on 5 July 1811. In January, 1812, is chosen as representative for Caracas to the provincial legislature, starting on 24 February.
After the beginning of the crisis of the First Republic, as result of the earthquake of 26 March 1812 and the domination of royalist forces led by Domingo de Monteverde, Gual is next to Francisco de Miranda in the city of La Victoria on 5 July 1812, when the news of the royalist uprising in Puerto Cabello is received. For those days Miranda had decided to send Gual to the United States for the negotiation and recognition of Independent Venezuela by U.S. government and acquisition of weapons and ammunition. Gual was still in La Guaira when Miranda is captured at dawn of 31 July 1812, event in which was not part.
Achieves refuge boarding a ship that goes to New York City. In late 1812, works with Manuel Palacio Fajardo on a mission of the Republican Government of Cartagena in Washington D.C, interviewing with U.S. President James Madison, Secretary of State James Monroe and other authorities, without favorable results.
In 1813, Gual travels to Cartagena, publishing in August the daily “El Observador Colombiano”, which is campaign for unity of action between Venezuela and New Granada. In December, was elected to the provincial legislature of Cartagena, being appointed as president of one of its sections. Was also signer of the decree that declares Simón Bolívar worthy son of Cartagena and commissioned by the government to personally present the award to Bolívar in Caracas, and at the same time confer with him the creation of a Confederation between Venezuela and Cartagena in April, 1814. However, these plans fail due to the progress of the forces of José Tomás Boves and the emergencies of war. In June, 1814, when the Second Republic is about to end, Bolívar entrusts to Gual a mission with the English admiral of Barbados, being not successful. Nevertheless Gual arrives to the island of Saint Thomas, returning to Cartagena in September, 1814, participating in the organization of the patriot army, and from January, 1815, as governor of the state.
When Simón Bolívar arrives from Bogotá along with his army, confronts the Military Chief of Cartagena, Manuel del Castillo, Gual tries to mediate in the situation, having no success. Shortly after that, was designated on 22 May 1815 as diplomatic agent in the United States, staying in this country between 1815 until 1820, working towards the independentist cause. During this time helps Bolívar in the preparation of Los Cayos Expedition (March–May, 1816), participates with Lino de Clemente and Juan Germán Roscio, preparing the failed invasion of Amelia Island (June–December, 1817) and travelling between 1818 till 1819, to Haiti, Jamaica and Buenos Aires. Returning to Cartagena in 1820.
Participation in the Greater Colombia
By then, the Congress of Angostura from February, 1819, decreed the creation of the Greater Colombia. After this, Gual was named as civil governor of the province of Cartagena (June, 1820 - February, 1821), being in charge of the political and financial reorganization of the region, but working outside its capital city, which remained in power of royalists through October, 1820. On 8 March 1821, was appointed as Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs of the Greater Colombia, participated in the Congress of Cúcuta (May - October, 1821). As finance minister, was the main author of the financial legislation approved in Cúcuta. When Simón Bolívar was elected President of Colombia on 3 October 1821, he named Gual as the 1st Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Colombia on 7 October. During this period Bolívar and Gual, sent diplomatic missions to the south (Joaquín Mosquera to Peru, Chile and Argentina) and north of America (Miguel Santamaria to Mexico), to conclude treaties of alliance and union and the preparation of a Congress of new Latin American nations in Panama. Gual deployed all his efforts for the international recognition of the new Republic, especially with the United States and England, negotiations which ended successfully in 1822 and 1825, respectively.
As Secretary of Foreign Relations, he negotiated the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Navigation and Commerce with the United States in 1824 and with England in 1825. In 1825 Gaul is sent as Representative of Colombia to the Congress of Panama, of which he was one of the main organizers, he is replaced as Secretary of Foreign Affairs on 17 September by José Rafael Revenga y Hernández. After this, he moves to Mexico, where he remained until 1829, determined to achieve the ratification by the Mexican government of the agreements of the Congress of Panama. In view that the mission was not accomplished, moves to Guayaquil in March, 1829, working as member of the State Council, being one of the negotiators and signatories of the Peace Treaty after the Greater Colombia–Peru War, which ended on 28 February 1829. Subsequently the dissolution of the Greater Colombia in 1830, Gual decided to stay in Bogotá (where he married on 9 December 1822 with Rosa Maria Domínguez), retired from public life and devoted to the exercise of his profession. During this period, helped his friend, General Daniel Florencio O'Leary in the collection of documents contained in his memoirs.
Return to Venezuela and death
In 1847 returns to Venezuela, being out of the political activity. But following the overthrow of José Tadeo Monagas on 15 March 1858, was appointed by the Congress as provisional president. After that, was member of the State Council proposed by President Julián Castro, and deputy for the province of Caracas in the Convention of Valencia (July–December, 1858), playing a major role in the elaboration of the 1858 Constitution. Followed by the overthrown of Julián Castro, was designated again as provisional president in December, 1858. At the general elections of 1860, during Federal War, was elected as Vice President. Being in charge of the presidency for a third time, on 20 May 1861, after the resignation of Manuel Felipe de Tovar. Facing the forces of federalists and centralists, was overthrown on 29 August 1861 by José Antonio Páez. Being arrested at his home, on 16 September 1861, the military custody retires from his house, but despite the relative freedom that have, don't separated from his home until his definitive exile, going to the islands of Saint Thomas and Charlotte Amalie in the West Indies, receiving a message from General Juan José Flores to travel to Ecuador, accepting the invitation, goes along with his son. During his stay in Guayaquil, sick on 5 May 1862, as cause of pneumonic complications, dying the next day at the age of 79. His funeral was presided by the Bishop of Guayas at the Cathedral of Guayaquil. His remains rest at the Primary Cathedral of Bogotá.
The Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has named its academic institution as Pedro Gual Diplomatic Academy.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pedro Gual.|
- Gil Fortoul, José (1907). "Libro Tercero: Capítulo II: Bolívar y el Ejército de Colombia" [Third Book: Chapter 2: Bolívar and the Colombian Army]. Historia Constitucional de Venezuela [Constitutional History of Venezuela] (in Spanish) 1 (1st ed.). Berlin: Carl Heymanns Verlag. p. 328. LCCN 07024279. OCLC 3721996. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- Acevedo Latorre, Eduardo (1988). Colaboradores de Santander en la Organización de la República [Collaborators of Santander in the Organization of the Republic] (in Spanish). David Bushnell (prologue) (2nd ed.). Bogotá: Fundación para la Conmemoración del Bicentenario del Natalicio y el Sesquicentenario de la Muerte del General Francisco de Paula Santander. p. 409. LCCN 89182882. OCLC 19979044 isbn=9789586430425. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- (Spanish) “Diccionario de Historia de Venezuela”, Fundación Polar, 1997.
- (Spanish) “Los Presidentes Volumen I/1811-1863” Ramón Urdaneta, Fondo Editorial Venezolano, 1995.
- (Spanish) Pedro Gual
- (Spanish) Gran Logia Unida de Venezuela
- (Spanish) Biography of the Foreign Affairs Ministry