Rafael Simón Urbina

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Urbina (right) in 1929 with Gustavo Machado

Rafael Simón Urbina López (1897 - 13 November 1950) was a Venezuelan rebel who fought against the dictatorial regime of Juan Vicente Gómez. Implicated in a 1919 conspiracy, he spent four years participating in a guerrilla war from the mountains of his native Falcón State. He went into exile in 1923, in Havana and Barranquilla, Colombia, before returning in 1925 following an amnesty. A new attempt to overthrow Gómez in 1928 saw Urbina deported to Barranquilla, where was imprisoned pending extradition, but escaped.[1] In 1929 he led the taking of Fort Amsterdam in Curaçao, in another failed attempt to overthrow Gómez involving 250 men, including Miguel Otero Silva.[1] This attempt involved the support of Gustavo Machado Morales and succeeded in capturing the governor of Curaçao, Leonardus Albert Fruytier.[1] After exile in Mexico, Urbina tried again in October 1931, again unsuccessfully, this time landing in Puerto Gutiérrez.[1]

Urbina returned to Venezuela in 1936, offering his services to Eleazar López Contreras, including the denunciation of his former associates, such as Gustavo Machado. He opposed the 1945 Venezuelan coup d'état, and after seeking asylum in the Haitian embassy, sought exile in Barranquilla and Santo Domingo, where he sought the help of Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo in planning another invasion of Venezuela. He returned to Venezuela following the 1948 Venezuelan coup d'état, and unsuccessfully requested the return of his assets, which had been confiscated in 1945.[1]

Fort Amsterdam

In November 1950 he was involved in the failed kidnapping attempt of then Venezuelan President Carlos Delgado Chalbaud, which resulted in the death of Delgado. Urbina was captured by Venezuelan government forces and assassinated that night during a transfer from one prison to another. Subsequently, Marcos Pérez Jiménez rose as ruler of Venezuela.[1]


Fort Amsterdam in Curaçao
  1. ^ a b c d e f (Spanish) venezuelatuya.com, Rafael Simón Urbina