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|Rafael José Urdaneta y Faría|
|Urdaneta "The Brilliant"|
|Provisional Chief of the Government of the Republic of Colombia|
September 5, 1830 – April 30, 1831
|Preceded by||Simón Bolívar|
|Succeeded by||Domingo Caycedo|
October 24, 1788|
|Died||August 23, 1845
|Spouse(s)||Dolores Vargas Paris|
Urdaneta was born in the province of Maracaibo in Venezuela to an elite family of Spanish descent on October 24, 1788. He died in Paris, France, on August 23, 1845, while performing his diplomatic duties for Colombia, due to complications from kidney stones.
Urdaneta, was often referred to as "el Brillante" ("The Brilliant") in Venezuelan historiography..
Urdaneta began his elementary education in Maracaibo and then his high school education in Caracas. Later he traveled to Santa Fe de Bogotá to continue with his college education. Prior to the independence war he was a student of Latin and philosophy, and a pay officer for the viceregal troops in Bogotá, New Granada.
Right after the events of July 10, 1810, “el Grito de Independencia”, Urdaneta decides to join the revolutionary army. He is enlisted as lieutenant of the battalion “Patriotas de Cundinamarca”.
After the establishment of a Junta in Caracas, Urdaneta joined the army in the fight against royalist. After years of service to the patriotic cause, he became one of Simón Bolívar's closest collaborators and was promoted to General of the republican army in 1821.
Urdaneta served as Secretary of the Military and as Minister of War. He was also elected as senator on numerous occasions to the Congress of the Gran Colombia (a union which included today's Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador).
President Simón Bolivar was feeling very sick and had resigned, irrevocably, the presidency. On August 2, 1830, Domingo Caycedo, as vice-president, had taken control of the presidency. At the time, the Venezuelan battalion “el Callao”, loyal to General Bolívar, was stationed in Bogotá. Another battalion, loyal to General Santander, and also stationed in the same city, persuade Caycedo to relocate “el Callao” to the city of Tunja. This action provoked an upraise in the civilian population from Venezuela, who lived in Bogotá, and triggered a confrontation between both battalions.
The “el Callao” battalion defeated the Colombian battalion and president Joaquín Mosquera and vice-president Domingo Caycedo abandoned the capital. General Urdaneta took control of the presidency on September 5, 1830, to save the country from civil war and dissolution, and hoping to bring General Bolívar back as president.
As the country teetered on the brink of civil war, Bolívar had resigned in May and embarked on a journey to exile in Europe. Bolívar would never set sail, and instead, died in Santa Marta of tuberculosis on December 17, 1830.
The Colombian Generals expressed their displeasure against General Urdaneta, and military actions erupted throughout the country. Generals Obando and López took control of the southern states and General Salvador Cordova of the northern states. On April 14, 1831, the advancing armies proclaimed Domingo Caycedo as legitimate president, and requested General Urdaneta to enter into peace negotiations. General Urdaneta accepted, and met with the Colombian Generals in the town of Juntas de Apulo. On April 28, both parties signed the Treaty of Apulo, by which peace was secured and General Urdaneta relinquished power. Urdaneta resigned before the “Consejo de Estado” and General Domingo Caycedo was reinstated as president.
- Posada, Ignacio Arizmendi (1983). Gobernantes colombianos, 1819-1980 (Segunda ed.). Interprint Editors Ltd., Italgraf. p. 35.
- Gobernantes Colombianos, Ignacio Arismendi Posada, Interprint Editors Ltd., Italgraf, Segunda Edición, Page 32, Bogotá, Colombia, 1983
- Gobernantes Colombianos, Ignacio Arismendi Posada, Interprint Editors Ltd., Italgraf, Segunda Edición, Page 36 , Bogotá, Colombia, 1983