Fifty-two year old President Romulo Betancourt of Venezuela, escaped with burns and minor scratches when his car was wrecked by a would-be-assassin's bomb as he drove to attend an Army Day celebration in Caracas June 24.
Fifty-two year old President Romulo Betancourt of Venezuela, escaped with burns and minor scratches when his car was wrecked by a would-be-assassin's bomb as he drove to attend an Army Day celebration in Caracas June 24. a presidential guard and a traffic officer were killed outright, and a senior military aide was severely injured.
Police believe that plotters loaded an automobile with dynamite, and exploded it by remote control as the presidential motorcade passed along the route. Reports from Caracas June 27 state that seven men accused of complicity in the plot had been captured, but the leader - named as Manuel Vicente Yanes Bustamente - is still at large.
The June 24 incident was the third attempt on President Betancourt's life since 1951, when an unidentified man jabbed him on the street with a hypodermic needle containing a poisonous serum. In 1957, Mexico City police broke up a plot to kill him at the funeral of Andres Eloy Blanco, former Venezuelan Foreign Minister who, like President Betancourt, was in exile.
When President Betancourt took over from the deposed dictator Perez Jiminez on Feb 13, 1959, Venezuela was in an economic,political and social tangle. Through his efforts, a coalition Government still rules. He has started a long needed land reform, and secured World Bank backing for a long-term economic and social reform plan in which he hopes to break the oil-dependent mentality of the majority, and develop alternative ways of making a living.