Velasco Alvarado, Juan

Velasco Alvarado, Juan hwän vāläsˈkō älväräˈᵺō [key], 1910–77, president of Peru (1968–75). Born of working class parents, he entered the army (1929) and rose to the rank of general. As army commander in chief, he led (1968) the junta that deposed President Belaúnde Terry after his failure to expropriate U.S.-owned oil operations. Velasco appointed an all-military cabinet, and immediately seized the disputed oil fields. He restricted the press, launched a sweeping agrarian reform aimed at breaking up the country's large estates, and worked toward the nationalization of selected industries.

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