CARACAS, Wednesday April 01, 2009 | Update
All of them, with their blue berets, sang the "Sacalapatlajá," sort of slogan and watchword that identified each other and turned into a declaration of war. In this way, a movement to be historically called "the 28's generation" started. It was the leading character of a coup attempt against Gómez on April 7th, 1928. Rómulo Betancourt, Jóvito Villalba and Jacinto Fombona Pachano, among others, headed the youth who showed a democratic spirit as opposed to 20 years of authoritarianism
The authorities put the young students who delivered speeches against Gómez's tyranny behind bars. Other 200 students, in solidarity, surrendered to the authorities (Photo: Andrés Mata Foundation)
There was a great deal of anxiety among students in 1928 under the dictatorship of General Juan Vicente Gómez. He had been in office for 20 years. The Student Week was the background to turn anxiety into action.
The youth's fervor first showed up at the beginning of the celebration, on February 6th. In front of the Simón Bolívar's sarcophagus at the National Pantheon, university student Jóvito Villalba delivered a passionate anti-Gómez speech. That night, during the coronation of student queen Beatriz I of Venezuela, Pío Tamayo recited his poems. He talked about the "kidnapped queen," in clear reference to freedom in Venezuela.
The day after, the agenda included a street homage, at La Pastora square, to the youth who sacrificed their lives at the La Victoria Battle. On February 8th, the background was Rívoli theater, where Rómulo Betancourt, Miguel Otero Silva, Gonzalo Carnevalli and Jacinto Fombona Pachano delivered a speech that could not be forgiven by the authorities. All of them, with their blue berets, sang the "Sacalapatlajá," sort of slogan and watchword that identified each other and turned into a declaration of war.
From the classroom to the streets
Betancourt, Villalba, Tamayo and Guillermo Prince Lara, who broke a public piece named after General Juan Vicente Gómez, went behind bars. More than 200 students, in solidarity, also surrendered to the authorities.
Upon leaving the prison, they were regarded as heroes. In this way, a movement to be historically called "the 28's generation" started. It was the leading character of a coup attempt against Gómez on April 7th, 1928, that was even joined by some army commanders. Arrested students were convicted to hard labor. Others managed to flee the country.
Men at work
Gómez upheld that year a new constitutional reform. This time, he removed the Vice-Presidencies and banned communist propaganda.
Two financial institutions were born in June -the Banco Agrícola y Pecuario [Agricultural and Livestock Bank] and the Banco Obrero [Worker's Bank].
On January 1928, Caracas welcome Charles Lindbergh, the hero who one year earlier had crossed the Atlantic Ocean flying his plane without refueling.
Abroad, a discovery gave rise to penicillin. While working on staphylococci mutations, English Alexander Fleming observed that mould had developed accidently on a staphylococcus culture plate and that the mould had created a bacteria-free circle around itself. This casual finding added a valuable learning to science.
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