CARACAS, Wednesday April 01, 2009 | Update
The construction of one of Venezuela's major engineering works took nearly three years, and cost some USD 120 million. The road had a span of 17 kilometers that linked Caracas to La Guaira in only 15 minutes. It was inaugurated on December 2nd to mark the first anniversary of Marcos Pérez Jiménez in power. Televisa (channel 4) was on air, under the guidance of Gonzalo Veloz Mancera, at La Colina of Los Caobos, and Radio Caracas Televisión (channel 2) also hit the airwaves under the eye of Amable Espina
The Viaduct 1 of the highway operated for 50 years, until it collapsed due to the erosion of the slopes (Photo: Andrés Mata Foundation)
Caracas had a new face. Just one year after the electoral fraud of 1952 and Marcos Pérez Jiménez rise to president, seven buildings of the University Campus, the Social Center for the Armed Forces and the Caracas-La Guaira highway were inaugurated.
This highway enabled dwellers of Caracas to reach the beaches of La Guaira in just 15 minutes. It was deemed one of the most significant works in the Western hemisphere and was even compared with the Panama Channel as a result of all the hardships faced in its four-year construction.
The November 1952 edition of Popular Mechanics magazine published a full report on the Caracas-La Guaira highway titled "Venezuela builds the most expensive highway in the world." This road also included three viaducts and two tunnels, the first of which spans 1,910 meters and was considered one of the longest tunnels for automotive transit of its day. At 497-meters long, the second tunnel was much smaller.
Pérez Jiménez completed, with this inauguration, his first year as president of the Republic. His office was ratified by the Constituent Assembly on January 9th. On April 15th, he enacted the new Constitution, establishing transitory provisions that granted the Constituent Assembly powers to organize public powers, including election by absolute majority of the president of the Republic. Four days later, Pérez Jiménez was sworn in by Congress for 1953-1958.
On July 1st, Pérez Jiménez heralded the celebration of the Homeland Week. On that same day, El Universal reported on the parade, the main commemorative act scheduled, where 120,000 public officers took part.
On September 15th, at the age of 56, former President of the Republic Isaías Medina Angarita died in his Caracas residence. The government decreed eight days of nationwide mourning and a crowd poured in his funeral at the General Cemetery of the South.
Televisa (channel 4) was on air, under the guidance of Gonzalo Veloz Mancera, at La Colina of Los Caobos, and Radio Caracas Televisión (channel 2) also hit the airwaves under the eye of Amable Espina.
The most commented headlines of the year included the trip embarked by stowaway Luis Ramírez, a child from western Zulia state, aboard a Constellation airliner of Aeropostal during a flight from Maiquetía to New York.
The discovery of a polio vaccine by US scientist Jonas Salk was also highlighted, as well as the successful climb to the top of the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.
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