Like students of the porfiriato in Mexico, Venezuelan scholars have struggled to analyze signs of resistance to the long dictatorships of Cipriano Castro (1899–1908) and Juan Vicente Gómez (1908-1935). Also like the Mexicanists, Venezuelan revisionists want to move the spotlight away from the capital city in order to highlight the nature of regional issues. The center of opposition to the Gómez regime, according to historiography and political legend, was Caracas, especially the student revolt of 1928 with the participation of Rómulo Betancourt and other founders of Acción Democrática. Urdaneta suggests that the standard view should be augmented by a consideration of resistance in the petroleum-rich state of Zulia between 1928 and 1937.

Citing a number of groups that provided a somewhat tenuous cover for clandestine organization, Urdaneta lists numerous progressive individuals who were associated with spiritists, Masons, and the literary group Seremos and...

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