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Juan Jose Arevalo.jpg

Juan Jose Arevalo (10 September 1904-8 October 1990) was President of Guatemala from 15 March 1945 to 15 March 1951, succeeding Juan Federico Ponce Vaides and preceding Jacobo Arbenz Guzman.


Juan Jose Arevalo was born on 10 September 1904 in Taxisco, Guatemala, and he was a professor before being exiled under Jorge Ubico's military rule. He returned after Ubico's overthrow in 1944, and he was elected President of Guatemala on 15 March 1945 after the Guatemalan Revolution ousted military dictator Juan Federico Ponce Vaides from the presidency. Arevalo raised the minimum wage, enacted literacy programs, and reformed Guatemalan society with his beliefs of "spiritual socialism". Arevalo said that communism was contrary to the psychology of man and therefore contrary to human nature, and he exiled several communist activists. His 1944 revolution led to Guatemala becoming a modern capitalist society, and he decided not to contest the 1951 elections. Jacobo Arbenz Guzman became the new president, and Arevalo died on 8 October 1990 in Guatemala City.