Dutra, Eurico Gaspar (Brazil)
Eurico Gaspar Dutra was president of Brazil from 1945–50. His attempts to reverse the anti-democratic measures of President Vargas were hindered by a volatile economy.
Born in 1885 in Cuiaba, Eurico Dutra’s military career lasted from 1910 until 1932. Having opposed numerous attempted coups, he opposed the government of Getúlio Vargas that came to power in 1930. However, when Vargas himself was a victim of an attempted coup 2 years later, Dutra came to his defence. He was prominent in the subsequent reform of the Brazilian economy. In 1945 when Vargas attempted to block scheduled elections, Dutra led a Social Democrat-backed coup.
Dutra won popular support for a revival of the democratic institutions that had suffered under Vargas. He reversed Brazil’s international isolation, seeking closer ties with the US and breaking off diplomatic relations with the USSR in 1947 while playing a prominent role in the Organization of American States. However, unable to cope with economic problems, he was replaced by Vargas after the 1951 presidential election. Dutra died on 11 June 1974.