After the capture of the president Custodio García Rovira on July 10, 1816, the country had no leader; this caused repeated defeats and confused the troops, giving a clear advantage to the enemy. General Manuel Valdez assembled the leaders of the different fronts of resistance in Arauca. This assembly choose Serrano as a clear leader giving its education and bravery on the field, he was elected on July 16 as the new president, the assembly also choose Francisco de Paula Santander as the commanding general of the armies.
His mandate however, was short lived; two months later, the Venezuelan forces decided to take charge of what was left of the armies, the Presidency was obsolete, there was no country left to preside over, most of the country was taken over by the Spanish armies. On September 16, 1816, General José Antonio Páez of the Venezuelan army, arrived in Casanare, he was charged with taking control of the Casanare front, and the generals present helped him depose Serrano. Serrano was by no means offended, as he understood the situation; instead, he took up arms and fought for him. Páez years later recognized his service and bravery and his service to the cause in his memoirs.
Read more about this topic: Fernando Serrano
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“Some of the offers that have come to me would never have come if I had not been President. That means these people are trying to hire not Calvin Coolidge, but a former President of the United States. I cant make that kind of use of the office.... I cant do anything that might take away from the Presidency any of its dignity, or any of the faith people have in it.”
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