- Category : Politics-Heads-of-state
- Type : ME
- Profile : 6/3 - Role Model / Martyr
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Distraction 1
Venezuelan military hero called "The Liberator" Bolivar led revolutions against the Spanish in New Granada (renamed Colombia in 1819, it included Venezuela and Ecuador), Peru and Upper Peru (Bolivia). He was president of Colombia from 1821-30 and Peru from 1823-29.
He was born to a wealthy family, his father a Venezuelan aristocrat of Spanish descent. When he was three, his father died, and his mother died when he was nine. An uncle administered his inheritance and saw to his education. At age 16, Bolivar was sent to Europe to complete his education. For three years he lived in Spain. Marrying the daughter of a Spanish nobleman in 1801, he returned with his bride to Caracas. Less than a year later, his wife died of yellow fever. Bolivar returned to Europe in 1804 and was introduced to European rationalist thinkers like Locke and Hobbes, Voltaire and Rousseau. He began to dream of independence for his native country. In 1807 he returned to Venezuela after touring the Eastern United States. One year later, the Latin American independence movement was launched just as Napoleon was invading Spain. On April 19, 1810, the Spanish governor was expelled from Venezuela and a junta took the reins of power. Bolivar was sent to London to try to enlist arms and support from the British, but he failed. Returning home once more, he enlisted in the military, but the coup failed and, in July 1812, the commander in chief was turned over to the Spanish. Bolivar went to Cartagena and published his manifesto, urging the revolutionary forces to destroy Spanish rule in Venezuela. On August 16, 1813, as he entered Caracas, he was given the title of liberator. In 1814, again defeated by the Spanish, he fled to Jamaica. In exile there, he outlined his vision of constitutional republics throughout Hispanic America.
In 1815, Bolivar turned to Haiti, a country which had freed itself from French rule, and was given support, money and weapons. In 1817, after three years of defeats and victories, he engaged services of several thousand foreigners, mostly from the British Isles. In the spring of 1819, he conceived his plan to attack the Spanish viceroyalty of New Granada, a daring rout that, against all odds, defeated the surprised Spanish on August 7, 1819. Three days later, he entered Bogotá. By June 1821, he had freed Venezuela. And on May 22, 1822 he won a victory that freed Ecuador from Spanish rule. In September 1823, he arrived in Lima and over the course of the following year, strategically began to fight the Spanish in Peru, their last stronghold. On December 9, 1824, the Spanish surrendered.
However, by 1826, Venezuela and New Granada began to chafe at their union. In September 1828, Bolivar was narrowly spared from assassins' daggers, and with failing health, became increasingly disheartened by the actions of those for whom he had fought. On May 8, 1830, he left Bogotá for Europe but canceled the trip when his protégé and successor was killed. Instead he journeyed to his estate and died at the end of 1830 of tuberculosis.