The Liberator

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October 31, 2012 by mramirez2

Simon Bolivar is known as “The Liberator” as he won Independence for Bolivia, Panama, Colombia Ecuador, and Peru from the Spanish crown.  Simon Bolivar is remembered as a revolutionary as well as a hero as he is still commemorated in Latin American countries, mainly South American ones. When I went to school in Colombia, if you didn´t know who he was, even if you were barely five years old, you, your family, and you teachers were doing something wrong. The Venezuelan (or back then, New Granada) military and political leader constantly traveled to Europe but upon his return in 1813 he obtained military command. He began then to occupy various territories in South America and began their liberation. In his attempt to march into Cartagena, dispute arose causing Bolivar to flee to Jamaica and later Haiti. In 1816, with the support of Haitian soldiers and material support, Bolivar began his quest to Venezuela to liberate New Granada from Spain. Known as the Battle of Boyaca, in 1819 Bolivar accomplished this independence later creating La Gran Colombia (covering what is today Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, northern Peru and northwestern Brazil) in 1821 where he became president. He then met General Jose de San Martin and completed the task of liberating Peru from Spain, creating the country of Bolivia (named after the General himself). He was also dictator of Peru at the time.  The unity of such a large territory was fragile and internal disturbances were arising within the large nation. He leaned towards becoming a dictator of the whole area to save the desired Republic, as he attempted to have a nation like the United States of America, but his dictatorship was only temporary as it only lasted two years. He died in Santa Marta, Colombia of tuberculosis on December 17, 1830 but his impact is still commemorated today.

It’s safe to say a majority of people view Simon Bolivar in a positive manner as many Latinos can claim their heritage from one of the many countries he liberated, rather than Spain territories. Although he leaned towards dictatorship, which caused disapproval from many, he still managed to liberate an enormous area from the control of the Spanish crown. Today, he and his battles are celebrated as these countries mark their calendars with national holidays for the Battle of Boyaca and the Battle of Pichincha.  Also, cities and countries are named after Bolivar such as Ciudad Bolivar in Colombia, and the country of Bolivia. Still, as a revolutionary and rebel, Simon Bolivar is well known as the Liberator.

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