On this day 180 years ago, Venezuela’s independence hero Simón Bolívar died in Santa Marta, Colombia. Bolívar’s death brought to an end an impressive military and political career that saw the independence of five Latin American countries from Spanish rule. Almost two centuries after his death, Bolívar continues to represent the spirit of freedom in Latin America. Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela gained their independence under the guidance of this revolutionary, who dreamed of an integrated continent.
In commemoration of Bolivar’s death, the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the U.S., Bernardo Álvarez; and the Venezuelan Permanent Representative to the OAS, Ambassador Roy Chaderton, today offered a floral tribute to The Liberator at the Statue of Bolívar in Washington, D.C. The statue was given as a gift from Venezuela to the U.S. in 1958.
This year’s commemoration of Bolívar’s death is particularly significant because it comes in the midst of the celebration of Venezuela’s bicentennial. The year-long celebration kicked off on April 19, 2010 and will conclude on July 5, 2011, 200 years to the day on which Venezuela formally declared its independence from Spain. On the same time, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States will be launched, an organization that faithfully reflects Bolívar for the region.
Though Bolívar died on December 17, 1830, his status as a hero, visionary and revolutionary lives on through his ideas of a united and independent Latin America. He also serves as a motivating force for the process of change taking place in Venezuela and throughout the many countries of the region.
Photos: Néstor Sánchez Cordero
Press Office – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S./December 17, 2010