Don Simon Bolivar Don Benito Juarez Don Jose Marti Don Jose de San Martin Don Bernardo O'Higgins

Don Simon Bolivar (1783-1890)

Simon Bolivar

He is known as El Libertador (the Liberator) because of his extraordinary efforts in giving the six nations Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia their independence from Spain.

Born on July 24, 1783 into a very prominent family in Venezuela, this great statesman, writer, and revolutionary general gave up his social status for a more noble cause -- independence of Latin America from foreign rule.

He was inspired by the times in which he lived, particularly the crowning of Napoleon as emperor in 1804. This same act, fueled a fire that later, while visiting Rome, he swore he would "...not rest my soul until Hispanic America is liberated from Spanish rule".

He possessed an uncanny ability to inspire men to follow him through trackless wilderness to fight and risk their lives for liberty. For 20 years Don Simon Bolivar led the fight to free northern South America. His small, poorly equipped forces won amazing victories and met overwhelming defeats. Not everything was easy for him. There were times where his defeats caused him to seek exile in Haiti and Jamaica, but he always returned with a greater strength in energy and armies.

At the height of his power, between 1825 and 1828, he was president of La Gran Colombia (present day Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador), Peru, and the newly formed Bolivia (a country named after him). Don Simon Bolivar was a sincere patriot, devoted to the cause of liberty and equality, and a big promoter for the unification of all the Latin American countries under one unified republic: the idea of Pan-Americanism.

He died a sad, lonely death marred by Tuberculosis, in Santa Marta, Colombia on December 17, 1830.

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