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Venezuelan Declaration of Independence Summary

Imagine the year is 1811, over two hundred years ago, the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence marked the beginning of the end for the mighty Spanish Empire, as Venezuela became the first country to declare its independence from Spain after centuries of abuse and mismanagement. Taking advantage of the chaos caused by the Napoleonic War, they overpowered the Spanish troops in Venezuela and created their own country.

Fighting for Freedom

Just like you, I dream of a free and independent Venezuela. A land where everyone has a chance to thrive, regardless of where they were born. This dream is finally becoming a reality.

The visions of an independent South American nation started with radical Venezuelans like Simón Bolívar and Francisco de Miranda. These men saw the abuse and mismanagement of the Spanish Empire and favored the Peninsulares population of Spaniards born in Spain over other groups. This left many parts of South America as a backwater which was poor and underdeveloped compared to other nations where a handful of families controlled most of the wealth.

This led to growing resentment from the Creole population who felt underrepresented by the Spanish government which heavily taxed them and limited opportunities for them to improve their economic station.

That is why when the Napoleonic Wars broke out Spain, Bolivar, and Miranda took this opportunity to start their revolution.

Francisco de Miranda had previously fought in Europe as a mercenary, traveling across the world and meeting with figures like Catherine the Great and Alexander Hamilton. By the time of the Napoleonic Wars in 1806, he managed to assemble a small mercenary force and invade Venezuela from the Caribbean.

While the initial attack failed, it inspired others to rise. In 1810, they got another opportunity as Prince Ferdinand VII, heir to the Spanish Empire was captured by Napoleon who took over Spain. With the Spanish government paralyzed, many Venezuelan patriots took the opportunity to declare provisional independence. They claimed this was to prevent their colonies from falling under French control and that they were still loyal to the Spanish Crown.

First Venezuelan Declaration of Independence

This provisional government became known as the First Venezuelan Declaration of Independence Republic. While still technically part of the Spanish Empire, many radicals like Simón Bolívar and Francisco de Miranda continued to push for complete independence. This was finally approved by the Congress on July 5, 1811, and allowed Venezuela to become the first South American country to declare independence from Spain.

Simón Bolívar, known as “El Libertador,” emerged as the leading figure in the South American independence movement, building on the foundational efforts of Francisco de Miranda. Central to Bolívar’s vision was the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence, which marked the beginning of his dream for a unified and liberated South America, free from Spanish rule. Bolívar’s relentless pursuit of independence was driven by his desire for a just and equitable society where all citizens had the opportunity to prosper.

His leadership and strategic prowess were instrumental in the eventual success of the independence movement, not only in Venezuela but across the continent. The Venezuelan Declaration of Independence became a pivotal milestone in this struggle, and Bolívar’s legacy is celebrated throughout South America as a symbol of freedom and resilience.

This is just the beginning, of course. The Spanish will not give up easily. There will be battles to fight in this Venezuelan Declaration of Independence, sacrifices to be made. But I have no doubt that our fight for liberty will prevail.

“In the Name of the All-powerful God. WE the Representatives of the united Provinces of CARACAS, CUMANA, VARINAS, MARGARITA, BARCELONA, MERIDA, and TRUJILLO, forming the American Confederation of Venezuela, in the South Continent, in Congress assembled, considering the full and absolute possession of our Rights, which we recovered justly and legally from the 19th of April, 1810.”

-Venezuelan Declaration of Independence.
venezuelan declaration of independence letter

With steadfast resolve and the blessings of the Almighty, let us continue to honor the legacy of our forebears and strive towards a future of liberty and justice for all.

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