Simon Bolivar’s Freedom Fight

by Dave

Financial News – Yahoo! Finance

In 1805, a 21-year-old South American nobleman, Simon Bolivar, traveled through Europe, drowning his sorrows over the death of his wife.

Arriving in Milan with his former tutor, Simon Rodriguez, to see the coronation of Napoleon as king of Italy, Bolivar was repelled by the power-hungry man he had once admired. He also saw that one man could bend history to his will.

On the Continent, Bolivar ingested the democratic ideas of the Enlightenment. He dreamed of bringing his country, which was to become Venezuela, independence.

Traveling on to Rome, Bolivar heard the story of Sicinius, who had led the people to Aventine Hill to protest the rule of abusive patricians. Going to the top of the hill with Rodriguez and another friend, [Bolivar], the young man dropped on his knees and said, “I swear before you, I swear by the God of my fathers, I swear by my fathers, I swear by my honor, I swear by my country that I will not rest body or soul until I have broken the chains with which Spanish power oppresses us.”

The pledge was preposterous. South America’s mines yielded vast amounts of gold and silver that financed Spain’s worldwide empire. To protect that, the Spaniards suppressed 300,000 Indians[indigenous Americans] who had revolted 50 years earlier.

Making his words crazier, Bolivar had never been in a battle. Two decades later, he more than realized his dream.

[Bolivar] is seen as the George Washington of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru, an area the size of Western Europe,” Marshall Eakin, a history professor at Vanderbilt University and author of the Teaching Co. course “America in the Revolutionary Era,” told IBD. “Like other great figures in history, he had an unshakable belief in himself and the rightness of his cause.”