Two centuries ago, Venezuelan independence hero Simón Bolívar envisioned a sovereign, prosperous and united Latin America and Caribbean. His dream to integrate the newly-freed nations into one “Patria Grande” (Great Homeland) to counter looming imperialist threats was not unfounded.
In 1823, the US government implemented the Monroe Doctrine to ensure domination and control over the region. The 19th and 20th centuries were marked by an unending list of US-led aggressions against every Latin American and Caribbean nation. Cuba stood isolated and in resistance.
However, the arrival of Hugo Chávez’s Bolivarian Revolution to Venezuela in 1998 and his defiance of US imperialism resurrected Bolívar’s dream. Once more, a powerful sentiment for sovereignty and integration swept Latin America, opening the path for new alliances that envision the region’s second independence.