A country you shall have, boy!
And it will be yours!
So long as you carry in your chest
the light of Carabobo
and the glimmer of Bolívar!
César Rengifo, “Esa espiga sembrada en Carabobo”
The Venezuelan Independence War had its climax on June 24, 1821. In Carabobo, the patriot army led by Simón Bolívar secured a decisive victory over the royal Spanish forces of Miguel de la Torre.
The independence struggle had begun more than 10 years earlier with the April 19, 1810 Revolution and the Declaration of Independence on May 5, 1811. But the road would prove far from easy. Fierce battles, progress and setbacks demanded huge sacrifices from the patriot forces.
Along the way, Bolívar’s vision of a “true” independence started to take shape in thought and in practice. Beyond replacing the crown with a local elite, a truly liberating project with the main role played by the people: the poor, the indigenous, Afro-descendants and mestizos.
The victory in Carabobo led to the liberation of Caracas and Venezuela’s effective independence soon after. But the Liberating Army continued to advance towards Nueva Granada and Peru, securing the independence of six modern countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Panama.
On the other hand, the independence struggle, the feat of facing and defeating the most powerful empire at the time made Bolivarianism a reference for revolutionary movements that would follow in Latin America.