63 thoughts on “Simón Bolívar, superhero

      • Well, it’s not just the tepuyes. I am sick and tired of people telling us he was “ahead of his time” by just mentioning a couple of examples of other well-known figures of that time when it came to slavery and social class. He was not, at all.

        Bolívar was pretty racist and very much average of his group. His reaction to liberate the black came only after
        1) some of the Spanish officers started to do so (not only Boves) and use them against the criollos
        2) he had to promise Haiti’s president to do so for all the support he got from him.

        He was always afraid of the “pardocracia” (he said so).

        He made a disaster out of Venezuela’s economy. He didn’t want the minutia of daily country management (deja vu?) and the country paid for it.

        He ran away where others stayed (Ocumare incident was not the first and not the last).

        He betrayed people time after time and somehow our “history” people have produced the most preposterous explanations for that. The Miranda incident is not the only one.

        The Alto Perú and great areas of Peru were basically free when he arrived, same as half of Venezuela before that (remember Piar?)

        Without the 6000 mostly highly trained mercenaries he got (right time) from Europe and Páez’ key support, he wouldn’t have done much.

        Actually: the territories where Bolívar was were more or less the same extension of those where Alexander the Great was, perhaps even smaller. Bolívar’s clique saw to it that Alto Peru’s history was rewritten so as to put Bolivar as the liberator.

        I wish we had one day a film about a guy like Carlos del Pozo…it would probably be incredible but more realistic.

        Yeah, every nation has its myths, but Venezuela is over the top with that, completely over the top.


        • The Bolivian Constitution, he had made, “reveals” his democratic credentials: A life-long president who appoints his succesor unilateraly, and bequeathed us with the quote “the President of the Republic is like the Sun that, firm in its center, gives life to the Universe” (el Presidente de la República viene a ser como el Sol que, firme en su centro, da vida al Universo).


        • i agreed in almost everything, but if with the “6000” highly trained mercenaries you refer to the british legion, well, let’s just said there weren’t that good


        • He was simply a Caudillo, just one who happened to play a prominent role in securing independence and who was fortunate enough to have various leaders and movements, for reasons of their own self interest, build up his legend/cult throughout the years.


        • Oh… you also forgot “La Guerra a Muerte”, which provides every elementary and middle school teacher with the opportunity to justify genocide as a necessary means to forge a national identity.

          «Españoles y Canarios, contad con la muerte, aun siendo indiferentes, si no obráis activamente en obsequio de la libertad de América. Americanos, contad con la vida, aun cuando seáis culpables.»

          Modernly translatable as: “Spaniards and canarians, we’ll kill you, even if you don’t participate in the war, unless you join our ranks. Americans, we’ll let you live even if you’re guilty”.


        • To add to the list, the flag seems wrong (for the time). The fleet of natives. The crossing of el Chimborazo through the chimborazo! (Chimborazo is a volcano in the ecuatorian altiplano, there is no reason to climb to the glacier).


          • hey, hey, hey while I do think we would probably be better under Spains rule, the guy did unify a ton of bad-ass caudillos, “liberating” a bunch of countries and trying to organize a civilized society. He never accepted a throne despite endless amounts of people begging him for it. He was born filthy rich and died poor having dedicated all his life for his dream of a country.

            what have you done?


            • Scratch out the “died poor” part. To be less rich doesn’t translate to become poor. First, read (again) his will and testament; he still had properties such as the Aroa copper mine. And second, at the time of his death he was carrying 17,000 pesos, which means a small fortune by nineteenth-century standards.


        • There’s no real way to know accurately how good/bad he was, he was probably a good leader in general terms and probably did an essential contribution to independence, however he has been exalted to the rank of near deity because people like a nice fun inspiring story, guys in power have taken advantage of that throught the years to inspire some level of nationalism to the point that talking negatively about bolivar’s feats is seen as equal to treason to the fatherland.


          • No. I don’t think I will. Apart from the usual books (the rather fictional ones and others more serious like Carrera Damas’ or Norbert Rehrmann’s – unfortunately this one in German only) I have tried to read books about those times, not just about Bolívar.

            And I like to read different, often conflicting accounts of witnesses of the time

            Things like this

            Contrast that to what the Spaniards wrote: that’s fascinating.
            I read García Márquez’s fiction El General en su laberinto. That and the school books are enough fiction for me on this subject.

            I would like to read more about the thousands of Venezuelans who fled the country particularly from 1821 onwards.


            • Then you could find “Memoirs of the rebellion in Caracas” by José Domingo Díaz, an ardent (perhaps too ardent) Venezuelan royalist. He’s the one who made up the infamous quote “if nature opposes us…” that everybody believes Bolívar said.


          • I JUST FINISHED IT. I actually enjoyed it and thought it to be fair. There is no lack of criticism of him and most of the negatives Kepler mentions above are well detailed.


        • Thank you for the lesson Kepler, it is always enlightnening to hear it from peopel like you.
          Everytime i read a piece of our history and all i get is the description of superheroes, i have to stop reading.Don’t have the stomach for cults of personality and egomaniacal feeding


  1. Have to wait until it comes out , the scenery and filming appear impressive, I share Juan´s anticipation . if the words of the film are faithful to what Bolivar said and wrote that can add to the pictures attraction , he definitely was genially eloquent !!

    Not sure he was all that sold on the virtues of democracy , there are phrases in which he seems to disparage its application: among the bogotanos, because they were too priest ridden sstaid and conservative and among the caraqueños ( his own countrymen) because their mixed blood made them too fanciful and excitable . Thats the problem with reading too much history , you know too much so the films story telling gets spoiled by all the times you find mistakes and fake scenifications .


  2. I wonder how much of the 50 million US$ budget comes from here (after all it’s a co-production) and when the local production company is named Insurgent Productions, it’s not hard to imagine from who.

    Anyway, l doubt they’ll get the investment back. The release in the U.S. is a small one and the box-office here won’t cut it, even if it’s a hit.



    • As everything in the Venezuelan economy, it depends on exchange rate you use. Maybe they’ll declare victory if they raise VEF 315 millions (6.30 rate).

      Should be a realistic goal, as movie tickets sell for about VEF 100, which requires that 3 millions tickets be sold (10% of the population).


  3. As many Venezuelans well know, no liberator says “I am the people.”

    I admire Mr. Ramirez, and it would be nice to see pretty pictures of Venezuela on the big screen and wallow in a montage of cliches for a couple of hours, but I think I will give this one a pass.


  4. Jiji…pusieron a Juvel Vielma como Páez cuando antes lo pusieron de Boves.

    Páez era 7 años menor que Bolívar y lucía claramente más joven que este.
    Era corto (los venezolanos lo consideraban promedio), cabezón, parecía un torito con sus hombros y cuello, con muchos músculos y llevaba su pelo corto.


  5. All ‘historical’ pictures even good ones are dramatizations of real events , they play a bit with the truth but (if good) wont stray too far from it ( artists call it ‘poetic license’) . There is so much myth and so much polemic around Bolivar today that it will be hard to make a picture which is totally faithful to a man that even today remains largely a riddle to most of his fellow countrymen. Any film on bolivar can only be an approximation to the real man as appears from the testimony of the best historians. It will probably bet a panegyric but hope its not a lusciously over theatralized propaganda piece for the current govt.

    As said before the scenery from the short is spectacular . kind of reminds me of Lawrence of Arabia ( making allowances for the artistic distance between the two directors) . some of the words have the grandieloquent ring of Bolivar phrases ( of course the Im the people bit is phony) . Ive dreamed for a long time to see some half decent film about episodes of Venezuelan history . probably this isnt it , but Im still hoping its better than what we have seen before .


    • “Ive dreamed for a long time to see some half decent film about episodes of Venezuelan history”

      Are you telling me you were not a fan of Oliver Stone’s film, Mi Amigo Hugo?


  6. We shouldn’t compare people from the past with the standards of today.Whatever Bolivar’s faults ( and as a Human Being he had many), he is a heroic figure in the eyes of many and representative of some Romantic era .putting him in a category of semi- fiction which serves a purpose for role models, aspirations, inspirations, and the like and should be taken with this particular grain of salt, and enjoyed as such, rather than be taken with complete historical accuracy in my mind, which is impossible anyway.Nobody can be completely accurate about what took place in History for so many reasons I am too lazy to count.Enjoy.Not all matters have to be fought over.


  7. I have always considered Bolivar a great man therefore I have read several of the biographies written about him and many of his letters. All great men have had flaws and that includes him. He was a brilliant military tactician, a great leader, a prolific writer and a visionary. He was not a democrat (No Venezuelan back then was) however the society he tried to create was much more just then the one he was born into. It can not be denied that having absolute power changed him though. Another common factor in great men. It is fair to criticize him for his flaws whats not fair is those who hate him because Chavez named his revolution after him and well as justifying almost all of his actions on “Bolivarianism”. Its time we stop blaming Bolivar for the cult of Bolivar started by Antonio Guzman Blanco and continued by Chavez. He was dead a long time before these populists used his name to control the Venezuelan population.


    • You might consider reading other books. There are a zillion books about the guy, but most just rehash what the others say, including some that are considered as “shocking” in Venezuela.

      Sorry, but unlike what Caballero wrote: the personality cult around Bolívar was not started with Guzmán Blanco. Guzmán Blanco only re-started it. It began with Bolívar himself, who well before he had achieved anything even stable in Central Venezuela had himself be officially named “Libertador”, who paraded himself with a chariot and “virgins in white” around Caracas in triumph, who kept insisting on everyone calling him Libertador, etc. It was during his time that Bolivia was called initially Bolivar and then Bolivar.

      It was during his life time – you can read that – that it was established a city capital bearing his name should be established (admittedly, this was in imitation of Washington).

      The personality cult then – and I am surprised so few Venezuelans know this – was reduced a lot with his death but then Antonio José Páez -none other than Páez – revived it when international coffee prices plummeted and a new civil war loomed in 1842. The bones of the caudillo were brought to Venezuela. Páez ordered a law restricting personality cult to be removed, he ordered a lot of statues of Bolívar, including one for the Plaza Mayor, the renaming of lots of Plazas, the mourning during about a week in every city and village because of Bolívar.

      He even suggested then to rename Caracas Bolívar. At the end, they went, a bit later, but still soon after that, for Angostura.


      • My knowledge of Bolivar is not just based on what Caballero wrote. The last 2 biographies of his that I read were written by John Lynch and English author and Emil Ludwig a German one. From the books I have read about the subject I can tell you that Bolivar was given the title of El Libertador by the city of Merida during the beginning of la campaña admirable. Yes he enjoyed being called that very much but he didn’t stand in a plaza calling himself that out loud until it stuck. I admit as I mentioned previously that power did change him. There is a big difference between the young Bolivar the Idealist and President for life Bolivar. I enjoy reading biographies and in every single one I have ever read about great leaders such as Julius Caesar, Napoleon etc power has changed them and their latest actions had the single goal of helping them retain power. This doesn’t take away their accomplishments. Their military victories, their speeches, their ability to sway millions of men can not be denied by the fact that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Their flaws and virtues should both be contemplated as examples of how single men can change history and how we must never ever give any single individual so much power


  8. I haven’t seen it. But an historian told me about high quality production and a few “mistakes” about Bolivar epic life. And also that Arvelo suggest that Bolivar was murdered.


  9. As many of us raised on the standard diet of Bolívar as the fountain of all that is good, noble, democratic, wise and heroic, everytime I find more about it, the more I find that… well… maybe he was not that great. Exactly how LESS great is something I’m not sure about yet, but on the other hand, living to the standard picture of the Father of The Country is something no human being is capable of (and that was BEFORE the Bolivarian madness).

    So, on one hand, can anybody recommend some good, balanced, scholarly material that gives a more grounding understanding of the man and is role in the time he lived?

    And on the other… I think at this point the best thing would be to forget about him. Really. Whatever he was in reality, what he has become now is a convenient totem to use in a weird state-religion thing that servers no other purpose as to have a symbolic cover for anything. It is a god that can be made to say whatever you want to say and sanctify you as its heir. Best would be to get rid of the whole thing and stop thinking in magical-heroical paradigms that just dont serve for anything but cheap pseudoreligious thrills.


    • If you speak German, Norbert Rehrmann’s book on Bolívar is, I think, very good. Lynch book (in English) is OK, although he fell too much in love with the character. There was an interesting book about the English troops in Spanish America but I forgot the title.

      I think one of the big problems with our teaching of history is how little we learn about the real social evolution of the whole region and the interconnection with the world. Also: how little we get to know about
      our development through the XVI to the beginning of the XIX century. That’s why I started to write a bit in Wikipedia on “Conquista de Venezuela” and “Tiempo Colonial de Venezuela”, but the two articles are just stubs.

      Right now even France doesn’t do so much Napoleon cult anymore, much less Germany about Bismarck or Frederick the Great.

      It would be great if we got to know more of role models like the guy I mentioned before, forgotten because he was not for the independence and he was no military man, or doers
      like this Venezuelan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfredo_Jahn


    • Well, JCF, that’s the problem with convenient totems. They are fed by parties interested in controlling a population, and in ‘keeping ’em dumb and on the farm’, so to speak. The totems act as a camouflage of human flaws and frailties, as well as touchstones or security blankets that cloud reality. They limit the ability of a population to see themselves in the context of a positive and independently-minded direction.
      Which brings me to the reason behind Kep’s “… how little we get to know about our development through the XVI to the beginning of the XIX century.” We know so little because the totems get in the way .. and in a big way.


    • Some say ‘the bigger the man , the bigger the shadow ” , problem with cults is that they dehumanize those it holds up for adoration , setting us up for dissapointment when we ultimately discover the dark or frail side of their humanity .


  10. Little known anecdote about Carlos Andres Perez , One of Venezuelas most iconic intellectuals was sued before the Colombian courts for having plagiarized the book of another author in one of his works . Sentence was about to be passed against this iconic author severely damaging his until then untarnished reputation . CAP learned what was happening and promply ordered the litigation to be settled before sentence was passed with the argument . This country needs intellectuals which it can admire and take pride in , it would be a tragedy for a passing mistake on the part of this intellectual to ruin his image before the country so we must act to preserve it for the countrys good. The intellectual by the way was a strong critic of CAP and remained so even after CAP helped save his reputation . Bolivar is a cult figure which whatever his human failings had enough merits to his account that he deserved at least part of the cult rendered him .


  11. I watched a screening in L.A. last year as my brother plays the role of Urdaeta in the movie, so take that as a full-disclosure statement in the sense that my comments might be biased in a way. If anything, and as Bill Bass suggests, I thought the film was most defintiely better than anything I had seen before, at least cinematograhically speaking. Very impressive production, the sceneries are breath-taking, the music is superb, and the acting is very good as well. Actually, one of the things that impressed me the most was how well Edgar Ramirez got into the role as I came into the movie very skeptical about his capacity to impersonate Bolivar. I mean, tall-dark-hansome is not exactly what the historical record says the man looked like… but he managed to pull it off really well. On historical accuracy more broadly I can’t really say anything made me jump out of my seat as patently false, and it actually motivated me to review/refresh several aspects of the history of Venezuela and of Bolivar’s life. The gringos that watched it that night seemed to have liked it a lot, and I was actually suprised that several of them had never, ever heard of Bolivar before… so one can only hope that at least the film encourages more of them to get acquainted with the country.


  12. Un momento. Ya sé que todos ustedes detestan a Bolívar por que Chávez se arropó bajo su manto para hacer toda clase de fechorías, pero hay que juzgar con objetividad al Libertador. Y lo objetivo es reconocer que fue un gran hombre. Para su tiempo, era un demócrata. Les recuerdo que hablamos de principios del siglo XIX, cuando “democracia” era que votaran los blancos ricos. El sufragio universal masculino, excepto en USA, no llegaría a consolidarse en los países más desarrollados si no hasta la segunda mitad de siglo.

    Y con todo, Bolívar era mal que bien consciente que tarde o temprano se tendría que integrar al pueblo al sistema. He allí que diseñase una República semi-oligárquica en Angostura basada en una nueva élite formada de la unión de los próceres independentistas con los restos de la clase criolla, que debería servir para ir educando progresivamente al pueblo y preparándolo para cuando le tocase gobernar. Por supuesto, eso tomó cierta evolución del pensamiento del Libertador, pero el punto es que se dio cuenta.

    No nos vayamos a caer a mentiras, ¿acaso un pueblo analfabeto en su inmensa mayoría estaba preparado para asumir sus destinos? Y si nos guiamos por su visión rousseaniana de la democracia (el pueblo sabe lo que le conviene), entonces tampoco Churchill sería un demócrata. ¿O acaso se olvidaron lo de “La democracia es el peor sistema de gobierno existente, a excepción de todos los demás”?

    ¿Que el tipo tenía sus sueños de grandeza y gloria? ¿Y cuál es el problema? ¿Aún se creen la ridiculez esa de que un estadista debe ser totalmente desinteresado? ¿Que buscan, líderes capaces o santos? En mi criterio, el mejor político es aquel que tiene la ambición de que su memoria perdure, y sabe bien que la única forma de lograrlo es buscando el bienestar del pueblo.

    Es más que comprensible el culto a Bolívar, tal y como se honra en países desarrollados del mundo a figuras como Napoleón, Washington, Lincoln, Churchill, Alejandro Magno, Constantino XI Paleólogo… ya otro cuento es que convirtiéramos a Bolívar en un semidiós. Una cosa es bajar a Bolívar del altar (pues obviamente era humano y cometió su buena cantidad de errores y bajezas) y otra negarle su justo mérito histórico como uno de los hombres más grandes de todos los tiempos y uno de los más grandes generales de la historia del mundo.


    • No tiene un carajo que ver para mí con Chávez. Yo pensaba lo mismo desde antes de que el milico fuera electo…quizá porque me deshice de los libros venezolanos y comencé a leer escritos de aquella época y pensar por mi cuenta.

      Los líderes militares en Chile o en México son honrados, pero jamás lo fueron de la manera en que lo hicieron en Venezuela con Bolívar…y que yo sepa no tuvieron las manías increíbles de este de hacerse llamar “Libertador” y hacerse pasear por la ciudad con un laurel y con chamas en vestido blanco como si fuera el nuevo César.

      Como dije: desde hace un par de décadas no se está venerando a Napoleón o a Churchill, mucho menos a un Alejandro Magno.

      La verdad es que antes de que llegaran los mercenarios europeos, Bolívar estuvo básicamente fracasando una y otra vez.

      Bolívar quería encargarse de todo, pero no terminar nada.
      Buen político el Bolívar? Dejó a Venezuela profundamente endeudada con los ingleses y con otros, repartió el territorio entre puros militares como en pocos sitios.

      Su resentimiento fue increíble. Conoces bien las leyes que había contra los españoles aun en 1830?

      La censura que estableció?

      La Gran Colombia se fue a la mierda con él.


      • Igual que Kepler siempre he sentido especial admiracion por los lideres historicos que han sabido conservar su modestia en medio de los halagos que nuestros pueblos ( siempre tan efusivos) suelen ofrecer a sus grandes hombres politicos o militares . Contrario a kepler no creo que la condicion de militares les hunda necesariamente en el deshonor . Militares fueron muchos de los legionarios mercenarios avidos de gloria, recompensas y grados militares que acudieron a auxiliar la gesta independentista . Sugiero para una vision realista del role de los legionarios britanicos leer el libro de Mondolfi ‘El Lado Oscuro de una Epopeya’ publicado hace unos años. Entre los libros historicos mas interesantes sobre el lado militar de Bolivar estan los tres tomos de la ‘Cronica Razonada de las Guerras de Bolivar’ de Vicente Lecuna .


    • Sorry, and this is the freakiest thing I have read here:
      “como uno de los hombres más grandes de todos los tiempos”
      That there can be people in the West in the XXI century to utter those words…sigh – no matter for whom.


    • Hay que tener claro dos cosas: Simón Bolívar es una cosa y el culto al Libertador es otra.

      Sobre lo primero, el problema de fondo con el personaje es que aunque ya existen como 50 biografías buenas sobre él (y la película apunta a que en nada contribuirá a contar verdades), ninguna ha llegado a la fuente primaria del conocimiento: los textos escolares. El estudio del verdadero Simón Bolívar se ha venido dando en las academias y las universidades pero no en los salones de clase de los liceos. Mientras ese cambio no ocurra, no cesarán las alabanzas ni los repudios ni encontrarán en él la influencia que tuvo en varias virtudes y defectos del gentilicio venezolano.

      El culto al Libertador es otra cosa porque no tiene que ver en lo absoluto con Simón Bolívar el personaje sino con el muñeco que han hecho de él y que puede rellenarse con cualquier clase de material y aún así sigue despertando interés. Por eso personas tan disímiles en su pensamiento como Marcos Pérez Jiménez, Rómulo Betancourt y Hugo Chávez han podido utilizarlo para sus fines políticos impunemente y les ha dado buenos resultados.


    • 100% de acuerdo con usted Señor Ortega. Uno de los grandes hombres de la historia y en ninguna forma responsable por el endiosamiento hacia su memoria creado por los presidentes populistas de nuestro pais con la meta de hipnotizar al pueblo


  13. Don Pablo , suscribo buena parte de lo que expone arriba no por que este totalmente de acuerdo con el Bolivar hiperbolico que ha construido el culto romantico a su figura (creo que ud tampoco) sino por que creo que algunos se han ‘pasado de maraca’ satribuyendoles faltas que solo reflejan el ser Bolivar un personaje de su tiempo y circumstancia , muy diferentes a las nuestras !! Son varios los que señalan lo injusto de valorar sus opiniones y actos segun los criterios de nuestro tiempo y circumstancias que no son tan brutales y dificiles como las que le toco enfrentar.

    Lo cierto es que sin Bolivar muy probablemente no se habria alcanzado la independencia divididos como estaban los que la querian en facciones y bandos caudillescos y regionales . Los legionarios musiues en su mayoria no vinieron atraidos por el afan de libertar a nadie sino por que aspiraban a hacer fortuna y ganar rangos militares batallando en un pais lejanos donde suponian que sus dotes de europeos les daba ventaja , su contribucion fue esencial y algunos de ellos eran personas admirables pero heroificarlos en masa del modo que algunos pretenden es faltar a la verdad. !!

    Bolivar vivio durante pleno auge del romanticismo que exalta valores epicos o militares como la gloria y la aventura y la rebeldia y la idolatria de engoladas abstracciones . Nosotros hemos aprendido a ver esos valores de otra forma y ya hoy no los admiramos como la gente del S XIX , No podemos sin embargo achacar a Bolivar haber bebido de las fuentes embriagantes del romanticismo de su epoca por que la nuestra ya no guste de esas cosas . !!


  14. Bill,
    No estoy glorificando para nada a los mercenarios. De hecho: precisamente por ello uso el término “mercenario”.

    Este artículo de Wikipedia, p.e., lo traduje yo casi todo del alemán: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregor_MacGregor Es uno de esos mercenarios y fue un patán.

    No podemos saber lo que habría pasado, pero es muy difícil que Venezuela no hubiese alcanzado su “independencia” sin Bolívar, tarde o – muy probablemente – más temprano.

    De hecho: Bolívar fue fundamental para la caída de Puerto Cabello y de allí se cayó todo lo que montó Miranda. Su actuación de Ocumare fue otro evento típico de él.

    De qué romantismo de la época hablas? Su actitud no tuvo nada que ver con el romanticismo o algo así. Hay bastante gente de esa época para compararlo y hay escritos precisamente que vienen de la cuna del romanticismo, de Alemania, que lo ven como lo que fue: un tipo que quiso imitar a Napoleon.

    Un hombre del romanticismo como Alexander von Humboldt lo vio con aprehensión (aunque le escribiera un par de cartas por facilitarle el envío de cajas con material científico – cartas como las que mandara a quien fuera necesario)…y no, Humboldt no fue su amigo, pese a las lisonjas que Bolívar le envió (que el verdadero descubridor, etc).

    Que Bolívar no se hubiera querido coronar era de cajón y no fue un mérito: ya en ese momento en que tenía poder la acción de Napoleon de coronarse había quedado totalmente desacreditada y Napoleon se hallaba preso.

    Para todo efecto, Bolívar quería todas las prerrogativas de un rey sin querer llevar la etiqueta de ser otro Napoleon (porque ya este había fracasado).

    Bolívar estuvo en las DOS coronaciones de Napoleon, lo que dice que era más que un turista venezolano gozando de su viaje a Europa. El tipo estaba obsesionado con eso.

    Los mexicanos y chilenos no están con esas pendejadas de que sus líderes militares de la independencia fueron los “hombres más importantes de la historia”. Fueron importantes para su época y eso es todo.


  15. Kep quizas valga la pena acotar algunas cosas . Estoy de acuerdo con que los legionarios a pesar de incluir personas cuya motivacion podia ser mercenaria eran en muchos casos personas notables , valientes , admirables y que su contribucion a la independencia fue importante en Venezuela y quizas en Colombia .
    La venalidad de un hombre no lo despoja de ostentar meritos y virtudes en otros ambitos . el prejuicio contra de la natural venalidad de las personas es precisamente parte del talante romantico. La exarcerbacion de la expresion emocional y prosopopeyica en todos los ordenes . El talante romantico existio antes del romanticismo pero experimento a inicios del siglo XIX un auge que la cultura celebro y fomento como nunca antes .
    No todos por vivir en una epoca romantica se contaminaron de sus valores. Humbolt y San Martin por ejemplo nunca fueron personajes romanticos, Bolivar en cambio si lo fue y eponicamente.!!
    Byron uno de los personajes mas iconicamente romanticos de la epoca por ejemplo bautizo la embarcacion con la cual navego el mediterraneo con el nombre de Bolivar, no con el nombre de Humboldt ni de San Martin ni de O’higgins , esto no fue casualidad sino senal de una forma de ver las cosas que incluso hoy tiene sus adeptos .
    La vanagloria , el afan de descollar, la sed de protagonismo es comun a todos los hombres , sino no apreciaramos tanto la humildad (por reconocer lo excepcional y dificil que es esta) . En algunas personas esta sed es muy fuerte . Bolivar fue uno de ellos . Junto con esa sed sin embargo habian otras cualidades de excepcional rango que hacian de Bolivar el autor y artifice de hechos notables , incluso magnificos , en lo militar y en lo historico . Su vanagloria no lo despoja de esos meritos. Washington fue un militar fracasado y torpe , los historiadores lo reconocen y sin embargo no hay duda que sus virtudes personales ayudaron a hacer de los EEUU el gran pais que todos admiramos . Bismark era un personaje intrigante e inescrupuloso y sin embargo la nacion germanica le debe su conversion en un Estado Moderno..
    Ese es precisamente el defecto de los cultos romanticos ( entre ellos el de Bolivar) tratar de ocultar las debilidades y errores de los hombres que glorifica , exagerando sus virtudes y cualidades eximias . eso desde luego no es correcto . Pero la grandeza de una personaje no excluye que haya incurrido en faltas y fracasos , que haya habido cosas en las que su vida distaba de ser ejemplar .!!
    Al respecto quizas sea util repasar el ensayo de Ortega y Gasset sobre Mirabeau o el Politico.
    La mitologizacion de Bolivar no fue solo el fruto de una iniciativa oportunista de Paez , tambien en Europa y en EEUU no faltaron quienes hicieron mucho por promoverlo , quizas por que habia algo en el hombre, en sus gestos , en sus palabras , en sus hechos que propiciaba su mitologizacion !!
    Recuerdo en una vieja edicion de la Encyclopedia Britanica haber leido estas lineas ” Ningun hombre en el Continente Americano y pocos en Europa llegaron a alcanzar la grandeza de Bolivar ” . Senal que habia algo en el que hacia incluso a los usualmente sobrios Britanicos rendirle el tributo de su admiracion . .


    • Lo mismo pasó con Chávez, solo que en aquel momento no había el flujo de información que tenemos.
      Hoy mismo la gigantesca mayoría, incluso entre “historiadores” admiradores de Bolívar que solo se dedicaron a leer sus escritos y vainas sobre las batallas, desconoce el desastre absoluto que fue el gobierno de Bolívar durante más de una década hasta que perdió el poder.
      De nuevo: Bolívar mismo promovió un culto a su personalidad. Sí, fue por ello que los europeos llevaron
      sombreritos “Bolívar” para mostrar que eran liberales…cuando el tipo de liberal tenía lo que tenía Chávez.


      • Bolivar fue gobernante de unos paises destrozados por largos años de cruentas guerras y por las disensiones intestinas de la muchedumbre de caudillos que produjeron esas guerras , cada uno ejerciendo arbitrariamente su mando sobre un trozo de pais . Esto por 4 años desde que retorno del Peru en 1826 hasta su viaje de salida a destierro y muerte en 1830 .

        Chavez mando 13 años sobre un pais que en buena medida recibio prospero y en paz, que dominaba con absoluto capricho y que recibia 100 billones de dolares anuales por sus exportaciones petroleras . No tengo duda que la comparacion entre ambos personajes es insostenible !!

        Endoso lo dicho por el Sr Montenegro mas abajo , tan absurdo es el culto idolatrico de un personaje historico como su ensañada satanizacion !!


        • “A Bolívar ni con el pétalo de una rosa”

          Bolívar was screwing it up well before 1826. In fact, he greatly contributed to the war since he ran away like a coward from Puerto Cabello and later gave away Miranda to save his own skin. Had the guy died of gonorrhea in 1812, Venezuela would have probably attained its independence much earlier than it did.

          Learn from Mexicans, from Chileans. They are not as obsessed with their caudillos and they got their independence just the same (and didn’t need so much foreign help and didn’t pawned the country that badly)


          • Now your anti-Bolivar sentiments are making you be as silly as Bolivar’s worshipers. You just can’t rewrite history as you see fit.


            • It’s not re-writing. These are facts generations of Venezuelans have feared to interpret because Bolívar was seen like a bloody religion.
              – It is a fact Bolívar fled in the most pathetic way from Puerto Cabello, something key to the fall of that front while Miranda was in charge.
              – It is a fact he fled again when others didn’t soon after the Desembarco de Ocumare.
              – He betrayed Miranda just to get a pass from Monteverde and escape
              – It is a fact he was racist and obsessed against the Pardocracia, more so than others of his time
              (and if you say “it was Zeitgeist”, you might consider reading a little bit about the different conflicting views of those times)
              – It is a fact Bolívar would have been powerless without the Llaneros and particularly the thousands of mercenaries, a lot – not all- with the best training of the Napoleonic Wars fighting against armies that, apart from a few Spaniards, were basically farmers who had not known wars at all and who had no discipline.
              – It is a fact he was highly theatrical with this thing about giving up power – this has been the same trick used by a zillion dictators before and after him – but he was not ready to give it – unless, of course, people simply stopped following his orders. He wanted to be a king without the bad image as Napoleon had shown, thus basically a dictator for life.
              – It is a fact he made a mess of the public finances, not just because of the war but because he wanted to meddle with things he didn’t have any idea about
              – He developed a vicious hatred towards the Spaniards in a particularly stupid way, even if many of them helped him – so that he not only threw thousand upon thousands of them but also introduced a series of measures that were effective appartheid against them (including the prohibition of marriage for Spaniards)
              – He carried out a serious censorship of the press, not only about things that could remotely affect him but he became a highly conservative creature with double standards.
              – He ordered events in his honour like he were the Caesar. Even at that time the pathos was already too much.


              • Rousseau proposed that people could only reason with each other ‘in the silence of the passions’ and that when they were overwhelmed by very strong feelings of dislike or sympathy for the object of their discussion then all exchanges became futile !! I m afraid that your views of Bolivar are very passionate and extreme and thus that any discussion of the subject with you is useless , more an exercise in dialectical pugilism than a balanced mutually collaborative pursuit of historical truth . I say this with all the respect due to you as an intelligent well read person whatever the very fiery quality of your temper !! .


    • Es posible que algun dia lea una mejor, no se pero por ahora esta es sin duda la mejor breve descripcion de la grandeza de Simon Bolivar con todo y fallas incluidas que he leido. Como siempre Bill excelente analisis


  16. I have been nauseated by the cult of Bolivar for decades.
    But it is new for me to be nauseated by his satanization.


Comments are closed.