Thursday 22 October 2020

Simon Bolivar (Venezuela, c1977)

First things first, let’s get to the name. It turns out that Simon Bolivar’s real name was Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte-Andrade y Blanco. Which is pretty impressive…

Also impressive: Bolivar was born in Venezuela in 1783 to a wealthy family. He was sent to Europe for his education, where he encountered Enlightenment thinking and the sense that perhaps colonialism wasn’t such a Good Thing. Inspired, he returned to South America and his fingerprints can be found in the independence movements which delivered Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Panama to independence from the Spanish Empire. Bolivia took its name from the man who came to be known as The Liberator.

Stats-wise, he fought in more than 100 battles and the internet tells me he rode more than 70,000km on horseback (the credit should perhaps go to the horses and not to him for this achievement). Bolivar died of tuberculosis aged just 47.

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