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El Libertador: Writings of Simón Bolívar

(Written by Simón Bolívar, 1812) ( Collected & translated by Fred Fornoff & David Bushnell, 2003)


Simón Bolívar was born July 24th, 1783, in Caracas, New Granada (now Venezuela) into a wealthy family of aristocrats. As a child, he lost both parents by age 6, leaving him in the custody of an uncle who oversought the young boy’s inheritance and education. Enlisting the tutelage of an influential Rousseauian scholar, the young Bolívar was steeped in the teachings of European rationalists and Enlightenment philosophers, and then sent to Spain at the age of 16 to continue his studies. After finishing his scholarship, finding a young bride, and returning home, Bolívar was devastated once more when his wife died just months later. Determined as ever, Bolívar went back to Europe in 1804 — this time Paris — and doubled-down on his philosophical studies. There he witnessed all the political violence and machinations that led to Napoleon’s coronation. Equally inspired and disgusted by the spectacle, Bolívar revised his studies and vowed to liberate his own people from the yoke of tyranny. The next decade saw Bolívar become a delegate in the Venezuelan independence process, a military leader, a dictator, an exile, a propagandist, a military recruiter, and then a liberator returning home, before moving his forces into surrounding Ecuador and Peru to do the same. Here, in this compilation of Bolívar’s political writings throughout these numerous revolutionary struggles, you’ll find his writings have informed most all subsequent emancipation struggles!