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The Angostura Address 200 Years Later: A Critical Reading

Published in Iberoamericana
Volume: 47
Issue: 1
Pages: 74 - 82

After the collapse of the second Venezuelan Republic project and various other military failures elsewhere, Simon Bolivar managed to seize the region of Guayana in 1817, and set in Angostura as his base for guerilla operations against the Spanish. Despite the fact that he did not control the whole of Venezuela, he assembled a Congress in Angostura and delivered there his inaugural speech on February 15th, 1819. This speech, now known as the Angostura Address, is a prime document in the Bolivarian canon. Unfortunately, the Bolivar-hero cult rampant in Venezuela and Colombia (and to a lesser extent in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia), has promoted an extremely uncritical reading of this very important document. In occasion of its 200th Anniversary, this article offers a critical -yet ultimately sympathetic- reading of the Angostura Address. In this speech, Bolivar laid out his Enlightenment vision of freedom, yet he also displayed an authoritarian tendency.

About the journal
JournalNordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Open AccessNo