Carabobo's heritage | Luis Brito Garcia


Since 1810, ten hard years of blockade and deprivation have passed. The situation of patriotic weapons is deplorable. On April 30, 1821, the Liberator wrote to the military governor of Mérida: “The army will march shortly, and the officers do not have shoes and there are no means to provide them here. Have you buy all the espadrilles in that province and send them immediately to this headquarters (…). ”On May 25, he communicated to Vice President Nariño:“ Instigated by the clamor with which my own family and those of some of my colleagues of arms lamented the miserable situation in which they found themselves, I took the liberty of issuing an order in my favor against the public banks of Bogotá in the year 1819 ”. Three months later, from Tinaco, he informs Colonel Salom that there are nine hundred sick people in the town's military hospital and that it is imperative "that our unhappy soldiers are well cared for, and that there is plenty of cleanliness in the hospitals."


The Commander could actually negotiate a comfortable arrangement. On the way to San Carlos he meets Colonel Churruca, aide-de-camp of La Torre, who hands him a document from the Colombian commissioners before the Court of Madrid, and proposes that he resume the armistice while the result of their negotiations is known. It is tempting. The monarchs of the European Holy Alliance would stop looking at him badly. The United States could stop the smuggling of weapons for the royalists, and even make some hefty investments. No, not bad. The Liberator answers Churruca courteously, without committing himself. At the head of his troops, he orders a redoubled pace.


The accelerated march culminates on June 24 in the plain of Carabobo, where, according to the Congress the following day: "" The bizarre General Páez at the head of the two battalions of his division and the cavalry regiment of the brave Colonel Muñoz marched with such fearlessness on the right of the enemy, that in half an hour he was all wrapped up and cut off. Nothing will ever do enough honor to the valor of these troops. The British battalion, commanded by the honorable Colonel Farriar, was still able to distinguish itself among so many brave men and suffered a great loss of officers (…). ”Accept the sovereign congress, on behalf of the braves that I have the honor to command, the homage of a surrendered army, the largest and most beautiful that has made weapons in Colombia on a battlefield ”.


On June 30, 1821, upon entering Caracas, Bolívar addressed a proclamation to his countrymen, in which he explained the territorial consequences of the triumph: “The liberating army with its military virtue has returned to your homeland. Now, then, you are free. Caraqueños: the union of Venezuela, Cundinamarca and Quito, has given a new enhancement to your political existence and cemented your stability forever ”. "Caraqueños: pay your admiration to the heroes who have created Colombia." Cundinamarca is New Granada; Quito is Ecuador: with Venezuela, they are the three units of what the Liberator calls Colombia and we the Great Colombia: the immense geopolitical bloc that would dominate the northern region of South America, would serve as a counterweight to the United States and for its dominance of the Isthmus of Panama - through which Bolívar has foreseen since 1816 the layout of canals - would govern world trade. And the way is open to liberate Bolivia and Peru.


Perhaps more important than the geopolitical consequences of Carabobo is the definitive cessation of our colonial condition. During the Colony, we were governed by laws issued by the absolute monarchs of Spain. Starting in Carabobo, our own laws govern in a total, unique and comprehensive way the entire extension of the national territory. There can be no exclusive, exceptional, excepted or extraordinary areas excluded from the duty to apply them, because this would imply the renunciation of territorial sovereignty gained inch by inch by the sacrifice of the liberating armies.


During the Colony, the sentences of our courts were drafts: reviewable, correctable or voidable by the Royal Court of Santo Domingo or the courts of Madrid. Starting in Carabobo, only our courts resolve all issues and controversies where the national public interest is involved. Its decisions may not be subject to reconsideration, review or appeal before foreign courts or foreign arbitrators without renouncing the sovereignty won in Carabobo.


During the Colony, a tiny group of privileged people, the peninsular whites, enjoyed privileges for the mere fact of having been born outside our borders. Starting in Carabobo, the ridiculous prerogatives of caste come to an end: it will not be possible to award foreigners or their businesses or companies more favorable conditions or privileges than those enjoyed by nationals. The condition of compatriot will not be an infamous and shameful label that implies enjoying fewer advantages and rights than outsiders. In his address to his hometown, Bolívar adds: "Caraqueños: pay your gratitude to the priests of the law, who from the sanctuary of justice have sent you a code of equality and freedom." Granting privileges to foreign people or companies is to renounce the code of freedom and equality imposed in Carabobo.


During the Colony, a sector of the population was only paid with the essentials for subsistence. Starting in Carabobo, the slaves - for nothing else are those who work without receiving a minimum economic surplus - effectively receive the freedom that Bolívar had granted them in fact and in law since 1814. After the victory of Carabobo, on July 8 Bolívar stops at his farm in San Mateo to make effective the freedom of the last three slaves that remain in the place. The oligarchies will invent a thousand subterfuges to delay until 1854 the fulfillment of the emancipating measure, and to this day they do not stop inventing pretexts for the dispossessed to work for them only for subsistence, and even for less. To validate that slavery is to undo Carabobo.


I do not know if there will be a compatriot who renounces the splendid inheritance of Carabobo. Let him recolonize himself: he's not going to take it away from me. 


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