HomeOpinionHistoriographical look at the Jamaican Charter

Historiographical look at the Jamaican Charter

The intellectual ebullition regarding the Jamaica Charter in 2015 was the opposite of that of the centenary in 1915. At that time, Venezuelan intelligence and the Gomecista government were silent. Neither El Nuevo Diario, the regime's newspaper, nor El Universal published any note of entertainment or review in relation to the 100 years of the document on September 6 and 7. In the Bulletin of the National Academy of History, whose circulation began in 1912, the essayistic infertility was clear. The first mention of the topic in this publication was that of Guillermo Hernández de Alba, The prophetic letter of Jamaica (Bulletin no. 131, July-September 1950).

For the sesquicentennial (1965), the situation changed. The Bulletin of the National Academy of History, which had been exhibiting the subject since the 50s, published in its number 191 the works of Augusto Mijares, Cristóbal L. Mendoza, Luis Villalba Villalba, Monsignor Nicolás Eugenio Navarro, Ramón Díaz Sánchez, Luis Beltrán Guerrero, Daniel Guerra Iñiguez, Francisco Manuel Mármol and Hilario Pisani Ricci. On September 6, the same Academy in union with the Bolivarian Society held a commemorative event; On the other hand, the magazine of said society published the writings of Adolfo Salvi, Lucio Pabón Núñez and Ismael Puerta. El Nacional (06-09-1965) showed the review by Augusto Germán Orihuela, El Universal (05-09-1965) a text by Alberto Sanabria and Últimas Noticias (07-09-1965) brief note on the sesquicentennial.

Historiographical approaches between 1965 and 2015 changed noticeably. The traditional view of the “prophetic letter,” which remained unchallenged by academics half a century ago, gave way to outright criticism. Miguel Acosta Saignes in Bolívar: action and utopia of the man of difficulties and Elías Pino Iturrieta in his New reading of the Letter of Jamaica presented their respective critical analyzes of the prophetic tradition.

The Liberator himself was clear in the famous letter: "... only more or less approximate conjectures can be offered, especially regarding the future fate and true projects of the Americans." It is more appropriate, in my opinion, to view his analysis as prospective rather than prophetic. Bolívar was a politician not a messenger of God.

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