It is thus our hope that the data and commentary offered in this Chronology will be useful both to literary critics and historians and to the general public. And yet we must note that the genre has developed in very different ways in each of these three countries. Such disparity is difficult to explain. But these are mere hypotheses. The genre did not, however, reach its pinnacle until the s, more specifically after , when more titles of high quality by local authors appeared on Cuban shelves.
Two major reasons are usually given to explain that development. The second reason is the establishment of a category for sf within the prestigious national David award for new Cuban writers. The David award for sf continued uninterrupted for eleven years and prompted the appearance of a strong sf movement with annual national conferences and literary workshops. Although the s were a difficult period for Cuba in general, sf has remained strong and today both authors and fans keep the genre alive.
With Cuba still strong and Puerto Rico emerging as a contender, sf in the Caribbean looks healthier today than it has ever been. Mexico Mexican science fiction has a long, though rather uneven, two-hundred-year history that can be divided into five distinct periods. The first, the precursor era, spans more than a century, beginning in with a philosophical short story by Manuel Antonio de Rivas, a Franciscan friar who imagined a trip to the Moon as a prologue to his astronomical almanac. Altamirano sympathized with a liberal party bent on preventing religion from hindering progress; these writers produced utopian works in which religion and technological advances joined forces to ensure material progress.
The second period, from to , is characterized by a clear interest in improving the literary quality of the genre. To do this, Mexican writers found it helpful to follow foreign models such as Verne, Flammarion, and Wells. Novela mexicana de [Punishment! Mexican Novel of , ] is the first Mexican dystopia.
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The next period, from to , is one of consolidation that begins with the work of H. Another important writer of the period is Rafael Bernal, whose novel Su nombre era muerte [Its Name was Death, ] is about a scientist who deciphers the language of mosquitoes and urges them to rebel against their own repressive regime. Although for the most part they published translations, these magazines also managed to include a few stories by Mexican writers. For the most part, however, Mexican sf fans could nurture their interest by reading translations of classic novels from the US, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union; these were published by Spanish, Argentinian, and Mexican publishing houses such as Diana and Novaro, which launched a series of paperback novels in translation from to The fourth period, from to , belongs to the first generation of Mexican authors to become known for writing science fiction.
The current generation of authors, who have managed to furnish Mexican science fiction with its own language and themes, got its start in , when the journal Ciencia y Desarrollo launched the first National Science Fiction Short Story Contest. The Association and the national contest, together with a workshop led by Schaffler known as Terra Ignota and the publication of the magazine Umbrales , have all helped to encourage contemporary sf writers. Ciudad interfase [Bzzzzzzt!! What makes these stories representative is their high literary quality, their thematic originality, and their genuine Mexican voice.
Also of note is an anthology that pays homage to Philip K. From the s on, there is little information available about the works and authors of this region, except for their sporadic appearances in Latin American sf anthologies. In , Alberto Ortiz, also from Costa Rica, published in Mexico Azor y Luna [Goshawk and the Moon] a novel of historical extrapolation set in a post-apocalyptic Caribbean Basin that combines science fiction and magical realism.
Before that, in , Laura P. Quijano Vincenzi became the first Costa Rican author to publish an sf novel. Her Una sombra en el hielo [A Shadow in the Ice] is a mystery set in about an abandoned underground polar research station and an enigmatic figure who disappeared along with it. Yet science fiction represents only a brief chapter in its history.
The s were years of political stability and industrialization in Colombia and, in that context, two new sf novels appeared. Sliger, of interest now only to literary historians. The s and s marked the start of political violence and guerrilla warfare in Colombia, and most authors abandoned the emphasis on regionalism that prevailed in earlier times and adopted a more universal and experimental narrative style.
For much of his life, Rebetez lived outside his native country, primarily in Mexico. His two recent collections of poetry are Los caminantes del cielo [Travelers of the Heavens, ] and El fuego de los dioses [The Fire of the Gods, ]. Science fiction has not yet managed to establish itself in Colombia as a genre in its own right, however.
Nothing could better proclaim the arrival in Venezuela of the new genre of science fiction. We have no other record of Venezuelan sf until the end of the s, when the start of the space race between the US and the Soviet Union triggered in Venezuela—as it had in other Latin American countries—a prolific increase in the number of sf authors. In , Julio E. We have been able to find only sporadic and incomplete information about Venezuelan sf texts published since then. Before changing its name in to the Venezuelan Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, Ubik organized sf film festivals, literary contests and workshops, conferences, and expos.
The next two experiments with the genre come from the s, a. It is difficult even to find exact titles and publication dates for the few other sf stories written before the s. One of those efforts was a contest sponsored by the United Nations that resulted in an anthology of sf stories by young writers, published by Santillana in In it, Spedding, an English anthropologist who has lived in Bolivia since , imagines her adoptive country in the year having been taken over by an indigenous revolution led by the Aymara Indian majority.
As a linguistic innovation, the novel mixes Spanish, Spanglish, and Aymara. Peru The earliest examples of science fiction written in Peru are two short stories by Clemente Palma published in the first decade of the twentieth century. Adolph and Juan Rivera Saavedra. Ironically, although Adolph is considered the primary sf author associated with Peru, he was born in Germany and only became a Peruvian citizen in His work has been translated into several languages and included in anthologies in the US, Europe, and Latin America.
Saavedra uses the genre as a weapon to denounce social problems of the time, the worst being, according to him, our own loss of humanity. The first novel recounts a trip to Glasskan, a utopian planet where human beings go to be trained in the art of achieving perfection, while the second describes how those men return to Earth to bring peace and prosperity but find no one there who deserves these gifts. Unfortunately, the growth of Latin American science fiction during the s and s to which Adolph and others contributed in Peru does not seem to have lasted very long.
Peruvian readers, according to Salvo, must resign themselves to cheap second-hand copies of sf works, since powerful publishers such as the aforementioned ones offer new books at inflated prices or have stopped making them available altogether. At the same time, Peruvian sf authors do not have access to publishing houses in their own country and must seek to publish their work abroad.
Brazil In the mid-nineteenth century, Brazilian authors begin writing tales of imaginary societies and voyages into the future in the mode of Verne and Flammarion. Benignus, ]. Beginning in the early part of the twentieth century, works of this sort address more controversial topics, such as social and agrarian reform, eugenics, and the social roles of women.
The late s and early s ushered in the first works of modern sf published in Brazil. Known as the GRD Generation, after Gumercindo Rocha Dorea—one of the few Brazilian publishers of the genre during this period—these authors demonstrated originality in their reworking of typical sf motifs such as space travel, alien contact, robots, and nuclear war, by filtering them through the perspective of Brazilian culture.
It could be said that these works anticipated the actual policies of modernization and development initiated by the Brazilian military beginning in Brazilian science fiction of the late s and the s can be divided into two categories: narratives of the fantastic and dystopian novels. At this point, almost all of the typical motifs of science fiction disappear, except for the uncanny events of fantastic literature and the clockwork worlds of imaginary technocratic regimes. In the s, several mainstream authors turned to dystopian fiction to avoid censorship by the regime, disguising their critiques of its policies of fast-paced economic development in their futuristic tales.
Recurrent themes include governmental regulation of reproduction and sexual behavior, policies of modernization, the destruction of natural environments, and control of the media and the minds of citizens. Coinciding with the end of the dictatorship in , a new generation of writers emerges and begins to write in a wide variety of sf subgenres.
Aliens are portrayed in a variety of ways, reflecting divergent attitudes towards globalization. During this period, science fiction written by women becomes more common. Although contemporary sf in Brazil expresses a global consciousness, it also generally attempts to retain its national character. Argentina Argentina has a wide-ranging and rich history of fantastic literature, particularly of science fiction. This short story, an exercise in social and urban criticism following the dicta of the French Revolution, is set in in Buenos Aires and its main character is Tremebundo, a kind of superman who makes all sorts of improvements in the city.
Many sf works were written in the second half of the nineteenth century, partly because of the political stability that had been achieved after decades of unrest and partly due to the creative impulse reigning in Buenos Aires society at that time. This novel—which Borges is said to have called perfect —explores two key topics in science fiction: the search for immortality and the nature of reality.
Bioy Casares, winner of the Cervantes Award the Nobel Prize of Spanish letters , turned to science fiction several times, although critics did not acknowledge his affiliation with the genre for quite some time. It was also at this time that the comic El Eternauta became available.
This comic, with scripts by H. During the s, sf works began appearing more frequently in anthologies, in short-story collections, and as novels. Later, the same author would write studies about Cordwainer Smith, Philip K. Dick, J. Ballard, and J. Tolkien, among others. Science fiction in Argentina was strengthened during the s by the publication of specialized collections and several books by Argentinian authors.
After a bloody dictatorship and decades of political instability, the sf genre began to flourish with the return of democratic governments in Numerous other publications, both professional and amateur, also appeared in connection with the magazine. Between and more Argentinian sf works were published than in the whole of the previous period. The former started in and is the longest-running Spanish-language magazine dedicated to the genre, and the latter is an electronic publication, a pioneer in its field that began its distribution via diskette in and now appears on a very popular web site.
During the s, a downturn in the economy brought a considerable reduction in the publication of sf works. A few noteworthy novels appeared, but only sporadically, and many of the authors whose names had appeared frequently a decade earlier either abandoned the genre or remained silent. Also worth noting is the launch of Nautilus , edited by Carlos Abrahan, the first publication in Latin America dedicated exclusively to sf criticism.
Up until the late s, most Chilean sf authors paid little attention to scientific plausibility, mixing the fantastic with technological innovations to create a convenient platform from which to examine serious social issues. They wrote for rival magazines and penned thrilling stories full of technological gadgetry and action-adventure heroics in the style of the US pulps.
Writers were now less isolated from each other and from their readers, and they shared a sense of purpose in developing and promoting this new genre in Chile. The first sf fan club was formed in the s and around this time Julio Bravo Eichkoff launched two short-lived fanzines, Sagitario and Aleph A new generation has been sustaining Chilean sf since the late s. Vega recently compiled a comprehensive bibliography of the genre this Chronology owes a large debt to these three researchers.
Jorge Baradit recently achieved a milestone in Chilean sf when his novel Ygdrasil was released by a major international publisher. There is every reason to expect a vigorous Chilean presence on the future Spanish-language sf scene. Uruguay Uruguayan science fiction was only a collection of isolated texts until the s, when a few authors began producing a body of work identifiable within the genre. It must be noted that a significant portion of Uruguayan science fiction was published outside the country, either because the authors lived abroad mostly in Argentina or because they found better publishing conditions there than in their own country.
As a consequence, Uruguayan authors suffered from isolation and a lack of mutual influence. Horacio Quiroga, a master of short narrative, tried his hand at every genre, including science fiction. Levrero is the central figure in Uruguayan science fiction in the second half of the 20th century, but it is difficult to state conclusively that his work fits squarely within the genre. And yet, the sense of strangeness he conveys, his surrealist landscapes and the unusual situations surrounding his characters place Levrero, like Ballard, on the edge of science fiction.
Beginning in the mids a few small groups of authors and fans have joined together to launch several short-lived science fiction magazines. There are also a number of writers, such as W. Finally, Ana Solari, with sf novels such as Zack , deserves mention as the most prominent figure of the past few years, although her latest works veer away from the genre.
El Nacional. Los argentinos en la luna , ed. Eduardo Goligorsky, only a fragment. There are other reprints. Olivera, Carlos. Filigranas de cera y otros textos , ed. Enriqueta Morillas Ventura, Other reprints are available. Buenos Aires en el siglo XXX. Lugones, Leopoldo. Reprinted many times. La ciudad anarquista americana. La psiquina. Cuentos fatales anth. Quiroule, Pierre. La mujer de Lot. Bioy Casares, Adolfo. El jardin de senderos que se bifurcan anth.
El perjurio de la nieve anth. Borges, Jorge Luis. Ficciones anth. Cancela, Arturo. Historia funambulesca del profesor Landormy. Svanascini, Osvaldo. Hacia un mundo perfecto. El Aleph anth. Contraste de dos mundos. Yanquis en Marte. Su majestad Dulcinea. El tanque invencible. Vall, Carlos. Part I of this very influential comic. El viaje a otros planetas. Pracilio, Ovidio. El uranio de los atlantes. La primera base interplanetaria. Sobrevolando mundos desconocidos. Verbitsky, Bernardo. Dabove, Santiago.
La muerte y su traje anth. Memorias del futuro anth. Marechal, Leopoldo. El poema de robot poem. Polvo lunar. Los invasores anth. Castagnini, Carlos. Goligorsky, Eduardo, and Alberto Vanasco, eds. Opus dos. Grassi, Alfredo Julio. Tres tumbas en Venus. Plenipotencia anth. La ciudad del futuro. Ideal de los hombres que impulsaron el Chaco. Nacarato, Vicente.
Goligorsky, Eduardo, ed. Los argentinos en la Luna anth. Las pelucas anth. Zappietro, Eugenio. Tiempo de matar. Historia de monstruos anth. Diario de la guerra del cerdo. Presidente en la mira. Prohibido estacionar anth. Bajo las jubeas en flor anth. Manguel, Alberto, ed. Dormir al sol. Mariotti, Maximiliano. Posse, Abel. Momento de morir. Vanasco, Alberto. Nuevas memorias del futuro anth. Desde Delos en frecuencia modulada anth. Las zonas transparentes anth. El univac. Viaje al sol.
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They made their home in Caracas at the house known as Vnculo de la Concepcin, on the corner of Las Gradillas. Tragedy quickly struck the honeymooning couple. Mara Teresa died of a fever on January ,. Bolvar had her buried at the cathedral in Caracas the following day. He never remarried. The distraught young widower resolved to leave his homeland forever. He would indeed return, however, and play a mighty role in the nations. Toward the end of his life, Bolvar shared with Louis Peru de Lacroix, a young French ocer, the impact of Maras death on his life.
I loved my wife very much, and her death made me swear not to marry again; I have kept my word. Notice how things go; if I had not been widowed, perhaps my life would have been dierent: I would neither be General Bolvar nor the Liberator, although I agree that my genius was not intended to be mayor of San Mateo. The death of my wife, he continued, put me on the road to politics very early; it made me follow the chariot of Mars instead of following the plow of Ceres.
He sold some of his properties and gave power of attorney to his brother. He then chartered a ship, loaded it with produce from his plantations, and sailed for Spain. He debarked at Cdiz near the end of the year. Nearly percent of American commerce passed through that prosperous Spanish port, as did all American transfers of funds. The trade enriched the citys merchants and whetted their interest in policies toward the American colonies. For the coming decades, the citys capitalists would successfully promote their own economic interests at the expense of American merchants and producers.
After selling his cargo, he returned to Madrid to visit his father-in-law. In a tender reunion they shed tears of sorrow together. A friend, Toms Cipriano de Mosquera , later recorded that Bolvar never forgot this scene; and I record it now because he was always inuenced by sentiments which came from his heart. Mosquera would go on to a checkered military and political career, eventually serving several terms as Colombias president.
A new municipal ordinance published a few days later forced Bolvar to leave Madrid. Because of a food shortage, the law ordered all foreigners who were not permanent residents to leave. The volatile young Bolvar had planned to leave anyhow, but the forced departure rankled. For two centuries his family had returned part of its wealth as tribute to Spain.
Spaniards ruled Bolvars native land, and Spain now considered him a foreigner and expelled him from the capital. He and Bolvar had been friends since childhood. May found them back in Paris, where Napoleon still enjoyed the adulation of the crowd. He had given laws a new, healthy direction, reformed the tax system, and invited migrs to return home. His concordat with the pope had restored a working relationship between the French government and the Vatican.
The concordat recognized the Roman Catholic faith as the religion of most of the French people but not as the state religion. Crowned heads ruled the rest of Europe. The once republican Napoleon also wanted a crown, but a mere kingly crown was not enough. On May his servile senate proclaimed that the government of the Republic is to be entrusted to an emperor. Napoleon Bonaparte is Emperor of the French. The sudden death of the French Republic shocked Bolvar. No longer the symbol of liberty, Napoleon had become a tyrant.
Despite his disenchantment with the First Consul, Bolvar would exhibit similar characteristics later in his own career. The two seemingly shared many attributes. An extreme egotism, an inability to abide rivals, a profound desire for personal glory, and a thirst for power also marked Bolvars trajectory. Despite his disenchantment, Bolvar did not leave Paris. For a while, Bolvars life revolved around the dark-haired, charming Fanny du Villars her maiden name was Fanny Louise Trobiand Aristeguieta. Because of the name common to both families, Fanny and young Bolvar decided that they were cousins.
He took an apartment in her house. They became fast friends and probably lovers. Fanny, aged twenty-eight, had married a man twice her ageCol. Dervieu de Villars, an army contractor and diligent military administrator. Great sums of money passed through his hands, and his work took him away from home frequently. Fanny, however, did not grow lonely during his long absences.
An excellent hostess, she invited varied and interesting people to her receptions. The young Venezuelan had a ne life, enjoying grand company and leaving more than a little money at the gambling tables of Paris. Bolvar met Napoleons stepson, Eugne de Beauharnais. Only two years younger than Bolvar, Eugne was already a general. Fanny teased them both. One day she asked Eugne what animals Simn resembled. He answered moineau sparrow.
The always sensitive Bolvar mistook the French word for the Spanish term mono monkey. The little sparrow ared, called Eugne a raven, and challenged him. Fanny the peacemaker prevented the foolish duel by persuading Simn that Eugne had not called him a monkey. In September , Bolvar met two famous naturalists, probably at Fannys salon. Ecuador , Peru, and Mexico. Bolvars tutor, Andrs Bello, accompanied the two naturalists for part of their journey. The German and French natural scientists had spent more than a year in Venezuela studying the Caracas valley.
They then turned south from Calabozo to the Apure River and east on the Orinoco to return to the sea. They sailed to Cartagena, Colombia and ascended the Magdalena River, a route that would play a major role in Bolvars life, navigable for most of its miles. The mighty river ows northward between Colombias Central and Eastern Cordilleras mountain ranges and empties into the Caribbean Sea near Barranquilla.
The Cauca River is one of its major tributaries. From the founding of Bogot in , the great river oered the only practical means of transporting goods between that venerable city and the Caribbean. They investigated neighboring volcanic peaks, including Chimborazo, an Ecuadorian mountain with a summit of , feet that later would gure strongly in Bolvars life.
Indeed, Humboldt ascended the mighty peak to an elevation of , feet, suering the debilitating soroche. The energetic scientists moved south across head streams of the mighty Amazon and crossed the Andes ve times before reaching Lima, Peru. Humboldts glowing descriptions of the wealth, richness, and vastness of South America likely inspired pride and a nascent nationalism in the young Venezuelan.
Their meeting also had concrete future ramications. Bolvar later studied all of Humboldts maps and vast reconnaissance as he planned his military maneuvers for the independence wars. For example, Bolvar would make use of Venezuelas many excellent ports. The coasts of Venezuela, wrote Humboldt, from their extent, their stretching toward the east, the number of their ports, and the safety of their anchorage at dierent seasons, possess all the advantages of the interior Caribbean Sea.
The communications with the greater islands, and even with those that are to windward, can no where be more frequent than from the ports of Cumana, Barcelona, La Guayra, Porto Cabello, Coro, and Maracaybo; and no where has it been found more dicult to restrain an illicit commerce with strangers. Bolvar shrewdly put Humboldts natural science at the service of military science. Although he greatly admired South America, the liberal Humboldt had little use for despotic Spain. The naturalist told Bolvar that the great potential of Spains colonies could be developed only if they were freed from Spain.
Bolvar readily agreed. In truth, what a brilliant fatethat of the. New World, if only its people were freed of their yoke. Bolvar asked the scientists whether the time had come for revolution. Humboldt answered in the negative.
I believe that your country is ready for its independence. But I can not see the man who is to achieve it. Bonpland disagreed, prophesying that revolution would produce sons worthy of it. Time would prove Bonpland the more correct of the two. Growing excitement in Paris briey deected Bolvars groping journey toward his destiny. Preparations for the coronation of Napoleon and Josephine had the French capital abuzz. Notre Dame Cathedral had been repaired, the interior carpeted, walls adorned with tapestries and pillars with fragrant owers.
Legions of workers tore down old buildings on the south side of Notre Dame and swept and sanded streets and quays along the Seine. The Spanish horses for the grand procession cost , francs each; the imperial coach, , francs. Josephines robe cost only , francs, but her , diamonds cost nearly one million francs. On December , , a vast throng of dignitaries lled Notre Dame to overowing. Then all eyes focused on the beautiful Josephine.
Like Bolvar, she was a Creole. Robed in heavy magnicence, she played her role with superb style. Josephine so impressed Jacques Louis David that he made her the central gure in his famous painting of the coronation. Napoleon held up a crown, radiant with diamonds, placed it on the head of the kneeling Josephine, and proclaimed her empress of France.
Bolvar had mixed feelings about the momentous events in France. Napoleons betrayal of the republic galled Bolvar: Since that day I regard him as a dishonest tyrant. On the other hand, the emperors glory and the adulation accorded him clearly thrilled the ambitious, young Bolvar. I saw the coronation of Napoleon in the last month of , Bolvar told an acquaintance: That august and magnicent act lled me with enthusiasm but less for its pomp than for the joy and love which an immense populace showed for its hero.
That exaltation of all hearts for the one who received the ovation seemed to me the supreme goal of human ambition, the ultimate desire and aspiration of man. The crown which Napoleon placed upon his head was a thing of no importance, a miserable relic of the past.
That which seemed great to me was the universal acclaim and the interest which the person of Napoleon inspired. I confess this made me think of my countrys enslavement, and of the glory that would cover the man who liberated her. The multitude of distinguished foreigners that witnessed the coronation began to depart Paris in March. Many headed to Milan when Napoleon crowned himself king of Italy.
Their leisurely journey took them via Lyon, Chambry, and Turin. On May , they saw Napoleon crown himself king of Italy with the iron cross of the Lombards. Soon after the ceremony, Bolvar and his two friends departed. The grandeur that was Rome began to ll and overwhelm the three young Venezuelans as they approached the Eternal City. On a sweltering afternoon in mid-August, the trio climbed historic Monte Sacro.
The demands, injustices, arrogance, and violence of their patrician rulers had infuriated them. The plebeians built a fortied camp and threatened to secede from Rome. The patricians panicked. What would happen if foreigners invaded the divided city? The rulers agreed to negotiations on Monte Sacro. They granted the plebeians tribunes, special magistrates above the law who could veto harmful legislation. The protesters on the mount chose the rst two tribunes. Throughout Bolvars life, mountaintops seemed to inspire him and make him philosophical. Atop Monte Sacro his thoughts turned to his native land.
Suddenly he cried out: I will break the chains that bind Venezuela to Spain! Twenty years later, having accomplished his dream, he asked Rodrguez to recall that inspired day above Rome. Surely you have not forgotten this day of immortal glory. It was the day when my prophetic soul anticipated the hope, which we dared not yet voice. The young Venezuelans impetuous, emotional, even mystical nature would show itself many times over the course of his life. Even some Spanish ocials recognized growing cracks in the nations colonial system. In Jos de Abalos, the Spanish intendant in Venezuela, warned of a vehement desire for independence in the colonies, fanned by the model of the United States.
In Pedro de Mendinueta, the viceroy of New Granada, warned of possible unrest owing to peasant grievances. I understand that the same wages are paid now as were paid fty or more years ago, despite the fact that prices of all essential goods have risen. I am convinced that the day will come when the laborers will dictate to the landowners and these will be obliged to admit to a share in the prots those who have helped to produce them.
The viceroy also cautioned that mount-. Longstanding social, political, and economic grievances among all social classes provided a fertile, receptive environment for calls to separate from Spain. A few days after this mountaintop experience, Bolvar accompanied the Spanish ambassador to the Vatican. The proud, headstrong youth refused to show traditional respect by kneeling and kissing the cross on the popes sandal.
The pope then extended his hand, and Bolvar kissed his ring in a most respectful manner. The ambassador reprimanded the young Venezuelan as they departed. The Pope must have little respect for the symbol of Christianity, Bolvar replied righteously, if he wears it on his shoes while the proudest sovereigns of Christendom wear it in their crowns. Bolvar may have visited Naples and climbed Mountain Vesuvius before returning to France.
He remained stranded in Paris for months, however, because of Adm. Horatio Nelsons smashing victory over the combined French and Spanish eets at Trafalgar on October ,. The British lost not a single ship, but they did lose their brilliant Admiral Nelson. No money from Venezuela could penetrate the blockade, but Bolvar found another way to get home. In late summer he borrowed twenty-four hundred francs from a friend and journeyed to the German free port of Hamburg on the Elbe. In October he secured passage on an American ship bound for Charleston. Bolvar fell ill with fever on the long, stormy North Atlantic voyage.
He reached South Carolina sick and penniless, unhappy conditions that would plague him repeatedly. Fortunately, a shipboard acquaintance, Mr. Cormic of Charleston, befriended and assisted him. Because ships sailing from Venezuelas port at La Guaira did not call at Charleston, Bolvar did not stay long. He recovered and traveled north to Philadelphia to await money from Caracas. Reminiscing later with a friend, he said, During my short visit to the United States, I saw rational liberty. Although he carried that inspiring vision of liberty with him to the end of his life, he found it impossible to realize in his native land.
In mid- the gilded youth of Caracas, now boasting a population of some forty-two thousand persons, began holding literary meetings in Bolvars home. Throughout Spanish America, such literary gatherings actually represented political discussions favoring independence from Spain.
Race War and Nation in Caribbean Gran Colombia, Cartagena, 1810–1832
The latter, only nine years older than Bolvar, had married the Liberators aunt. Ribas would play key roles in maneuvering for independence and in commanding Patriot troops. Francisco Rodrguez de Toro, the marques del Toro and older brother of Fernando still in Europe also joined the group. These self-condent elite youths believed themselves capable of ruling Venezuela and conspired toward that end. In September some of the conspirators accompanied Bolvar to his cacao plantation about thirty-seven miles southeast of Caracas in the Yare Valley. Bolvar had become entangled in litigation with a neighbor over a right-of-way.
The charges and countercharges, as well as business at his other estates, required that Bolvar visit Caracas often. The news and gossip-rich city kept him well abreast of political events in America and Europe. By the spring of Bolvar and his friends knew that a French army had entered Spain the previous October.
The ambitious, deceitful Godoy had collaborated with Napoleon in the occupation. Napoleons forces marched across Spain and occupied Portugal. Prince Joo, along with his. Escorted by a small British eet, they sailed away to Ro de Janeiro on November , , just as the French army appeared on the crest of the hills above Lisbon.
The youngster had hardly been a court favorite; he had already been threatened with disinheritance, but enemies of his father made him their symbol. A French army under Gen. Joachim Murat occupied Madrid on March. When Ferdinand VII entered his capital the next day, the French ambassador refused to recognize him as king. General Murat then informed Ferdinand that the young king should travel to meet Napoleon en route from France. Leaving a Frenchdominated junta to rule in Madrid, Ferdinands plotting French escort lured him across the Spanish-French border to Bayonne. Napoleon bribed his royal prisoners with rich French estates in exchange for their abdications.
The monarchs abdicated in early May and remained in their royal cages while Napoleon placed his brother Joseph on the Spanish throne. Ferdinands weakness of character and insistence on an archaic absolutism would bring grief to Spain and Spanish America for the next fteen years. By the last week of May , all of Spain had learned of Ferdinands abdication at Bayonne. Some Spaniards, the so-called afrancesados, urged cooperation with the occupiers. These members of the Spanish aristocracy and bourgeoisie admired and emulated French thought, fashion, and politics; however, the term took on a strongly pejorative meaning after the French invasion of.
Being labeled afrancesado became tantamount to an order of exile or worse. Many other Spaniards, however, rose to ght against the French pretender. With British help, they fought a guerrilla campaign to restore Ferdinand to his throne. Nobles and aristocrats formed juntas in nearly every region of Spain to lead the popular uprisings.
Asturias, on the north coast, formed the rst junta. It met in Oviedo and declared war on Napoleon. On May the Asturians sent envoys to London requesting aid. A representative from Galicia arrived in London, followed by envoys from Sevilles junta, which styled itself the Supreme Junta of Spain and the Indies. The British government responded promptly, but Iberias gain would be the New Worlds loss.
However, Napoleons occupation of the Iberian Peninsula forced the British to divert those forces. Miranda supporter Edmund Burke red o an angry criticism of the change. I should be exceedingly sorry to nd we thus risked certain and important advantages, for what are extremely dubious gains. Burke, born in Dublin, served as a Whig member of Parliament from until and spoke forcefully on behalf of freeing the Spanish American colonies.
He had earlier urged conciliation between Great Britain and its colonies and believed that colonists should enjoy all the rights of British citizens. Who was this Miranda who had nearly gained direct British aid in the ght against Spanish colonialism? Sebastin Francisco de Miranda had been born to a wealthy Caracas merchant family, immigrants from the Canary Islands. Bolvars father and Mirandas father had crossed paths many times in the realms of politics and business.
The latter shared the view of Creoles as inferior, a prejudice common among Canary Islanders and peninsular Spaniards. In , at the age of twenty-two, young Miranda had purchased a post as captain of infantry in the Princess Regiment of the Spanish army. The honor cost his family eight thousand pesos forty thousand pesetas. The ery, young Creole often ran afoul of his Spanish superiors and landed in jail briey in for neglect of military duty. He served under Bernardo de Glvez when Spanish forces attacked Pensacola in , Spain having allied itself with the rebels in the American Revolution.
He suered further intrigues against him while serving in the Caribbean in the early s. The discrimination he suered during his military career intensied his dislike of Spaniards and his desire to liberate his homeland. His early, long-term eorts on behalf of independence would earn him the title the Precursor. In late the Spanish government leveled at him further charges of misuse of funds.
He had already ed to the United States, carrying useful letters of introduction, including one to George Washington. He visited Philadelphia and Boston, meeting with George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and other notables over the course of the next two years. The inglorious end of Mirandas career in the Spanish military marked the beginning of his eorts on behalf of Latin American independence. The cloud of disgrace, the charge of conspiracy, and Spanish agents dogged him for years. Miranda protested his innocence, and sixteen years after the fact, the Spanish Supreme Court agreed, pronouncing him innocent.
Thanks to letters of introduction and his great charm, Miranda often lived and traveled at the expense of other people. He became. Highly energetic, intelligent, imaginative, and curious, Miranda quickly made favorable impressions wherever he went. Tall, strong, and handsome, the young Venezuelan attracted many friends and lovers, although his rumored aair with Russias Catherine the Great probably never happened. Had it been so, the immodest Miranda would assuredly have informed someone. He conversed comfortably in Spanish, English, and French and read several more languages.
Unfortunately, Miranda could also be vain, opinionated, and totally blind to the realities around him. He exhibited a seemingly boundless capacity for self-delusion. Miranda had gone to France in the early s and enlisted in the army. Robespierre disliked Miranda and imprisoned him. As the Terror subsided, Miranda regained his freedom in January.
In December Miranda and several other South Americans signed a declaration demanding freedom from Spain. Despite a ban by the Inquisition in Mexico, the letter circulated in the New World, trumpeting a call for independence, in language reminiscent of Tom Paine. Of course, the Inquisition itself, dating back to in Spain, seemed to many Creoles yet another example of the long-term peninsular repression of rights and thoughts in the New World.
About the same time, on November , , the city council of Caracas revealed in a letter to the king the depth of Creole alienation from Bourbon abuses. European Spaniards consider it vital to occupy all the public oces, and they spend their time pressing their claims, regardless of their qualications. The American Spaniards devote themselves to the cultivation of the land, enduring the toils and tasks of this arduous occupation. Owing to this discrimination, the council warned, with considerable prescience, that the grim day will arrive when Spain will be served by mulattos, zambos, and blacks, whose service will be exacted by force and whose doubtful loyalty will be the cause of violent upheavals; then there will be no one, for the sake of self-interest, honor, purity of blood, and reputation, who will risk his life in calling on sons, friends, relatives, and countrymen to control the lower orders and defend the common cause and their own.
Concerned more with its own economic self-interest than hemispheric solidarity, the United States turned a mostly deaf ear to calls that it should support Latin American independence. Thanks to the war between Spain and England, the United States authorized neutral ships to trade with its. Ships carried food and other supplies from the United States to many Spanish American cities, including Cartagena and Venezuelan ports. American merchants had no desire to disturb this protable ow, but in Spanish America, it only whetted Creole appetites for more expanded trade with other nations.
Miranda returned to London in January to continue lobbying for British support of Latin American independence. Prime Minister William Pitt welcomed him. Miranda submitted his liberation plan to Pitt, asking for ships, supplies, and troops in exchange for trade concessions from the newly liberated nations. Miranda would spend the next decade cajoling and lobbying the British. The Precursor returned to the United States in. Again, he failed to secure government assistance, but he did collect a force of two hundred volunteers. Social prejudice against things Spanish and, by extension, SpanishAmerican hurt the Precursors eorts.
Many North Americans maintained a fervent belief in the Black Legend of Spanish cruelty and atrocities against their New World subjects. However, many Protestants distrusted or even hated all Roman Catholics, including those of Spanish America. John Adams remarked disparagingly that one might as well attempt to establish democracies among birds, beasts, and shes as among Spanish Americans.
New England Federalist and secretary of state to Washington Timothy Pickering dismissed Spanish Americans as corrupt and eeminate beyond example. Prejudice, cautiousness about international entanglements, and enlightened economic self-interest would temper U.
Alas, Spanish forces had full knowledge of Mirandas arrival near Puerto Cabello. The invaders lost two ships and sixty men captured. Royalists promptly hanged ten of the traitors, then decapitated and quartered them. Others loyal to Spain burned Miranda in egy and trumpeted the thirty-thousand-peso reward for his capture, dead or alive.
Six months later, in August, Miranda tried again, this time with a larger force. In Barbados, Miranda had the good luck to meet Adm. In Cochrane, the nephew, would play a key role. Alexander Cochrane, seeing great trade potential between Great Britain and new Spanish republics, wrote to London requesting ve thousand troops.
Those troops did not materialize, but through Cochranes eorts, Miranda did add another ve hundred men locally to his force. The independence forces landed at Coro and occupied the town, but militia forces soon expelled them. In the minds of many Venezuelan Peninsulars and Creoles, Miranda represented the excesses and radicalism of the French Revolution. While local Creole planters and merchants had complaints about Spanish policy, they did not embrace wild-eyed revolutionaries like Miranda.
In later engagements Miranda would again demonstrate that his talents lay in the salon, not on the battleeld. In late Miranda and his sta embarked on the Alexandria and returned to London. He continued to agitate for Latin American independence until Bolvar arrived in and convinced him that Venezuela needed him. The persistent, patient Miranda nally seemed on the verge of success in. Sir Arthur Wellesley , the future duke of Wellington , commander of the army promised to Miranda, instead brought him ill tidings. As had happened repeatedly over the past thirty years, the English again put Miranda on hold.
Sir Arthur knew that hope deferred maketh the heart weary, but he feared not Mirandas weariness but his wrath. Hoping the volatile and outspoken Miranda would control his temper in public, the British ocer explained, I thought it best to walk out in the streets with him and tell him there, to prevent his bursting out. But even there he was so loud and angry, that I told him I would walk on rst a little that we might not attract the notice of everybody passing. When I joined him again he was cooler. Because of the popular uprising in Spain, that nation would no longer be considered an enemy of Great Britain.
This announcement seemingly ended three centuries of implacable British-Spanish hostilities. It also dampened Mirandas hopes for British intervention on behalf of the independence Patriot forces in Latin America. British-French conict continued, however, and the eects soon spilled over to the New World.
Two ocers debarked and rode up over the mountains to Caracas. A few hours later a British frigate anchored at La Guaira. The English captain debarked and rode to Caracas.
The French ocers had the ear of Don Juan de Casas, the captain general, who received. The French assured the Spanish ocials that they would retain their oces and special privileges if they recognized Napoleons brother Joseph as King of Spain and the Indies. The Frenchmen had barely departed when the English captain arrived. Don Juan received him coldly.
Meanwhile, the French ocers spread news of the abdication of Charles and Ferdinand at a popular Caracas coeehouse. They proclaimed Joseph Bonaparte to be king of Spain and the Indies, news that spread quickly through the city. The English captain, who dined at another inn, told a very dierent story. He informed those present that Ferdinand and his parents were prisoners of Napoleon and that the Spanish people had risen up against their French occupiers.
Those who heard this news also spread it far and wide. The streets soon lled with people denouncing the French and hailing the English captain as their savior. The Englishman returned to the captain general and demanded permission to take possession of the French corvette. I have given orders for her immediate sailing, replied Don Juan frostily. My second-in-command has orders to seize her if she sails, replied the English captain calmly.
Both men could hear a screaming mob drawing nearer. The quailing Spaniard, fearing the throng, joined in an oath of obedience and loyalty to Ferdinand. As in many internecine conicts, switching loyalties back and forth became a common survival mechanism during the hectic years of independence struggles. The mob tried to capture the French ocers, who barely escaped their fury by hiding in a prominent citizens house.
Troops escorted them to La Guaira that night and they boarded their ship. The British second in command had the pleasure of seizing the French ship in the morning. The actions of mid-July served as prelude to months of extraordinary agitation. Creoles and Spaniards wavered from option to option. Should they submit to the Francophile junta in Spain or create an autonomous junta?
Should they proclaim independence and put government into the hands of Creoles? Don Juan de Casas appointed a junta on July. He selected members from the audiencia, cabildo, army, clergy, and other important corporate bodies. The junta advised Don Juan to uphold the throne of Ferdinand, as the people had demanded. A member of the cabildo criticized the governor general for appointing the junta without consulting the people.
The vacillating Don Juan dismissed the junta and muddled through the next ten. Then, with no evidence except a simple accusation, he arrested Manuel Matos and two friends for allegedly proclaiming We must kill the Spaniards! He ordered the prisoners to Puerto Rico, where they were jailed in a fortress. Matos had indeed met with other conspirators at Bolvars house. Don Juan sent his son to warn Bolvar not to host any more seditious meetings. Bolvar and his friends left Caracas for his estate on the Ro Guaira. Changing fortunes in Europe kept Venezuelan politics in ux and turmoil. They joined with the Seville junta to create the Junta Central.
On August commissioners from the Junta arrived in Caracas. They informed the captain general that he and his ocials had to recognize the Seville junta in order to retain their oces. Don Juan consulted the audiencia and then recognized the junta. When Antonio Fernndez de Len heard of this submission, he protested to his followers that neither the captain general nor the audiencia had the right to recognize the Seville junta.
Only the people had that right. Soon thereafter, Bolvar, Fernndez de Len, and other pro-independence leaders returned to Caracas. Simn and Juan Vicente Bolvar argued that Venezuela was already independent. They insisted that the conspirators immediately establish a republican form of government. Most other Creoles and Spaniards did not agree with the Bolvar brothers.
Losing the argument, they left the ferment in Caracas and retired to San Mateo. On October the marques del Toro delivered a letter from Miranda to the captain general in which he urged the city council to take the government into its own hands. He wanted Toro to send agents to London for discussions with English ministers. After much wrangling, the marques del Toro, Jos Flix Ribas, Mariano Montilla, and other conspirators wrote and signed a petition.
The petition, with forty-ve signatures, stated that neither the captain general nor the audiencia had the authority to recognize the Seville junta, to declare war on France, or to make peace with England. Only the people had the right to take such actions. The Seville junta had no jurisdiction in Venezuela or elsewhere in America. The petition asked for the creation of a junta in Caracas to exercise authority on behalf of our august sovereign and lord Ferdinand VII, whom God preserve.
Bolvar disagreed with the wording of the petition, and his goals extended much further. Nor did he seek to understand the but other leaders stayed in eastern Venezuela. Still motivations of those who followed the Spaniards. By only mulato among the proindependence leaders. Although the patriots, emerging as a powerful chief.
He and his army fought for the freedom , p. Whereas New Granada and later went into exile in the he tamed with geographical relocation the white Caribbean, events in Venezuela turned in his favor. Morillo reorganized the llanero royalist units under Piar was sentenced to death for allegedly planning his command, restoring racial discriminations and a conspiracy against the principles of equality, reducing slaves to non-combatant tasks. More profoundly, he continued and their full and mixed descendants4. Moreover, to believe that pardo men identified more with Piar owed his republican equality to the white, their race than their fatherland.
This confronted him with enslaved property. Indeed, in Padilla was He takeover. At the same time he claimed that democracy was. LYNCH, , p. An indication of his preference for humana pertenecemos. The only means to in that sealed the independence of Venezuela. They were those from his pardo 1, p. In this letter to the vice-president, he expressed V. From Lima, of Spanish barbarism. Julio A. It was in this context that he wrote Like many Afro- new order through more laws, and it was Venezuelans, in Indians turned against the dangerous to entrust it only to the army.
Siquisique, in the south of Coro. He multiplied laws. The completely disappeared as a result of the intruders, the usurpers of the land were the conquest, or they formed scattered and peaceful peninsulares, not the white creoles or the free families without ambition on the fringes of the people of mixed descent who encroached on nation.
Only one original Native people deserved indigenous resguardos communal lands. Among the them to their original — supposedly exterminated few who joined, probably under duress, most — owners. Nevertheless, in many regions of still rarely mentioned Native Americans. But at the same time as his decree networks with the British and Dutch Caribbean, theoretically returned the land property to the or their opposition to creole landlords.
There, p. To make matters worse, the patriot army men now were Colombian patriots ready to die lacked food, arms and ammunition as well as for the freedom of their fatherland. Many granted them through the legal suppression of the supporters of Spain were killed; others fled to tribute and personal service; the end of the Venezuela. Still others, especially among the. In conformity with these Bolivian and implied that they were Spanish In effect, on the one hand, the Gran Colombian speaking and Catholic, equally subjected to authorities feared that any action against the contributions and military service.
Indians would alienate them and incite them to launch a war armed by Spain. Powers created by the constitution — Electoral, Legislative, Executive and Judicial. Although legally equal, citizens continued enigmatic. Despite indigenous armed contribution to be divided in two categories: active and passive. As he colonialism. Quite likely, by silencing Native Electoral Power, or democracy, to the active VI. The Legislative Power itself he had designed the most perfect political system was divided into three bodies, with increasing of government to cure all the ills typical of the requirements in terms of age for their members.
To Gen. His principal means of preventing And third, the Censors, elected for life, protected anarchy was to guarantee civil liberty, personal. The process, but whose population was indigenous executive also comprised a Vice-President and passive citizens in its immense majority.