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  • Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sits next to a portrait of Simon Bolivar during a commemoration event.
    In Depth

    Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sits next to a portrait of Simon Bolivar during a commemoration event.

Dec. 17 marks the 185th anniversary of the death of Simon Bolivar, one of the Americas most heralded leaders, who gave birth to movements that inspires millions even today.

Born July 24, 1783, Simon Jose Antonio de la Santisima Trinidad Bolivar y Palacios is remembered today in Latin America and the world as a champion of liberation and anti-colonial struggles. Although Bolivar was born into a wealthy Venezuelan family and part of the country's oligarchic class, he fought to build a more just society. Throughout the region, indigenous and African led rebellions preceded the independence era and largely inspired the fight for liberation. Read on to know more about Bolivar’s work and legacy.

The Jamaica Letter

The Jamaica Letter was written by Simon Bolivar on Sept. 6, 1815, and is considered to be one of the most important historical documents in the region. The visionary document, whose ideas would eventually prompt independence movements across the region, speaks of South American and Caribbean integration and unity in their joint struggle against imperial powers for independence. ​The general argued that European – namely Spanish – colonialism fundamentally deprived the peoples of the Americas of economic opportunity and equality.

ANALYSIS: 200 Years Since Simon Bolivar's Jamaica Letter

Ecuadorean Historian Amilcar Valera came accross the original Jamaica Letter in Ecuador’s archives.

Historian Amilcar Valera discovered an original copy of the letter in Ecuador in 1996, which included the paragraph that had been omitted from published versions, but it was only verified as the original in 2014.

Interviews from Quito: Jamaica Letter

It took 19 years of struggle for historian Amilcar Valera to verify that the letter he found in 1996 was the original Jamaica Letter. Watch teleSUR’s Interviews from Quito with host Gregory Wilpert to hear his extraordinary story. 

Rear Window: Bolivar’s Life and Legacy

teleSUR’s Rear Window looks at the life and legacy of Simon Bolivar, liberator of the Americas, as seen through the eyes of the most famous Colombian novelist, Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014). The show includes segments from Tariq Ali’s 1991 program, “Liberating Bolivar.”

Simon Bolivar Film Makes Oscar Shortlist

The Venezuelan film, directed by Alberto Arvelo, depicts Bolivar in the pre-republican era of Venezuela. It was the first Venezuelan film to be nominated for an Oscar in the “best non-English film” category. The movie was filmed in Spain and Venezuela. Renowned Venezuelan conductor and composer Gustavo Dudamel wrote the soundtrack. Click on the photo to read more (opens in new window).

​Meet the Latest Video Game Hero...Bolivar

Venezuelan video game developers presented a new game inspired by South American Liberator Simon Bolivar. The game is called “SuperBolivar” and features an animated Bolivar, who flies throughout the country spreading symbols of Venezuelan patriotism and defending independence. Read More.

Solidarity: 'Simon Bolivar' Docks in Saint Lucia

Venezuela has been making ties throughout the Caribbean. The Simon Bolivar vessel’s visit to St. Lucia is aimed at strengthening ties between the country and Venezuela. Read More.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro honors Simon Bolivar in Jamaica in September 2015.

Legacy: Venezuela and Geopolitics

​When Bolivar “described the path forward,” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. “He set down the elements of an American geopolitical system, a non-imperial system. Simon Bolivar described an anti-colonialist approach for the Americas and this is an approach 200 years later we support.” Read More.

Bolivar's Birthday Celebrations

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More Information:

Simon Bolivar

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