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Full text of "An address of Bolivar at the Congress of Angostura (February 15, 1819) Reprint ordered by the government of the United States of Venezuela, to commemorate the centennial of the opening of the Congress"

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(FEBRUARY 15, 1819) 

Reprint ordered by the Government of the 

United States of Venezuela, to Commemorate the Centennial 

of the Opening of the Congress 

(Translated from the Original Spanish by Francisco Javier Yanes) 

mess OF 







Provisional President of the Republic 


The 15th day of February, 1919, is the anniversary of the First 
Centenary of the meeting of the Second National Congress of Venezuela, 
known in history as the Congress of Angostura; and 


The Congress of Angostura established the juridical status of the 
Revolution; reconstructed its international person, and in giving it the 
prestige of constitutional institutions, prepared at the same time for the 
expansion of its work of liberation in the South American continent; 


No document whatsoever can express more fully the scope of the 
task intrusted to the Congress of Angostura or the transcendental value 
of the ideas of the Liberator in calling it together, than the famous 
Address of the Liberator on the very day of its opening meeting; 

Be it decreed: 

Article 1. That a Spanish and an English edition of the Address of 
the Liberator on the opening of the Congress of Angostura be published 
as a part of the commemoration by the Government of the United States 
of Venezuela of the centennial anniversary of the illustrious Assembly. 

Article 2. Each edition shall consist of five thousand copies and each 
is to contain a portrait of the Liberator; this present decree; a com- 
mentary on the political ideas of Bolivar and the importance of said 
Congress; a photographic reproduction of the building where the As- 
sembly met, and a fac-simile reproduction of the copy of the Correo del 
Orinoco in which the beginning and the end of this historic document 
were printed for the first time. 

Article 3. The expenses involved in the execution of this decree 
shall be defrayed by the National Treasury, as required by law. 

Article 4. The present decree shall be countersigned by all the Min- 
isters of the Executive, the Ministers of Interior Relations and of Finance 
being hereby intrusted with the execution thereof. 

Given, signed and sealed with the Seal of the Federal Executive and 
countersigned by the Ministers of Interior Relations, Foreign Relations, 
Finance, W^ar and Navy, Improvements, Public Works, and Public In- 
struction, in the Federal Palace at Caracas, on the nineteenth day of the 
month of December, of the year one thousand, nine hundred and 
eighteen, 109th of the Independence and 60th of the Federation. 


Countersigned : 
The Minister of Interior Relations, Ignacio Andrade. 

Countersigned : 
The Minister of Foreign Relations, B. Mosquera. 

Countersigned : 
The Minister of Finance, Roman Cardenas. 

Countersigned : 
The Minister of War and Navy, C. Jimenez Rebolledo. 

Countersigned : 
The Minister of Improvements, G. Torres. 

Countersigned : 
The Minister of Public Works, Luis Velez. 

Countersigned : 
The Minister of Public Instruction, R, Gonzalez RrNCONES. 







From its earliest inception the Revolution of Venezuela tended un- 
consciously as well as instinctively, towards clearly defined ideas: 
absolute independence, a republican form of government, community 
of interests with all other countries and the closest touch with European 

Documents relating to the Revolution, both from Miranda and from 
the revolutionary leaders of 1797, 1808 and 1810, prove that the aims of 
the leading men capable of conceiving and achieving the political and 
economic transformation of the Colony, were more far-reaching than 
a mere change of authorities. 

Scarcely free from the rule of the Captain General, the members of 
the Venezuelan Colony, although invoking, as a matter of form, the 
rights of Ferdinand VII, proceeded in fact to carry out substantial re- 
forms in the political and economic life of the country. They broke 
away from old prejudices, opened up a new field to the aspirations of 
the popular classes, even encouraging and fostering their desires; they 
acted as if they felt thoroughly at home; they performed acts of sover- 
eignty; they initiated La tin- American diplomacy by sending represen- 
tatives to New Grenada, the United States and Great Britain, and gave 
evident proof, in the most solemn manner, of their sentiments of 
solidarity with the other Spanish colonies of America. 

These facts, however, may be considered as not yet clothed with the 
prestige of Law. But the First Congress of Venezuela set its seal on the 
process by the well considered declaration of independence of Vene- 
zuela, and the Constitution of 1811, its immediate result, endowed the 
new born State with all the attributes of a regular government. A new 

10 bolivar's address 

act was thus accomplished in the history of the Spanish Colonies in 
America. On the American Continent, besides the United States, there 
was now another constituted nation having the form and the essence of 
all Free States, such as separate and definite powers, citizens-rights, 
and an electoral system for securing the necessary change of the authori- 
ties. Thus the Republic of the United Provinces of Venezuela came into 

The first Constitution of Venezuela was the expression of the mind 
of the men of letters in whom the thought and the spirit of the Revolu- 
tion dwelt. An evidence of the genuineness of their intentions, it was 
a digest of the most beautiful principles of democratic doctrines, and in 
theory, a monument of political and social progress, which might have 
been deemed inconceivable in Spanish America. It was, however, the 
fruit of doctrinal speculation without the clarifying assistance of ex- 
perience. Put to the test by subsequent events, it could not survive on 
the angry waves that the Revolution had stirred up in the heretofore 
almost dormant sea of the Colony. The rural and illiterate classes, hav- 
ing been called by rights and, above all in fact, to a decisive activity, 
while acting in accoi'dance with their instinct and ignorance, far from 
being the foundation of the Republic, became the direct instrument of 
its destruction. The new democracy perished by the action of its own 
internal forces, rather than because of its enemies from without. 

"A son of Caracas escaped from its ruins, physical and political" 
at Cartagena de Indias, with that clear vision which ever was the guid- 
ing star of his purpose, analyzed the causes of the crumbling down of 
his country, and looking ahead, just as he always did until his death, 
for the interests of America, he warned the other colonies which were on 
the road to emancipation, of the dangers to which the sad experience 
of Venezuela clearly pointed. That very same son of Caracas becoming 
later through the power of his genius the Armed Leader of the Revolu- 
tion, patterned his political action on the counsel he had so clearly 
stated in his "Manifest of Cartagena." While feeling the most profound 
respect for the ideal aspirations of a perfect democracy he did not 
lose sight for a moment of the well established fact that when idealiza- 
tion misses contact with reaUty, failure ensues, and what is much worse, 
the prestige of those very ideals is lost, for the success of which an 
ineffectual struggle has been waged. 

Above all, he was always guided by the principle that anarchy does 
not lead to liberty; that the first condition of success lies in harmonious 
efforts, and that such a goal could not be reached except through a 
powerful authority, giving the Republic unity of will and unity of pur- 



pose. Such was the political and military work of Bolivar from 1813 to 
1819; to master the anarchical attempts of the idealistic patriots who 
overlooked reality, and to master the anarchical attempts of the patriotic 
leaders who sacrificed the ideals of the revolution to their personal 
viewpoint. Bolivar is the great Unifier, and when the task had been 
done, we find the idealists and men of action all united, those of the 
East with those of the South, the Center and the West. And when the 
Revolution had achieved the dream of unification, and all were agreed 
as to its final purpose, it was then, and only then, that Bolivar deems the 
time ripe to recommence — as a basis, and at the same time, as a sign 
of the normal era which the Republic was triumphantly approaching— 
the onward march of republican institutions, and thus convokes the 
Second Venezuelan Congress, which was to meet in the historic city of 

With all the authority obtained at the cost of numberless sacrifices, 
firm in his belief, justified by six years' experience, Bolivar expresses 
once more the same fundamental ideas of the Manifesto of Cartagena 
and the Kingston Letter. This is a decisive moment for the fate of the 
young nation. Was there to be a repetition of those errors springing 
from a generous spirit which had already proved to be incapable of 
protecting and fostering the onward march of the Revolution; or was 
the new era of regular government to rely on the wealth of experience 
gained through contrast, sacrifice and failure? It would have been an 
unpardonable mistake to fall a prey to the same disappointing illusions 
of the Republic's first legislators. Eight years of strenuous life in the 
midst of the hardships of a war which did not tolerate indifference nor 
remissness, had definitely enlisted in political and social activities the 
classes constituting the majority of the population of Venezuela. They 
had to be accepted with their good qualities, their defects, their potential 
energies, their natural limitations. The idea was to establish a republic, 
not philosophic and abstract, but a concrete democracy whose subjects 
and direct agents stood out clearly and precisely in that midst. This is 
the wide difference existing between the exalted Congress of Angos- 
tura and the exalted Congress of 1811. 

At the opening of the Congress, Bolivar submits his report as to the 
exercise of the authority vested in him, which he surrenders to the 
/Representatives of the People. Having thus become a plain citizen, 
exalted because of the services rendered by him to the country and by 
his experience in such service, he addresses those in whose hands 
rests the future of the Nation, and frankly asks of them all that he deems 
indispensable for the stability and happiness of Venezuela. He delves 

12 bolivar's address 

into history to find that the success of a government does not lie so 
much in its extrinsic form as in its harmonious relations with the people 
to be guided and led. Thus, even in praising with sincere enthusiasm 
the excellent features of democracy, he does not fail to admit that 
democracy is not per se the only factor in the welfare of nations; this 
must be sought for in something more permanent and deep than the 
outward form of a system of government. His conception of a political 
ideal is condensed in this doctrine : "the most perfect system of govern- 
ment is that which gives the greatest possible sum of happiness, the 
greatest sum of social security, and the greatest sum of political 
stability." But it is not possible to attain these ends when the status of 
the men for whom legislation is made, has been disregarded. Thus, 
after making an ingenuous analysis of the population of Venezuela, 
pointing out its characteristics, Bolivar emphatically advises against the 
thoughtless copying of the institutions of other peoples, no matter how 
far advanced they be in the matter of pure doctrine, and demands 
original measures to meet the needs of the people of Venezuela. 
Stability is his great anxiety. He is personally aware of the manner 
in which authority is challenged by the individualistic instinct which is 
latent in every one, but which develops in a violent manner among those 
who having distinguished themselves because of their qualifications, 
audacity or success, feel that they are fit to grasp such authority and 
exercise it. Bolivar fears anarchy as much as he fears tyranny, and his 
earnest desire is to safeguard the State against either of these extremes. 
Hence the idea of a hereditary Senate, which in his own words "would 
be an intermediate power between the government and the people, that 
would blunt the shafts these two eternal rivals direct against each 
other." His entire system is inspired by the thought of the imperfec- 
tions of the people and the risk there is in trusting them with instru- 
ments of government, by far too delicate for their uneducated, inex- 
perienced hands. In everything Bolivar shows, besides the greatest ap- 
preciation for liberty as the acme of human aspirations, the fear, tem- 
pered by prudence, before the possibility that, in aiming at an impos- 
sible perfection, the effective benefits of a moderate and dignified free- 
dom be sacrificed. 

He desires, above all, as the foundation of public happiness, the 
formation of a national character, more effective than all the written 
laws. He proclaims union as the motto of the new born republic and 
urges "as the paramount care of the paternal love of Congress," popular 
education. As a statesman he believes that nothing stable can be 


founded unless based on justice and righteousness, and exacts that 
morals be a part of the government of the people. 

After earnestly requesting the adoption of these principles, Bolivar 
still finds new words, not merely to urge, but to beg for measures which 
are a consequence and crown of the great sacrifices he has undergone. 
"I leave to your sovereign decision the reform or abrogation of all my 
statutes and decrees; but I implore of you to confirm the absolute free- 
dom of the slaves, as I would beg for my life and the life of the 
republic." This is conclusively national unification, which otherwise 
would not be understood; it is the appUcation of moral principles, and 
a safeguard against contingencies and social cataclysms. 

Finally, the Liberator asks Congress to sanction the grand political 
idea of the formation of a great state inspiring love and respect, with 
the necessary force to guarantee its own existence and to carry on its 
liberating action far beyond its frontiers. 

The Congress of Angostura fulfilled in a large measure the dreams 
of Bolivar; it was worthy of the trust and discharged a historic mission, 
gathering of tried and illustrious men, the Congress of Angostura 
was worthy the importance which the Revolution had assumed, and 
in creating the powerful and splendid republic of Colombia, it ceased 
to perform a Venezuelan task in order to fulfill an American mission. 

After a century, the political ideas of Bolivar appear to be endowed 
with that eternal life found in all that is drawn from nature by a deep 
and sincere mind. Leaving aside all that which circumstances of the 
moment bring into the thoughts of every statesman, there yet remains, 
as a store of teachings justified by the history of one hundred years, a 
wealth of clear, consistent principles, still having the novelty and fresh- 
ness of the most glowing political doctrines. It is towards the unity 
of national character, towards a just democracy, free from tyranny and 
Jacobinic exaggeration, towards the apotheosis of morals as the only 
possible basis of social redemption and stability; towards the abolition 
of slavery, the homogeneity of peoples and the eff a cement of caste; it 
is towards the community of continental interests, based on a har- 
monious conception of right, fraternity and respect among all the 
nations of America; it is towards all these ideals which might have 
appeared to be dreams without foundation, had they not been pro- 
claimed by one who had already shown himself to be so capable in 
action as to secure the liberty of entire countries; it is towards these 
different goals that the peoples of America have been marching, some 
over wide, smooth, firm and safe roads, others through difficult paths, 
between falls and blows, among precipices and chasms. Before the 

14 bolivar's address 

recent test to which humanity has seen civilization submitted, when it 
boasted of most admirable material progress, an awe-stricken world, 
its faith shattered, turns its eyes to that obsolete institution which under 
the name of Moral Power, Bolivar brought to light "from the depths 
of obscure antiquity." 

Does it, perchance, differ from the Court of Nations which, due to 
the happy inspiration of President Wilson, is to precede the supreme 
reign of justice among all peoples? Bolivar himself thought that some 
day "his ingenuous dream," improved through experience and knowl- 
edge, might become most efticacious. 

May the memory forever linger of that day in which a great citi- 
zen of the world, inspired by a great ideal, divested by his own volition 
of the unlimited power he had exercised, asked the representatives of 
the people, as the reward for his invaluable services, to deign to grant 
his country "a government preeminently popular, preeminently just, 
preeminently moral, which would hold in chains oppression, anarchy 
and guilt. A government which would allow righteousness, tolerance, 
peace to reign; a government which would cause equality and liberty 
to triumph under the protection of inexorable laws." 

Caracas, February 15, 1919. 


N*. 19. 




Continuacion de la Bffutacion del Correo 

Supongamo) que «1 ttj Juan fuese indtfe* 
rente \ esta peticion ; y v«am,os qual seru 
L conjvicti de lui Consejerot j Minlstros. 
Dien labiJa es U de toJos los que sirven estai 
ptazas en Cobienios despot Icos; pero para 
demostrar la de los empleidos ^t la Corte del 
Brazil alejfifcnios el dictamen del Correo 
Biat.Ume. , 

ConResa que hay abu^t , principalmepte 
Ml la forma de Ij admin istracion publica del 
Brazil — <iue son necesartas muchas reformas 
tamo en lo lefiibbtivo , como en h admini's- 
traiivo — y que Us Icyes del Brazil > quando 
era colonia j ^^tpoblada, no conrretien al 
Brazil deicolonizado , poblado, ▼ rico. 

Dice t,ue los hombre^ buenos y espwltuosos 
son los que el Cobierno debe comempbr y 
eonvencerlos de sus intenciones de irejcra- 
miemo en las cosas publicai : porque la genie' 
igr.orante va con la corrienie » y los emplt-adcs | 
* J ('il^dorcs del Gobiemo 6 egolsi'as no cuiilan ' 
del bicfi gtfnefrtl : con lat que reciban su 
ifxlJa y co.-nin y bebao descansados , todoj 
lo dem^i Ics es indiferente. Los que esi.m 
en ivxltr y autoridad , luego quese Ics habla, 
de r.-foriT^ , temi n perder su^ comoJiJades , ^ 
y.-de coiiii^uicrte Ikman revoluclon toja rt-'l 
ft-nia , y jacohintsnio loda demostra'iion de 
abusns. Ferturbadorei del sojicgo publico son 
H-unJcIos los que .animados de patriotismo 
d.-nunciso estos mal«« ^ perque perturS»n la" 
frricion de los tnaJgirudos phceros de estos 
eg.jiita*. Sen sefuenci;is del Correo Bra- 
xftfKSf en el niisnio numcro que eslamos 

( Y si los qiif hin de pro^-er la peticion » son 
ewH oiisir.os empleidos. egoi«ai, yaduIadof>4 
d?l Cobierno , que aborrecen y dete-.tin la 
rrt"orm:» > ^ como podra ella lener lugar .' Mai 
c'aro; el Cobierno iecomponcdeest-»s niiimos 
empleaJos 1 etlos son lot que gobiernan ^ 
i.-mibre del rcy , y loj mas opuettoi a toda , 
r.forma que dt-squicie su deipotisrrio : icomol 
pjei eiperif de ellos et suceso de la petictoo f J 
Si el rcy fuese un hombre de virtud y talentflf 
exiraor Jtnano , tal vez pro\er'u contra ^'- 
diciamen y voSuntad de sus minis rroi y cott-* 
jultoresj pero siendo tal , qual lo describio uo 
papel Ingles despuei de su eniigracion al Brazil, 
nada de provecho podia espervse de el. *• Un 
hombre de escasot lalemos , de un cararterl 
debit i irresoluto . y emer^imeoto entregado , 

a suj favoritos. Asi esia de6nido en 

'• A Skftch (if tht causes and consequ^tuet of' 
the late emigration to tht Brazils. By It ' 

« Ni U Fitosofia » ni tarevelacion pudieron i 
•nseriarle al Editor del Correo Braxilentf 
que los bombres » creados \ imagen y leme- 
jmza dcl>tos, debian dependerde la voluntad, 
humor y paslon de un individ-ift tal como el 
que esti reinando eo el Brazil. Y quando' 
/ueie mas labio que Salomon , mas fuene que,, 
Hercules, y mas vinuoso que Trajanb, umpoco',' 
tendria derecho para mandar a su Jiitojo, y sin 
las trabas de una Constiiucion dictada per el 
pueblo, 6 sus reprcsentantei. Toda auij^idati 
que nose derive deeste prtncipto, es ilegtcima 
y tiranica. Todo Cobierno que no redunda 
en utilidaJdelosgobernados, debeier abolido. 
o reformado. No se congregaron l«s hombrei 
ea sociedad para saaincar sus derectcai, 

tnterese* \ las coftiodidades if plaeere* d« una 
sola persdnao familia ; el mejor e^rar de todos 
los congregados, su s;ilud y felicrdid fui la 
mtra de su congregacion. £s un crimen de 
blasfemia •! decir que Dios , variando poste- 
riormente sus designios en la crcacio|> del 
bombre, la desiino al setvick) y edtldad de 
cierio numerb de sus semejintes , abatiendolo 
\ Ir clase de los brui>^s > y demas cosas que 
hacen la propiedad de los ricos y se trasmiten 
a sus hercJero^. F.Kos son los efectos y e&Us 
las coftseqiiencias de la filn doctrina que hjiee 
derivar inmeJiatamente del Cielo el poder de 
los monarcas absolutes, dripojindo al pueMo 
de su soberania. Sobre esta falsa doctrina hao 
pirado los di^parat^s que reprojluce el Conco 
Bratifentr , quando censura la revolucion de 

Adelantando su critica el escritor de este 
periodico , duda que hubiese elemeotos anti- 
puos para esta rmpresa , y desde luego h lUma 
obra del memento , parto d? ir.considerac|on : 
lequexadelapecipitacion, error, einjusticia 
de sus conductorei ; j los ucba de ignoranti-s 
en materi*f Je Cobierno, admini^tracion , y 
moilo de conducir los n<!gocios piiblicos ; y no 
como qotera ignoranies , sino con una total 
ignorancia. Le contestarcmos cap'ituto por 

Los antiguos^tementos de loda revolucion 
tal como la de Pernambuco , n»*t~en otra cosa 
que lof sentimientos naiiirales contra la opre- 
sion : el deseo innato de h tibenad en el 
hombre es el resorte principal que da impulfo 
1 VI maquina para recupviir sus derechos usuj-* 
pados. Si Mtos nobles sentimienios no eran 
generaJes en todo el Brazil, al sisitema de sti 
Gobiemo debe atribuirse esta mtngua } al 
habito inveterado de las cadenis es imputable 
la indiferencia y apatia con que el pueblo las 
tolen, bsbeta, ylasbendice. Aestadegra- 
dactoo brutal debtg el desp6ta el que la mayor 
pzritide los habicantes de aquetlas Provincias 
se biibiesen declando contra ta revolucion , 
ofreciendo en obsequio del tirano ^ con la 
mayor prontitud pwible, sus personas y bienes. 
J Y de donde nace principalmente este embru* 
tecimiento * Oe doctriou talcs como las del 
Correo Br,ixit^Jise. Esta es la leche que 
Buman quantos tienen la desgracia de nacer 
^en monarquias tales como la de Portugal. A 
.«tai lactancii debe el Editor de aquet Correo 
la baxeza 1 que ha descendido su pluma , 
acujando a los Patriotas de Pernimbuco , y 
tribuiando incienso a la Casa de Braganza. 

De ella dice que es la mas popuhr que 
jain^ goberno a lot Portugu«ts : que la 
revolucion de Pemambuco nada tenia de comun 
_cor» el odio que >e suponla contra la dJnastia 
remante : que en 6po>icion i Ici poquisimos 
facciosos que levantaron su descomenio Kasta cl 
puntode rebetion , se podia alegar l»»inmtnia 
mayoria , 6 lotalidad de los habitantes del 
Braiil que se dectararon contra elloj , ofre 
ciendo en defensa del rey sus personas y bienes 
con la mayor pron-itud posible. Asi se explica 
en la pg. 210 del Cbrreo de Febrero del aiio 
pasado , y asicoopera i perpcluar la eKlavitud 
de los Brazilense. 

Que fuese obra del momento la revolucion , 
parto de la ioconiideracion , del error , y de 
la precipitacion , unto quicre decir en el con- 
ceptodel eKritor como revolucion no blen me- 
ditada ni combinada. Pero quisieramos que 
pos scnalase en la historia de- las rev'olucionei 
quaUswa lu <{a* han tentdobueo njto, 

siempre ^,id» proawtorM hao ^mido m«if^ 
larlM y combinama del modo que pretVnite «l 
Cmreo Brazilense. En la lardanaa ludAkji^li* 
grado tndas las que se Kan preparadojy aadUf 
cado conforme al metocio q^ie a^iea »u menic 
tenix concrbido ^'Ed)fori)i)Aidc> reprobstft 
la de Pernambuco. T^daf bt Wcet.flifflnnifcj. 
protoogado el tiempo de la eruf^ton om 
lumemar el niimero de adeptos j de me^H 
mas alia de lo'qDc'teacost umbra en semejlinfe^ 
empresai , todo se ha malognido per tas dehi- 
trones y ()erfidias de alguno de to* coafideptei.' 
Lo*. hoinbres buenos y espiritu'oso^ son en' 
(oda* pATtts los que conciben y formtin las 
fevoUiclones ^ en todas partes son pocbi lot 
individuos de esta calictad i tllQ% sob, 1^ que 
debon traxar y executar las operacione; iitiurrec* 
cionales contra el despot isAio;, <1 una-tio d^ 
eltas no debe fiarse i la muliitud .' esta va coa 
hcorriente, y casi nunca dexadesMuir d 
grito y alarma de sus cortfeos. 

Not valemos de la, misma razoo qoe aleg» 
el Correo Brazilense para deeir que los facunbfe* 
buenos y espirituosos son los qoe debe conteni- 
pUr el Cobierno y conAcnferlos de sus'tnten^ 
Clones de mejoramiento eft las^osas'iMyblicas , 
porque la gente ignorantr va con la.ccnrTieDif. 
Casi todas las revolucipnei e^mpieri]^ piqr el 
rompimiemo de muy pocos iijdlviduos.''. Lease 
la del Duque de Braganza tnrontij^ , y se 
hjllara comprobado el hecbo'i If de los £spa. 
iioles contra Bonaparte fue iniciaiJI(l por uii 
punado de geiite eh Madrid y por el grito de 
una verdulera; la dr . Venezuela ' cQptra \m 
autoridades que nr indinabsn I estiir y pasar 
por las cesiones y abdicadon^ de Baybna , no 
luvo mas pHncipib itrtie el it un.a(icia1 que 
etclamo diciendo " VKa Fernando VII. r 
mueron los Franceses." La otra revolucion 
de Venezuela por su independencia y HbertaH 
fue obra de un ni^cnero muy reducido de 
personaircvcfindadzs en h capital, y de mil/ 
pocas sciiiianas d^ conciertpt U de Espana' ,en 
Mayo de 1908 , y la de Caracas en Jldio del 
mismo ano fueron obra del momeoio y no 
premeditadas. Parte de inconude^ion , d« 
fTftr I y precipitacion era la de Espana eA el 
juicio de Napoleon , j stii panidarios t y la 
de toda la America iiuurrecti h mcrece ci 
mismo concepto \ Fernando , y tus servidoi^f. 
f Se continuari.' J 

il i=s 

Conclusion de la Expofieion toffre la Media* 
eion entre [a EspaMa ^ia AmMea. ' ■ 
Si Fernando »e restielve a etta grande opera- 
racion politjca, que puede^Ostsr dificoldad al 
amof proprto; pero oo al'J^Tbicn y d« b Patria, 
se hallaii de un solo paso transportadcHelsirla 
in que ^1 rive al en que vive Europa, se Ijara » si 
mijrno ya su nacion una nueva existeneia y c^m- 
biaraa unticmpolafazdela EuropaydrlMun^ow 
~i Sombra de Henrique IV. I vuela d*l Bcarn£ 
intet que pasc este rapido Jnstante dado ii tvi 
August© Nifcto para salvar 6 para perder su 
irono y su pais ! !— Ele'va lu imaginacion a la 
diuri de tus ideas, Rineftt'ale la tenda de U 
florid y del heroismo , hazle conocer el precio 
le ua raomemo en que tani inmensOi fnales pue- 
Jen eviurse y tan inmcnsos bfenes.ltlauSrirse ^ 
Y escitalo en (va a adoptar lis dos unicas tnedi- 
Jai , de que depeode la talud y el-wigrti>d«i. 
-nicnio de Espan» .'—Gobiemo rrpreieiuaiiyo 
y alianza con America , ^ de qu< ottn cov^aam. 
sita clU para levantarie de ese lectio d* .a^.^tt, 
y L-Iivars* a un grado de poder y de ptoiptziD?^! 


Wrt iff ii.n Mi>«*r<»par« y«f lo acmpmunie 
En itgHtdn M tral6 •" f/ Lnn^rf jo rff «om4rflr 
unPreiitUnteirtterinodfla Republica ; pen ocur- 
rUndo muchm <UJi<sltQdes f^>a la etttcion, u 
acord6quectGfnerat BoliVah exfrcit-e €::te Fof/rr 
por 2i6d to mas por +8 horn$ , ^ te mando vn 
Viptttcion i eomunicarU €sta rtioludon. £i 
Ctnertd conttjlo 9ue iMo pnr eo-ivdeiacton a fa 
ur'rrnciaadmilia H enai^go, bam la preata con- 
dichn df aueiohjutic pnr cl l^miuo prfJUado. 
Al tif^niente dia , dfipufi dc Urgai dfsaistxnrs , 
aertcoHociortHanimf'^fiile la abs'iUla nectiidndde 
One en las ndusdtt circnn^lawiat conthuatc irtfff- 
rmamr>,t{ et GeMvai 11..l.vahm/« Prfsid^neti 
Mikado, V «'"' DipnUictOH fvl- rncar^ada di 
comHHicarle esfa detenvinacmn, mnnijt^tandole Un 
po.Un>ia% raxnitaen 9«<? ie/uniaha. Ao oilftttff 
imUia cl erf Itt vcj^ntiva , ^ ■/.rub frjwner pU 
do ^u rv-kisccaciA< An lo- 

ros ^ L fclicidid de li Kcpi^bliCi : in \t;elirrJ 
matios ci[»la bsUnza de nuciiroi (<f^nM>4 , lit 
medUa- de iiufstra (ilorij ; tliji ifUarau lc« 

e^»tf momcnio cl Cefc Sn,'reino i!e la Rcfur 
blica no es mas que un simjilc Ciodwljiw/, *^ 
tal quierc (;utdar lusta U niuL-rtf . Str^ rft* :»1rt 
fifitargo en U carrtra de Us 3riti<*i mi^MitrM 
hfitta eiieinIi;os en VentZiiCl .. ^^i^limJ dfc 
(k-ncnitriios litioi »ien»* b Tatrij cip-icc* dft 
dirij;irla: lalenios, NiriudcscAj-rriciKU yqijaii- 
10 sv rt..|uicre i)*ra iTiAntUf a Iio*iibre> hbrei , 
iQD cl patrimonio de murhos de loi que Mjui 
' ri' present ui el Fu»blt>, ■f I'licrj dc c^rp ^obn^uio 
Cticrpo 4e encu^tltTAti LiudsditiM tfitern tuclis 
i^kOCas hun mostrafk> vttlor p<ira arr(>»tr:ir loi 
" ScnoR— j Dichoso el Cmibdano qu? bajc^. peligros , prudencia par* e»n:n-lo« , y cl »tu vn 

/turn SMI fiombramiehtut : te hait rutn 
talv0 de ArtiUerifi por fUot t if At mnndt Hu tittnr 
\gt/ierclmcnte etta Cnpiial por h t>oc/te dr A'» 'An « 
,y yNp at irjenlo f.B comuHi^t:au re*p<ch^ 
Ordfnet a ta CMrnandaitaa iifitet'al 

" ff^S'' '' l^onor de IruniMUirlo a l' L^dt 
Srden d&Sobtratio Oinfrfto.^ Piot gttii'-/' -j I't'^ 
mtKhfit olioi.'^ holfuie^dei CrMfi^fiu en A>iy*>t»") 
17 dr fchrtro de J819. \f>.=' F.icm>. &.n<,i^ hJ 
■ I'ocal Sccre'afio i'lf-.Tiiio^Dir^u Ili-nlLtn I'rla'- 
nija=Excmo. Seu^.T I'teaidpat dehi Hi/.ut-fii'i.'^ 

. JETiTcTf K s o ^ 

Pronunciado por et Ocnml rl Con- 
gresosfiurat de Vcntiuda ett cl ado Je »u 
Inslatdcim i — 

ti^rito lis moiivas 

terificS en el tiguiea'e, j-f , , ; 



" Sexnr Secreiario del Congreso I , 

•' £n e«c iiisiaiue meh* honrado t\ Ci?Ti- 

rvso Soberaiio con una Kgtinda DipuUcipo 

preiidida por el hoiiiffabW ScSi-r General Ukua- 

'fctTA para anunciarnie mi c'lntintiaciofl eft li 

Preudencia del EsuJo. Yo estoy confuSCT. 

W* hallo opMBiido con cl cum-alo de scntt- 

arivbtos d« retpeto , cori»ider«cion , * grlfilud 

Jue mt inspiTA la btnevolenci;> del Soberano 
mgrew. Si no consuUasc mas ((ue mi oteJl- 
eocia ( y los voto* de mi corazon volaiia , c»mo 
lie sido iiwiudo, \ toniar^ievion de la dignidad 
JePrciiJsnLe d< Veiwiucla j pcro la coovicclon 
Co <iueektny de %ex incapaz de llenar dcbida* 
meiite la» obii^acionei .de primer MagiKrado , . 
incfuerzA arepfcscnur iOmisaraenie las iusu* 
taas-.ii qua mc impiden tervir a la Kepibtica 
carl Poder ILiecs^tivo. 

« Una diilorosaexpcriencJa^TDPitradoqaan 
incfimptiiblcs ton las funcionet de Ma^istrado , 
y A* Defcn«»r de la Republica : mucbys reveso* 
If;nHH tutVido porevUr rounidos cl Poder Mili- 
■taiTT'*^''^**"' i p"*-"* T**-' ^^ Hombre K^O'dB' 
puede ateu'der % U conseryacion de la P»z» T* 
ai exercicto de la guerra, ^y un h<>«nbre »olo_ 
dlilkilmente re jne las vinifJet y los talentos qu* 
requiereii el Tribunal y el Campo. Ademashe 
reconocido en, la practtca de los negocios publi- 
co! que mil futrrzAs ton insuficientes p»ra sopor- 
|,ir U formidable carga de un En^do Militante , 
y al misnio tiempo en La infancia. Los Rcpre- 
•entwHtes del Putrbto debco saber que aptna* 
Bcrian basuntes todas las facultadrs de todos 
nuestrosConciudadanos para componer on Co> 
bierno repai ador de tanut cal.imidades j j que 
podr^ , puts, rcparar un koldado? 

** El Soberaoo Coogreso ha nombrado ui 
Vice-Presidcntc pata suplir mi ausencia de I 
Capital. Yo debo eiur siempre , per mi esudo , 
ausrnte de la r^iidencia del Cobiemo ; por con* 
sigiiiente este Y'ce Presidente jera uempre el 
primer Magi^rldo de la Nacion; y sieado tan 
acerlada y sabia la eleccion que ha recaydo en cl 
hnnorable RepresenunteZEA , actual F^etide^ 
del Congmoi yo roe atrrevo a rogar a los Re* 
f rcsentantes del Pueblo , se dignco admiiir la 
respetuosa rcnuQcia que hago de la Pretidr- 
del Estado. 

*• Mi ,imor por la Patrta y mi deseo por eon_- 
trihuir a La expultion de.Ios llraoos de Vene- 
2uulame inntan tmperiosamente a representar lo 
q-je tcngo cl honor de coMunicar a V.S. 

** Dios eturde a V.S. mochos aoos.B Angot- 
tiira a 16 de Fcbrero de 1819. 9'.nBoLiv...H." 

(Ldiio rut Ofieio en el Coop-cio, te *ii*citareti ^tif^ 
qurtiionn, tnbrr que hubo tv^* diteutiooc* , it Ut 

el escujo de las armas de su mattdo ha conVo-^ 
):ado la Soberania National , pKa *]ue exeria 
ia voluntaj abscriuta ! Yo , puej> me cuont* 
entre los seres mns favoreriJos de h f^iviua 
Proviilencia, fa que he teniJo el honor d« 
fieunif a los Represcntartes del I'ueb'.o 'J« 
Venezuela en cste Augusto Congrc^o , futfuto 
lie la Amo:idad lee'itima, depositode Livolun- 
tid sobirani y arbiwo del D^rjtino '- ^ 

"At iransmitir a los Representanfes del 
l^cblo <1 Pode# Suprtmo j^ue se me habia I 


«{uali-« y AiA rnnliadn m daxi soiicia tl publico poi 
uo Suplemcoto i cna GsEcta.] 

fin de gob*rnar«* -f de gobe/nar :i ctros. Estci 
HuiHre? iJaronw ffierecerjitt , vm tiiida , li'« 
iufragtoJ de! X.'ongfe?o y ^ cHfts «e encar^afi 
<!ef Gobierfto > tjue tan conliil ^ lirtcerimtntfc 
^abo de renttnciar |nr» stcnii?rc. 

" La coRtituiifcioii de la at'loridxd rti un 
mhrtio iiiJi^M'io frtqiieiiicmfntc ha vido el t^r- 
mino dc los Gobieinot Detnncractco^k Lai 
repcti'dai eUcciones i^<ii e«nciaK-sea lo» %»- 
tem^t popuUies , por qtic uada es -tan pcligrOts 
como dtj.ii perm,ii'.ectr Urzoiitmpoeii un mis- 
mo Ciudad.ino el Podcr. tl Pdeblo st ucos- 

c.»ni«do^-col(flo-|oi.viKd.d.mi.cora2on. Id. J t""^.*^",' ''^}T::!l^:\J .!} ,^^ r'""''™'''^* 

de mis Conciudadanos y-iasdtfu^tras futuras 
.gcncracione* , que tOjlo l»;<!speil(n de vuesji-al 

sablduria , rcctiud, y-.priid«no»y-Quandocum 
' plo con este duke «Ubcc»{tne bberto dela 

inmema autori.^ad aue mt agovtaba como de l.i 

responsabilidadibautada que pesaba sobre mis 

debiles fuerzas. 9o)amente una 

for^osa unida a la voluotad imprrio&a del Pueblo 

roe habrla sometiUa al terrible y peligroso eti- ' 

cargo de DicUtdm- Gffe Hupremo de la Repv- 

Itica. Pero ya respiro devolviendoos eMa 

autorid^d , que.con tanto riesgo , di6cuUad y 
.{teo- h* logrtdo mRfftMMrm medio de-ta'.- 

iribulacioncf mas horrorosas que pueden afligii 

krvnoierpo social. 
. " No ha sido ta 6poca de la Republica , 

que he presidido , una men tempestad politica, 

ni una guerra sangrtcnta , ni unaanarquia popu- 
lar , ha ^do t si t el desarroUo de lodos los 

clementos desorgan'u^ores : hastdoU inun- 

duiftn de un locrente infernal que ha sumer- 

gido la tierra de Venezuela. On hombre 

1 y uA hombre ttnuO yo ! ^ <|«< diques podria 

oponer al impetu de estas devaslacionc? ?— ^ 

' pielaro de anguslias no be It *^»<* cnteia, rodcada Cr I 
vtl juguete deVhutacan w». \. 5«* P""'?^' u"^* ?"t"^ 

niaiidarlu. dc doiide se ori^tna \a usutpai:! 
y Ki tirariiit. Vnjtiito zelu es \a gaiatiliu Jc 
U Libertad Republic auk ," y nutstn-s CiuJaJ.t- 
iios dtbcn tcm*^ con sobrHd4 j.i>ttLia que \\ 
mismo Mag<itiadt>, tjue lis ha ifiinJAJo niuvl.j 
tiCmpo , lu^ niundc per(K'tu.inK-i>re. 

*' Ya , putf» t que pt,>r csie ac(u de ml adhc- 
' ciun a la Libertad dc Vciieiucta puedn ii^i-ii^^ 
a U gloria de ser c<'itlado cntrc sus ma* lulr« 
aniantts; permilidnie , i'-ciior , qTie eifoii;-.! 
con U lraiu)u«za de uh vfrd;\d«ro_lit-pul|;ic.i:u» 
mi rcspeiuow Jictumen en este i'lCyt^l.idrCo/i- 
stiiucion , qiie mc \ojnb U libcrtaJ dt -v'.ettTt « 
CO tcstimonio dc la MiictliJad y Jt'l c-iiuUi d 
mil iciu'mivtuos. Como sc \t*\A dv la saIhJ 
de tod-^s , nic atrevo 3 crecr que tciipn di-rvcln> 
p:nla ser oiJo por los Kcprescntantes del Puibln. 
Yo *d raoy bitn que vucsmi vibiJuiia ni V.x 
mcnoter jc coii»ejos , y sc tambi n que mi Pro- 
jecto aciiw* OS parcccra erroneo , in-pr.iciic*blr. 
Ptio, ^e^l.'^, acept-ad con bf'.i;; cite ir.«. 
bajo , (jit^mas bieii es cl Irili'.uo de mi sii.ccia 
tuini>i< I! al CoNt*nL«-oquf el ifecto de ura Use- 
dttU p;e^u^|^llo^a. Pi't clra p^ne , wcndu vi.ri- 
iras tuiicii'tio la crtacion dc un cuirpo politico, 
y aun se pOdria di'-iir la ctcacloii dc uiu stxle- 
irdoslcs Inconvenientes 
cion la mas lingular y 

dificil , quizes el giico dc t 

£n medio de cste 

tido mas que un vtl }uguete 

lucionario que me ^^.^j^'j'"^^^"*/; """.^^ (i advertir la prcse'iicia dc un y 

pja. Yo no he podtdo hacermb.en m maU ^ ^.^^^^-^^ /,.) 

Fuerzas irresistibles h>n dingido la marcha de ;. ^ ' 

Duesirossuce&cs. Airibuirmelosnoseriajusto, ' \\\ \ \\ \\\\ 
J seria darme una impcrtancta que no mcreico. 
I (Juereis conocer los autores de los aconteci- 
Tnientoi pasados y del brden actual ? Consul- 
tad los anales de Espaua, de America, de 
Venezuela ; examinad las leyes de Indias , el 
regimen dt los anliguos mandatarios . la influ- 
encia de la religion y del dominio e»trangero - 


*' Legisladcies ,' For el Proyecto dc Cons- 
titucion que rcvereniemcnte sameio ?i suestra 
sabiduria, observareii el c^pirliu qi.c lo Ui 
dictado. Al pro[>rncros la division ilo ki 
Ciudadanos en aclivos y pasisos , he pre: en- 
dido excitar 'a prosperidad nacional por 

pre lamcntables , apcnas se me puede supooer 
simp'e instnimcmo de los grandes movilet; 
que ban obr^osobre Venezuela. Sinembar- 
l go mi vida , mi cenducia, todas mis acciones 
I publican y privadas estin sujetas a la censura -del 
r pueblo. — Representafites! vosotros debeis 
juzgarlas. Yo someio la htstoria de mi mando 
I vuesira imparcjal decision , nada anadire pata 
**Excmo. Setior: tVo habi*Mdo el S»&erano Can- ^ escusaria; ya he dicho quanto puede hacer rAi 
greso liacional, accedido d lat repetidaz reitVM- ^j apologia. Simerezco vuestraaprobacion habri 
datdeh Presidencia tnierina del Eaado que *♦ : ji^nj^jo gl sublime tJlulode buen Ciudadano , 
c»-»)frw i V.E. en la SetioH Ordinaria de oyer , y •' —jf^pye para mi al de Libertador que me^dio 
co.l\rmadoettenombramtento. ifeldektce-Prest-i VeoezuelaTal de Pad/icador que me dio 
denu del mumo tn la j^ruma d^ 6cnor Dip^lado \ ^^^^^^^^^ . T i los que el mundo entcro 
\ tiKucixo \tii:oyiio7,tA, par lade hwf katt a que I *^'™'"*" *"• * i i 

estot dettinoi sean constitudmatmenie etegidOi i [j puede^danne. 
jf i contt^iienck tU la tvinMiweim jwc 4 V.£* ' " "' 

no e»trangero ; ■)dos mas graridcs de la industru, 
observad los primcros actos dcl_ Cobierno [ ^| tr.ib_io , y d iaber. Liumi-Lini-o t>u-v 
Re^ublicano,lafer©cidaddenuesir6senert«gw> , jJqj j|pr(jj^5 rcsortes Cc la sodcJ-d . ;t.' 
y el caracter nacional. No me prcguntcis / ji^^^za lo n-iis difivil cnlre lo, liou.Ncs, hi- 
sobre losefrctot de estos irastornos para >'em-?:j^^|^^ bcnra-los y feliccs. Poniendo rcstric- 

" l^pdadorei f Yo depowto «n vuestrv 

Clones justas y prudentes en Us Ascmblc;ii 
.Primarias y Electorales , ponenios cl pri; 
bique a la licencia popular, envitan.lo U 
concurrcncia luniuliuari-i y ti*^ <['•■<: tn <f\U'; 
ticmpos ha imprimido el dCiaCiirto en lai 
Elecciones, y ha iigado i^r cv.i --i-ieute. le 
desacierto a lbs Magistr.ulos, y '^ '-> m-ircKv 
del Cobiemo i lUCS csie acto pi: : ydnl . J 
el acio generati\o de U Lib*iT.u: , u v!c .» 
•Esclavitud de »m Pueblo. 

"Aumer.tji'do en laKiianr.-. i> \- pt»Jcrcsfi 

t..) . <) it .1'. !■" iM.»u 'i-li^'t «< r* k-'ivi-t't"* ■ - 

itutrioi- Jc U kti'i.hliM y M iiooo I'f..»i-cie .. . 

-.rfienta. S« h» crfiJn f.'iivrr.eiiip »upnpuf lu , y j .r 

. >uUfnenie el prir.cipioy fir tlci D..>.ur«j i-a«» 'jur j>ji>;) 

.mpriinifM tuJw pw »cjvai;Jj. 

>ildrp«n{Mncia f Noci por cierto.h'eit^rn <1<h 
minacidnie^gnJklujtiiO} ei su cotnercia lo que 
inpena a la Nacion y ^un al Rey tnismo;*-^ 
i Y ^vu£ complration pucdv haber cmKVn>n)o- 
nupolio mi5«»b]e j ese mcrcado inmenso que 
a ioJoVl«ipuebl<^* jr a clla ibre 
la Amcri-;a indepeadKriUe y libre? SiiuAiia i la 
eitrrmiu.<d dc Europa , rodeada c:)si tnda dr 
pucTtos J- tavotrcida ilrl Cirlo con un clima 
delicioso , uti suclo lib^'t^t , ciccl-jntci produC' 
cioncs , 110 poc.ii niin.u, y un pueblo »oljrio, 
CitpazUtf I.I& mui rmpre&a^t y dol-tJo dt 
un caracter y de uii.i cor.siancia iin^nljr, snlo 
)«iiiliiiba uuGobienio que hicicra viler tiPt^i 
vv.-0taj2£, y iin comercto ;4C(ivo que reanimnra 
lit' Aifrs y la Indu^tna aletarf^'adAi por lu bar- 
biro v'litem.i dp«tclHjion y tie ifitoltranci.i — 
P»rorWc *omfrti" '(tv dcbe J.irlp J •novimiumo 
>'ha\ , nr> puede nl'tti sitio n f^v^r do la :imis- 
t.iJ Je America, y ami«i4tj la m.*! tntim^ y 
It nii^ gcnerOta. Ef de toJa eviJr.ui^ quo nt^- 
t^"ii'a por algunos aTio* de coactf^n) u^ libcr.tK-*, 
y nun decicrtisprivikjiios para *o4t.>m;i l.i ci>r- 
curft.'ncia con las r ^ctu:.ev industiioui en rut- i 
Irtti merc^Xi*. y'''ciceelU que iermin.iJ.» por 
111 atrnAi la conqaiiii eu'.'Ta dr itui -^tT t InJc- 
pvndfr.cia, h^moi de itnc U ettupdn conJeit- 
Cv-iiJv'iidia de pt.TJaJicanio» rn nurjirij t^U- 
cion«-» com^rcialis para f.iv(irfei.r lot .tdili-ta- 
m'cnlON J* sui fibricas y mAiiiifiCtitrai ttjsta 
que Ikpuen a cmpetir con lis flH'jom de 
Europa ? — N\ , Ij A»rtnc;i no huri *acrifici>* 
»ino p»r Kni pr'^t>U p.iz , <tj>4 powj-on jr.ticl- 
ptda 'p-i<d4 ^rvrle J« enmpenuriun. Cada 
d^t que I'lU di!^ifra ft recoDtHimicnio dr la Inde 
pcndcr.da ahH)lui> dc todo e^tt CoRtmeir.e, 
Mnc'iy.i ctwdicion prcirTninar jirra^ v firm-ira 
nin^>:>i iiatadd, es lift nuc w 'i,Li:iivuU pa;.i ; 
obt'-'''*r uiu p.i£ vfcttjosa, y un p'nn p.\&o ' 
htcia su pi-rd'irtoo. P.irtce imp viblc que el 
Cj't«»iete df FcirauJo VH de\* •!* ct>ncKer la 
"HI ie-icta del pfl'jtm, y m ^nico remedio , j 

Tm\4L cu!i Amki'i."*. Ell e'to'ido* puni'»i 1 
e^ti-ciff^Ja loda»w potit'ta . y Je tUn^ Jppct.Jr I 
«u talu J y f 1 repOM de U Europe , a que n^ J.i j 
«i i.i tan tune^ cotaoTin'a «»o?acion en K-.^.i'..i. ^ 
La dc FMncia nn jialria kidu n>at qut uti »urno ! 
coreptradA.c^ta I* rf« un purblo nn r»f;)Oiietti. I 
bV por la,firmi"/A dr su carSct'^r , que por »u • 
i^noianci'a*» ^y dt^e^peraci.t". y ju faoat!*m<>. ' 1 
He xq>i»jin oSj^lo »erd'jdiTaniei'te d^pn-t dt- ! 
}•% Med'xriOM de I-ii Alia* Poicnc-js — iiitim aJ> a iiri Ccttemo Iteprt-w 'i- 1 
•Jlivo y la ludepfrJenr'S dt* MnifJH ijifkos ' 
nu'dtos dc evitir en Ebpniia unA^rWomciyn , 
q lie no'.a df comnnlcari-! a Fracicui y: 
liirblri.i prr lirp"s a:*o* la tiinquilidad <)*■ 
Eiir.ipi y \a\ rtUeiMie\ del Miindo. EntowA 
«bterJrixn el t*:'iIo divioc de bier>hechorts*ilv 
U humtr.idad. l.'gr^riAn jseguiai ]i p*iY"J* 
c''ncoid'.«'ur.ivtri.J, y ■! recoup- 
m tT'.o dtf loJns lo* poehlo*, loi aj 'lau^f* de tu 
liglo, V U% btndlcione* de h pc-iei'idad. 

< CoNlfci'I N- ) 

£i Seitar DiputaM de ios F^tados-Utfi ic ■ . ^'Nmirtntl CmnU^ur, m tn to* pti$doi it 
*t. ikViNK , ^ una de tot CoMEritCiaNTt- ; " -^^''ip* * de trajonb : era tn una huniide 
iNCLtSEi ma$ h.-nemAitoM de la Indeyew- i " fiow , Sara un UcfUt prgtio t yae Pmnuio, 
delosdemas, fur.'vn " tenciUamente \ettido , trazuba la Capital dii 
" Mundo tf poiiiif^Uis /v'damtntot de tu iiimcnto 
*' Inijirrio. Aurfj briilaba cZ/i" tino tu gfnin : 
*' vcia hiilna dr ^rande uno fl mimto. /'o ft pur 
" rl tparalo tii tu m':pii'ficetnia de nuettra ir..Ua/a. 
" cion ; si»o por tn:> inwrmox vfdiot ^ue la Satu- 

denHat'en rcprTifittacion de los demas, Juc.'un 
'cvttiSdados a fsle aeto solemne ^ y eotcce lot 
entre elSr. Proviior, Gobernador del Oitispado 
y tot jThidos G'lfes militares. lU concu^to 
de extrangeros _y de Ciudadanos Jui tui.y 
tucmrres'j. : 

'El GtfE SvfU£>\Q abrii't la Sfsion pur !r 
tecturu de nn Dtscurso tan lleno de intttii y 
tan patt'iifQ , que ni Ctuihrianos ni EsU .^ 
pcrus vitJicron contener lat Idgrimus.—St- lf- 
cioft , 'If ccriito, -la csprf%ion de su seviLitnte 
todo ucrrditafin la vcrdad de sus sentmtt-h'Oi , , 
y su inihna adhtiivn a los f'riitcij>iuS^<h- I 

•• n.-'-za not ha proponr-t:,-!:- y por lot irmett^oi 
■' plauei fw xoiotros cnmtttiKit para aprmtchaf- 
" lot , fue debfru caUtdarsr la j^randixa t/ el pudtr 
"futuTo de luiestra HepiUica.-^Efia w/^/wa sen- 
■ . Her y rt espUndor de ese graude acta de pat rio- 
** Kiww de ^ttt el Cri.eral Bolivar atalia de dar' 
tch ifuilre tf tncmorahU exemplo.^ imprmt J 
ata ivfemnidiid un caracter mnfipmo ^ ^ue-et ym 

picas ft, It/'CratiS i.'r que /lacia en MqtieLeifv la t " •"• p^'^«f:iodt lot alius deiliaotdenmeitro pats. 

iW pait'tica u u.Unute prrfesion. El tjOjeto 
piincipal rfc sit Uitcunu eta cxpoiur Insjui-'utos de un i'roj/ecto de t'oiutitucn')/, ^m 
S.L. prrienluKt at Cottgreso , y hncer i-er '^itF 
eta In tiias adaptada a, nnentru pais. LrfeX' 
/'t:uo'Ui con que conctuia , dcilarandj i't<a- 
luJo if Cort^rtiO t >§ t'CcnixiFudo rn H ia 
iHfitrnn'ia ^acioni>/ , ej-cilaron tl /«-?. xi'M 
en/it>n.S!:- , sobre tnd<j qiumdo rmpuiuihdv la 
eij-ni'i,, </;>y co>: b'ni 4'ier^ia esliao)i'i\-irtj 
'• iljV t-'yiufa _y ItJS de «"J iiutitvs cw\p'f',f9(tt. 

r» leprUda 
figuiii U'ui J.//;- 

\l noma nl i^tenas , t'aparta mityna en los Aer^ 
' -^PitM di-ii de la heroiddad if hi xirludes puAUcat 
" Hf prrif'ilit wit r*teita mas suiluae ni. utm 
••' pitefesnnii'. La iiHttgiaacioa te ejtalta a/ con^lft- 
" f 'aria , dcsajiiu urn lo* sigliis y ht diitanaas, 
" w f >(itro« wum'ts ttot cetmos C'thleaipotd^eos 
^' Jr Li Ari^iide^ If t<>* Phocionet , delot Cttaito* 
" y ''• ■ I '{•'"II. n- 'da s. Lh tnismi filditt^iipii y JSf 
" iri-tr-.i . fjrtt'f-iiot liberafes rfne hdn 'f^triid* S /dt 
** Gtf:i Hrf 'iVHyim^.^ de/a alia aUtgiMdadt^ CkM 
■• Am-j-Zr^vM E'Mjierttdi.rts yespatiano , Tt^.'-i'fraftt- 
no, Mt'Ci, Aurt'liv .ptelotreiapLaar^Mdifft^ 
lulocunkny entre Mrs i ^Ms ■ mtMiettA, 

sluH sichtjnr /-rt/Utii d stjsi, '. -- SB* '*«•' 
/Iri/ji^hF /JL.^ndad— I'na tl Con^tc^- .'r\* lAmeral ; y erare tUot oliUjidri UtJ^marel d^ If 
fa n,i'>ic% -^JuNoria y tat bendtdoHet de la ff^ttii^^^^ 


I'" A tttu .i 
I '■*■(.■.* por cl concutso I se 

hi Geje Suprcmo i'lxtiu t-uriiun at fSoi^- 
pre$o tl que prvcvdirse tf in ifnrhn dt ■ 
t'residfnite IntninOtyara ctdrrgurU el mmidti 
ItestJtando elccfo d rha- z<fi tl DipuladC 
Francisco AntonIo J'ea , S.B. le lotttt *l 
Jitramenfo solre lot Siiiiti s I'van^elivs, 9 t-i. 
se^tuda a lod-A li.-t Altemfavs uuo n una. — ' 
(k>ncluidoetjur,tm.Ti.'Op ii. tl. CiA'<ii at t^eti^ ■ 
de-ite ett U silla qm ocupaba el mi'suto t\ixj dil 
fidi" , y dirtgiendi-sc al cuitj'O tuililai </«_'(>«?] 

• Si-iiorr-s^: 
oinp.irii'ni). de nrmas 

" ^tf es ahora que puedt p*itamente apredarte t/ 
" . .fittnie ro'gu de itrt^ patriLlicn de que hemos 
" .iM« admit aduret mat btrn quttesiifiot, * Qfiaxda 
" nirx/m* Jiutilnctifiit kcyam, redhidu la lanciin 
** del Tiempo , qoando todo lo difiil y todo to jtr, 
.** ^viio de naCitra edad, las poiiouct y b>s iatt-^ 
* tt>«t y ttit vonidadet A^yait denpafecida , y 
'* 4lAt quedet U-tfimidei hcch-i y tot grdwdet htiii' 
*.'tli%, ert-jjtcet se Aari H Im abdieactvHdM OtiUfat 
•• Bki-iVAR tui-'a faj'uHdaqnc tmrced^ y ,*« «i»w*. 
> br^ te piouuittiOfV *»« or /^ d/mjm ^tnstttt^tr : 
ydlP'f UuHdo a/U Trtteraiiifil.- .-.f'r^^Hdo Jt 

, _. ta^ to que el Ha tCe^Kt. par nti^a^ libtt ltd — . 

a I'l V OjiciaUi . W'-L^ •*• "*»'. df «<"'*-• y peh^it^^'i-crtf'ti^ 
n'.Mj/ivi n-J .<uaiti» ■,« .'' . •^.*'' J'"Vif* .¥ de l u rryifun , j fcfrf^r y t'al »j u* 
jiJAt < iblef t es^faertoi de f*tf d^§ftifj/ift te eiiar.i 
*o en la hido^ny n» i^>it*Urni ia i 

I I fmbt extiirplo 
i " p/ufba de tod 

ASGOs^rinA cc dc de it 19. 


TtePftidos toi Oipulados (1 tita Coptic I , 
"h leetf-i'icrdai ioj Acta* de U.c{ion rf ludu 
i^nfb'iTif't et^Rrolffmttd*} » J'-'i' S-K. U 'Cws 
'J>c»»C«o'/>a"T tlX:, rt// L'-i'(c/t?r (TTiiiTr 
dfl d\a la /".■fhet^n dil Cor^-'ttu. 

Uua salta de ArfHiiria cl ponertt ti Sot , 
^ ut"j iluminacion gmrrol , dumiO el 14 'ff 

■ftlr'tn--idad del diO t/piieiit'. 

•f^ Ih^taltt et bol se ^izo ofra jitlva de 
Jlh'i'Urio, ijia {Jipittctlrs if n^mtercKO fftM 
uliet \f irritia en la Hala del Palocto dei Go- 
ttiei ii-f di-Hintida a iw tesionex , y et EitodO'-^ 
yimf-v-Ge*if*al t tt Gobernador de la Ploia 
V i.'viiandaHie'fieneral de la Pruviiuia, Gefet 
'V OfnaUdpd ek la casa drl Geje Sttfotm'* 
ptTTQ acontpt^-itf d ton ou°uita ten-tnouia. 
' 'J'rs e^Oima^ta atgenciaron ta maicba ite la 
'e<iHtfiva , 'ff ios iJeptdodfis talierott d recilir 
d y£. /una de las puertas del faJado.— 
llM mwncH^-^tiacamaito , que cevj/ala et 
'^erge\ IrHitl^tet aoi.oi It militate!. 

que 5i..'i^f-.i Cimladanot hOita que el Cortgf^ 
Suberoti-i fc_ d'^'!'- empleamos t-n lo claif^Vl 
f'laJo qkr il bie-t ti'n^ri. CoHlundo c<ni iltfi- 
tra smuisk'ii vy d darle en mi no:riff*eit 
el lUL-tSto lOi pntebits mat' ctarai de niuMtn 
obedunda t-fUK^/tTuMt" el mundojle fii^j»'j 
estaba enrar^.rdo." Duiendo eUo se acdtSa' 
at F/rsidctiic del Cori^rr^'j^ y pi,-sc'itd-t^oU\ 
•SU bailuit , conlihu'j T •• iJriu..!io u In tirptt- 
idtem^ ■ et baUmi tie GmerdT qiu w.' ». ./fi. 
■^*^fara sttiii!'t (jar.'.quitr grado o <,. rr d 
qm et Con^ri'io mt- dvUnie t es jum, ft^. 
konrt'io : ni. it dar^ tltrempto de la t.(ij<n^U 
Hacii'H y de It ctr^a obedirTtCia que d*^h 
diitin^uir u fodo S-Adadu de la lU-puLUcfi.^'*-^ 
JEl Prcii'u.Uc dif\'^:endt'se al Coti^nsf diiO: 
de lodo: let gradoi y enipleoi cori/enJos j 'jr 
S.E. tt Geiieial Simon iioLiTaR dnutife s» 

GobUtno, il \ ^m'lar^o pido piiradedareirfo-. -*» di'X-per'o d/<fue ten^a iwdMimn. 
la iipnAmi ,>7t etyiesadrl Con^cu^." gFarere' 
et Co^ijfri sl. que los ^rados y tmpleot conjer^-. 
d'> I'l S- E rt 0>«'/'d/ Sl.MOM boLlvjt. / 
sit'xoc G-/e d<- la Jieputtita t «*c« 
Tu'j/T/T.. ;?.-> ^ Toiio! Is Utj>i*titdiii~^'t.^it- 
dvit en pie Hipoi*dzcTC'} qt,e u , y el />«/'• 
de ite (oi.firtHC : ** El Hoierat 
Ui Jiep/'l-tuii (O'ljfifua, <->i la t'nsona de S.H: I 
el Copit'in-GrUt/al .SlMuM fioLITAR , todji-"*, „ 
los gradosy cmplfos , et-np^idas j.-ot eV mwao. ; ■ "'- 
dtttante *^< Gobin no; y divjlx ieudcte il bafCon^ t 
te dii tt:}f)il<j d !u dntc/in. Uespuet de 
o^.t-UiS mtrnrtitu de i.ftndot el FitiiJcrUe 

habl': fn*ltos tiriiiiti'is . 

'■ Todat /fli Aod<.''if y tod^s tin Impet io-\r'ue- 
'tr^ntniu in/anda di'id-t^freque.'ios, cci^il 
** /timbre w/jTwo J quifit dtben su inxtitucii/it.'wn, 
'** kjtat graidfs Ciudades qte lodada asomAr/i/l 

" sand^ta , Tyro , la Cafi'lal mii.nfi de flefa y dt 
•• Xenftrp^r/ , y '« ta»'.bwit , iolerhia B ■•■'- 
** Senna de t.; Iirrr.j , nn Juiite m /"i /irin.i,.».» 
"Urafotaque una wteiquma y ^nLeraSle «'"-•. 

p/aflta de tudus lot , af« Jtrmcia, i'u 

"*' trxuabU fiira no desexpemt de l(i lalud ae la- 

** '^ttria , xiettdotit tabjitfffda , y rt drsvtdidn y 

'^ STili : pretdndn , di/^/ft de taalot ///«(*>#, qite 

**-i»aue ^ fa i,ii'f^:alid',d , para JLttr Sijibl»itt la 

M 0tod(/n en A> qie eftaiuor^nd-j y o^ttiUMda^ 

"'fi' H hi.'iitfa r/ttnciad'j la Atdo*iiutr Urn. 

**pni»a ^qtmuji e.-:a ttnofreaamas ^eviias 

** p^arts, qiiindt atrakia ttbr^ ft tUfu: 

**.ut*tiltot y calutnuifls , y qato^a trti ^r* **a* 

.*'.fpt im tUhle at parecer vamt^^ oadaXa^ra 

%^teiddo de laudable y mucAa ik^^ilditiite ; per^ 

}\-&9<ierto <n el laoitieuto eti queesta AutoiiJmd 

'^ cifhi-'ir^ i) tifticr afgunos atrGctivi)fi H tos o/ot 

** de'tn am'iidfia y quaiuto. lado-^^iSt^^, pro.cii:io 

'*^ittymi.iiy dkfiotoite HuttlfQi d^idt, y ttaeerltdf 

\*^ ^pria ni'j.i niei'li y pur -pt' paro amor de M 

*^'nBV/arf, c. u:a virlud tan Mtnti-t y tan tmi* 

7wkte , qiif yo ti'j »e t'l tUt teniJo modelo , y 

en^a iwdUldhm. Pero qnff 

ftrm.iUremoi. n.3.iotn>s qne elGraerai Boljvar 

i'< tUie s.ii'e siu Otuciudadannt que tos 

9imrr,a cn/> tu fliina , y nn tratareim)s i las 

t Vfui de Cum;iftir con el fH Hoblei y jjah-i^icus 

.snirniftrtoi ,~m-p^- ii t r f in ' Ji. *e n d ir dwntr An- 

BHto. nd*ito tin me:tir!ede esa misma Attloridad 

Q>n^ei» dt y d^qued se ha dexpojadopor ttiantener inviiliiifc 

i,.nn ,t^ C A.*- 1 '' •* "bertadt siendo tife piecitamrnle et Mi.-diD 

a\-eittitrailiif~..Xo, nS, reptUu o i enfr^ia 

uitddad et Ctnerat BoMvah, Janut.', jnmr.* 

T^re a nceptar tina Auloridud A que pats 

** tte^pre he retinndndt dc todo arazon por prin- 

* C jWtij » p'lr •r".'i:iiicnlTt-'* ^*' Contittui expo- 

'•* Kift^o tat pctign/s 'jue enrrin la liberlud , coiUer. 

'* vkftdo jntr H.wc/w tiempo un m'tsmo hmnht* la 

" wfmrra AuU-ridud .- maul/^.ttC fa- neceiidad de 

*• pr*C4i\er-e (T.titi.i fat ■nihas de n^gun ambidosa , 

•*'~£i^tra i'it dc cl mUmo que >*o Iciia nin^niia sc- 

- ffiffidad d/- pen^ur y dr ubrn, tientpre drl mitni.) 

*■ mvfo , y trrminS tu Dtscurso pretexlando ei. d 

•• btno mat Juerte y ded^i\-i , que enHiaguntnui 

I por niu^itni cansideradcn vulveria jamns ^ 

' .C'ttlar U'ia Auloridtsd, a que tan cordial y Inn 

" iAr:traneMe habia renundado por atr^ufar i sv 

Stf^dct Congresopor el ni^mero de 1o< t»pu I tir^rio en amuk <Ir Libcm^. Si , toi q>ie 
Uilores . y dot \a naluraWza d«l ::eiiaiJo , he ) ^ries <ran lisclavos , ya son *Libres : loi que 
iraJo ^tarle una base ^r.2 x tut |Tiiner1 intes entn encniigot oe una Mailrasta 

Ciicrpo de la .NJtiun , j revestiriu de un: 
coiisiUeracicn tmproirai.iisima para cl 
de sus funcionvs soberiiias. 

" SieparanJo con limkes bien sefialaJos ta Ju- 
riidiccio't y ^'^■■'Jiiva , de La Jurbdiccion LegU- 
htivj, iiom<> iie propue^todividir sino enlazar 
con lot vWici.loj de la armonia que nat.e <-e b 
lnJet»endt:nf,ta, estas poicjiajes bupremascuyo 

_..^ Di-fci^orc* deuna Fatrn. Etcarrccrot l3» 
:xltof iii">cia, la necesijad * J la bene£cci.cia itp 
t^sra mediJa, es superfluo quaodo vosolro^ 
i^bcis la historia los Helotas , de Espartico, 
y at Harti ; quanJo vosotros sabeit qu^ no^ 
se^ueJe ser Libre y Esc lav o a ia \ez , sino 
vidaniio a la vez las Leycs naturales , lai 
J.eyes pol'uicjj , y las A-eyes civiles. To' 

cheque prolv)p;^do jnmas ha dejado de atcrrar f al'snjono a Tuestra soberana decision la re-^ 

■ forma 6 la revocation de tojos mis Estalutoi 
y Dvcretos ; pero yo inij loro la confirmacion' 
vC la Libertad absoluta ^ e los Esc!avos , como 
implorana mi viJi , y la vida de la Repullica. 

. ;'Re[.rescmarosiahistoria Mlliiar deVene- _ . ^ , 

deliberance no tei la cjus^i incncdiata Je un raeli , seria recordarosla historh del heroismc j * 1" ""gi^da* obligacione» que con elloi btnio# 
c'lrculo de vicisiluvles dcspo:ica» en que aUcniJ- Rcj ublicano cntre los Antiguos ; seria de*-iroi . conlraido. La deuda Nacien^I-, L^giiladrrr s/ 

" ■ ' -lei el dep6iiro de la f£ , del honor, y de la 

graii^nd de Venezuela. ReipeLidla como la 
Area Sanu , que eftcierra no taniti los derecbos 

i uno de los contendiemes. QuanJo de^co 
atribuir al Executivo una suma de facultado 
«u[verior a la quf antes gozaba , no he destM>.lo 
autorizar un Despota i.ari qus ilrani^f la 
Republlca, sino tropeJir que el dejpousino 

livaFnente U aniirquia sea rcecnplazada por la 
oHgarquia , y pjr U monocritia. Al ped: 
ia estabilidad de los Jiiece^ , la creacJon de 
Juradps, y un nuevo CiC\go , he pedidq.ati 
Co.igreso la garantia-de la £ibcrtad Civil ^ la 
mas pr<:ciosa , la mas i-istii , \a mas necesaria 

ral.-adomonicicaM! ticmpre ha fftido n^il cqut- 
fida. Abort lo« Eoldadoi Dcfectorci 4t U 
h^drpendencia no ioIj^.en;e ettan anradci ds 
1 1 Jusiicta , Kino tambicn de la fuciza. Kuettrat 
-.rr;-as pueden medtrte con las mas lelcctai d« 
Luropii, ya que no hay detigualdad en Inj 
n-rdios' desiruciorei. Tan -giandei te Dtajas lat 
;:?hoTnos a la libetalidad sin limite* de algauM 
^co.vtosot extrangeroi que ban viito geittir la 
niimanidad y sucumbir la<auta de la razon , y 
no la ban viito tranquiloi cspectadotet, ilr.a 
ijue ban Tolado eon sus protectores auxilio*. y 
hkn presiado a la Republic* quanto clla nece- 
iftaba para hacer irhmfar lui prineipios fiUn- 
trdpicoi. Estoi amigos de la humanidad son 
los genios custodioi de la America , y a ello« 
sqmos deudores de on ctenio reconocimiento, 
como i^ualmerile de un cumplimiento religioso. 

que,Vcneii.eIa ha enrraJo en el gran qta^;ro 
Je los Sacrificios hechos sobre el Altar de la 
Lib'enaJ, Naila hi podido llenar los nobles 
j.'echoi dc nt!i;>(ros genefoaos guerreros . imo 
los lionores fcb'.mies que "se tributan a ios hicn- 
hechores del gOnero bumano. No ccmba 

eo una p.dabra', la inica LibertiJ , pueS que jtfi^endo ; •-" el [ oaer , ni ,for la fortuna , ni 
sln.etla Ut demas son nulas. He pedido. la | -^un (.or U gloria, sino Ian solo por la Llbe.lid* 
forreccion de los mas latnenubles nbusos que i 'itulos de J.ibcrtaJores de la Republica, son* 

-. r,- -.,_..-„ I. j:„.. _- -_: ■;_ . . ,(,. .fignoi galaf^oncs. Yo , pues , fundandoi 

iina'socic-'aJ cofl est^s inclnoih'ar.-'nps, 
he initJmiJo el or„en de los Libertadores de 
Veni*2Utl.i i — Legisla. ores ! i vosotrcs p^r- 
(enece lis i_cultai:es de concedfr hor.ores t 
lectiratin-iej, vjcMro ei el deber de exe'rccr 
e»*e .icto auguito de la graiituJ nacional. 

^otnbrei ban des,.renuiiio de todo« 

•i.fre nuestro Judicatura', por su origen vitio-.o 
de ese pi jiago., de, ■ LegishLioo Espanola que 
iemcpnlt aJiiempj rccoge Je lodas las et^iJei, 
y de toJos los hombres , as'i Us obras de la 
iiemencia como las del talenro , as'i la^ pro*^ 
duccipnes »eiis:\t3s como las e^ravap^nt*!^ 
^at lOs momtone^tos del ingenio I** 
del caoricbu. ' Esta Btiticlorfdn jii:lic:aria — 

Woiutnjo de Hiez cabezas > que basia Hcsgc2f$, detodos los^ienes que antes i^oseian, 
?hora h.T sidoci ^zire J^ [jj p„eS'ic^r,s|-aAoI«, 
*» el sa^Mco in.15 rrHr-Jo *.,iie ta c6l-7r* del 
(lk\o h« i.rrr...iidj d*' sobre eaie desdi. 
xb-t to Iti-iter o. 

•* MeJ.t.i;..l I el n- -do '•.';c- ivo do re^re- 
•n.»rar el cj.-:cier y l.., .-onslurbres vpie t^ 
l!i-^!iia J lag irrr.i rvs hat. dido, ire lie ■.er.tiJo 
-Ja.ati.lacia tiv \.t\eniir un IV,'cr Mo;al. s..i siio 

'dtflYundD de I^ ob^C'in i.iu^''..«'.U! , y de .*.|U^" ("ontr-ijo para con el Pueblo a'guna especie 
lt-«\.QUiJi,|j< I.t-jes q ># r iiiit,i.i,,r,'n , ;f!gun ] de miyi'-o, iJJo \ jus Repreieriramcs oigan 
itempo, li vir!-ij tntre loi tj- le^.-^i y ftom.-'nQs. I ni'iu^Hca coiio el preinJo dc mi v'ebiles ser- 
ba'i pdode ;,(-r let iCo por yncimlido delirlo.^j vici-H. Que el Congrcsoorderela distribution 

v!e I^s Bienes NAtioiialrt-, cord'orme a la Ley 

de nucslros b^erjiecbores , quarto ta gloria de 
nuestra ddelidad. Perezc^mos primero. que 
qucbrantar un empeSo queba salvado la Patria, 
y La vida de sus faijui. 

li^ " La reunion de la Nueva Granada y Vene< 
^ zuela en un grande Estadc , ha tido cl vote xt^t- 

I que 

ui is no vs itn;jo>ib'e , y yn me li>onj;eo yy\t no 
jS ■ J-'.'i^rc.i vn(("-jn.'.'!ue in per.wniicn'0 
n»ciorad'^ l»or 1j Ciiicneflcia y Ui luce; 
Jtegaj ;^ ;tr ix,i:y ehcaz, 

*• iijrroriijijo -Ic Ij d'^ergcncii q-'e ha* 
?••*■/- Joy debe r<'yrar entrenosotro% |x>r tl 
r f'.-.' .1 •>a'A\ q.e cjravteiiza al Gobierno l-'ede- 
T.. 1* > . he 'iijo arr»-;traJo a rogaros pira qn«, 
a lopteis el Cenctjlismo y la reunion dc todcs 
'\o> EitaJos do Veuezurb en tina Repufclic^, 
s'^la e iiMl.»i-,ibk'. Lsta meiri-J-i , en mi opin.on ^ 
-u'^'enic, villi ^'rcdpfitora, ^.-s de nl u^rurileia, 
\q-ie , sii ell.i, el Iruto dr iiufflra r-'pcncricion 
»4era Ij piuertc. 

"Mi deber e;, Lej;i<Udorfs, pre,(...iaro* 
•AiO qiildro i»rol.\j y li,! de mi Ad.Tunistfaciry^ 
J'oi.tifj, Cuil, y blil.iar , m^i scna cmsac 
.demafciado vusitrj ifriporuiie iU-nnon, y pri^ 
.v,\roj en es'e niO(ii?nio de un tienipD laa pre- 
ctoio comi. u'gjiwc. En coniv;.]'j*n:.a , Its 
^cttiiT.ot, de lista.H diriincuinta 'J Con^reaj 
.de iu» diferentrs Departamentoi exlbier.dn ji 
jjTiisnip ti?m;)o los LJixumeoto* y Archive* tjue 
.^.-rvif-n de ilustraciou para lotnar un eaaclo 
,conc)ci iiiemo del csndo real j posiiivo de la' 
J^epubiica, I 

•' OS h»bIj;Ude los actos mas notables 
de ini (M.ndo, vl e-.i.i* no Incuinbiesen a (j 
rijyuria de los V.-it7oIanDs, .Se tr^ta , Senor ,i 
-de Us retoluclonti mai unponantet de esiej 

tiibra con %u^i .r.mco U tierra de Vene^ 
^7"_fiU, yn.iesin. Cielu .<e hiUabi recygado 
<ie teTipeM-/o>*^ ^uIKs ^ue a.nL-naz-ib^n 'mil 
(^.ltti«a,^fr f^. ,. Yo implore la -roiecfiloni 
f ei Oi05.<ie la huTiao; lad , y lucgo b R^den-' 
c\ah\(Ut*..b las tem>est;id«. La esrlayirod 
rompK) >uc griUos . y Venezuela se l»a skxo- 
ro taoa d« nueros hijoi . de hijos agradecidoiV 
que han converii^o loj Insrumenioi 4c lu CTO- ! 

_^ , ,ue ji nouibre Jc la Re,iLblt a he i^rcroiaiJo a 
p'jede. beneiicio dt los Mi'.uarci Vinezolancs. 

" Va q-ic poriivfir.iros iriiBifos htnios bfrado 
ar.o'-iiijjr las ha.M'.es Espanojas, desesperada 
la Ccnc df Midrul ha pretendido sorprcnder 

fonmeje los pueblos y Gobiemo dc estas Repi. 

blicas. La suerte de la guerra haverificado eite 

enlaze tan ancUJu por todos loa Cblcmbianos j 

de hccbi-* estamos incorporadoi. 'Aftos poeblos 

hertranos ya os hanxonfiado'sus intere«e« , m 

dcrechoi sui df sti^joi* AJ contemplaj- la retmioo 

de ef ta iomensa comarca , mi alma te rrmonta a 

^ la enilnencii que eiige la perspectifii colosal , 

^ que ofrece un quadro tao asombroso. ■ Volandp 

I por enire la* proximas edades , mi imaKina«i<« 

■ . ' le fiia en los siglos futuros, y observando de»de 

<n,po .1 jrojucto de su v.rtuj y ulemoi: , allH' con adm-facicn , p«mo , laprosperWad, 

hornbres que ban esptfimcnujo quanto es jel explendor". la »ida que h^ reeihido esta ba»» 

cruel cr. unague.-ra borrorosa , pajecicnjo las S region , me si-nto arrebalado yme parrce qu« 

irivaclores dclorosas , y toi tormentci | ya li veo e» cl corazon del nnivrrso -, effendi- 

ni?i .iceibos J hcmbres tan bencmerito. oe Iai*"dose sobre sus dilatadas cartas e*tre es<>» 

Patria , haii dcbi.,o llamar la atencit,* del 1 ''*^*V'°* 1"* '* n^luraleza hjibi.i s<pa7»do, j 

G'obitrno, erMor!e<;uenfia bemandadorecom--i ''"* -nu^^tra Pairia rrtine con prolr|.g-idcs y 

I en arlos ecu lot bienes de la iNucIon. i>i he i*"churosos canaW. Ya la »eo *ervir de Ia»» , 

ci* id* e«ntro, de emporeo i la famll-a homana. 
Ya lo veo enviando a todot loi r<-cintos de Ia 
tierra los lesrrps que ^biigan ao« mitniHoas dm 
pUii y de oro. Va la veo <Ji4fibuyeTid« por 
sus diviiias pliiRtas'ud j la vida a let 
hombres dtvlicntt-s del antigno univ«rv>. -Ya 
' la »eD comunicandoani preciosdi secretes a los 
^ ».'.bios que ijjnoran quan supcrirT es la soma de 
lai luces, a la suma de las riquczai , que le 
ha prodigado la naiuraleza. Ya la veo Kn'tada 
sobre el Trono de la libertad emputtando el cetro' 

.Sobcjtios que Acibin de eiiirpic "fa usurpasion 
y la tirania en Kirropa , y debet! s'er los protec- 
tores de I.' Icgrticnidid., yde la Juswtiade la 
Cans* Amiricana. 'Ineapai de alcanzaf con 
sQs V'ii3i nuestra sumislon recurre la Espana a 
sa pol.tiira insiJlftiJ; no pudiendo, vencemos 
ha quvji-'do eiiplear sfts artes suspicaces.— , 
fcrnin lo :e ha h-.inihado haita confesar que 
ha nicncitcr de la pro:tccion extrangeranj:-ra. 
retorharnos a su i^'ncmlnlosoyugo ; i un yiigof 
que todo psder es nulo para impone^o!— ^ 
Ct^irvciicida Ve/iczuela de poseer las fuerzas 
suiic.ciitci pararepeler a sui opresorei, hkpro^ 
ntmdidt>pOr-tt 6rgano del Gobieiflo7>r 
.lultiina volunr;ut tie combatir hasta espir*. ; 
pot defender su nda polltica » no solo ' Aibtrs 
ta Esp.iriA , shjo contra todos lot honibrct - 
n tDd^s los hombres se hubiesen degradado' 
tanto , que abrazasen la defensa de un Gobi-' 

vunamtnte la i:on;i;ncia dc los- iiiagrianimos ***!* Jysiicia,coronada por laGIoria, moitrar al 

c^K.., .^. — ■ ., u.'. I-...' ■■■_ roundoantiguolamajifstaddelmondoroodernn. 

"Digr.aos, Legisl:«dores , acnjcer con indul. 
gencia , la profesion dr mi cohttencla politi^a t 
I Irf i^Itimos votns de mi corazon , y los rueeos 
' fervorcsi^s que a nombre del pueblo me atrevo 
a dirI;»iTOs. Dignaoj conceder a'VcnezQela 
un Gobicrno em"nenicmeiiie popular, eminrn- 
tcmente justo , emtperjemcnte r[jora>, queen* 
cadene la opresif^n, )a anarquia y la culpa. Ud 
Gobiemo que haga reynur !« inocenc'a , la 
humanidad , y U pax. Un Gobiemo que hag* 
triunfarh;i)(0 el imperiode Leyes ioM^rabUi . 
la ipualc'ad y la libertad. ' , 

•• Senor, empezad vuestra* fuacioiur» yo be 
cerminado las mias." 

jfy^ ha Utgadn^ ea» pldxa el Ccrmft Borsas 
f ue mene del SxSrdtv 4e Apmt ^ ^V m ttpQr^t 
el 9 del cirrifule. IJ km partkipAdoverimivteTit 
al <J<jfii^no la completn derrota que eufrilt nn 

emo devorador, cuyos unicos mQMilessoaimaM ^'*''''"°'"^'''"'"'''^'*'^^ ^^ Aombrei de Caha- 
EspAla eitermJnaJora , y las ILmas de U i^.n^U^*» 9^e dcstinh MariUo d raogn ftan^dn par* 

quisicion. Un Gobierno que yl no quiereji ''' *^^*^'"'^**' ''^ '" '^''^"''*- ,'**'7''''''"'''^<^" 
dominlns, sinodesiertos: CiudaJes, sino rui-P"''^" ^-"^ iniere^anJij toire la sUv^^m dt. 
nas i vasallos.'-sino tumbas. La Declaracior/ "««™'>f';^'J'/«^"«"^''' ?«e.r.a«»W. 
J. 1,1?- ^m',^'j 17- - ,^ y 'n In ribeT9 dfi AtaMCa m viude mm'erse ni dgUa- 

de U Repub! c. de yeneiu« es ia Acta mai , ,,, ,-., ^^^^ j^ „^^ ^, . „^^ , ^ ,,, 

gloi-ioM,, mas dignade un Pueblo.) ^^,,^„,v„ por nuritrns trcpat ^e lo ohi^rran'de 
Libre ; es la que con mayor satiifaccion tengoV crnt, impidieudote , ucar ningun partidt . w 
el honor Jc ofrecer al Congreso ya sancionada;, x,'vtaja del pait , ^ nitfrceptando/e por Im erpalda 
pari* expresion nnanime del Pueblo Librejj /o^iaj stu cfmunicaciona. Aguarikimospormo- 
dc Venezuela. ^| «»cM<r> parte o/icial por eterUo tfe tam litongvoe 

' Dftde la Kgunda ip^* de la ^lepublic-^^| noilsim. 

nuesti\> Etcrciio caretia d^^jfterncntos mljitares 
siOBipr- ha estado des«(ftia4o : ■ sicmpw W'liaa' 

i. ItOUHAJCii, Ittfuur M (iytimu. 



Delivlreo by the Liberator in Angostura, 

ON the 15th of February, 1819, at the Opening of the 

Second National Congress of Venezuela. 

Gentlemen : 

Happy is the citizen wlio under the protection of the army of his 
command has convoked National Sovereignty to exercise its absolute 
will! I, therefore, count myself among those most favored by Divine 
Providence since 1 have had the honor to gather the Representatives of 
the People of Venezuela in this August Congress, the source of legiti- 
mate authority, depository of sovereign will and the arbiter of the 
Destiny of the Nation. 

In transferring to the Representatives of the People the Supreme 
Power with which 1 have been entrusted, 1 fulfill the wishes of my own 
heart, those of my fellow citizens and those of our future generations 
which expect everything from your wisdom, uprightness and prudence. 
In discharging this sweet duty, I free myself from the overburdening 
of immense authority and the unlimited responsibility weighing upon 
my weak shoulders! Only a com.pelling necessity coupled with the 
commanding will of the People could have made me assume the tre- 
mendous and dangerous charge of Dictator Supreme Cliief of the Re- 
public. But 1 can breathe easier now in handing back to you that 
authority, which I have succeeded in maintaining with so much risk, 
difficulty and hardships amid the most awful tribulations that could 
ever afflict any social political body. 

The epoch in the life of the Republic over which 1 have presided 
has not been a mere political storm ; it has been neither a bloody war, 
nor yet one of popular anarchy. It has been indeed, the development 
of all disorganizing elements; it has been the flooding of an infernal 
torrent which has overwhelmed the land of Venezuela. A man, aye, 
such a man as I am, what check could he offer to the march of such 
devastation? In the midst of this sea of woes I have simply been a 
mere plaything of the revolutionary storm, which tossed me about like 
a frail straw. I could do neither good nor harm. Irresistible forces 
liave directed the trend of our events. To attribute this to me would 
not be fair, it would be assuming an importance which I do not merit. Do 
you desire to know who are the authors of past events and the present 
order of things? Consult then the Annals of Spain, of America, of 

18 bolivar's address 

Venezuela; examine the Laws of the Indies, the rule of the old execu- 
tives; the influence of religion and of foreign domination; observe the 
first acts of the Republican Government, the ferocity of our enemies 
and our national temperament. Do not ask me what are the effects of 
such mishaps, ever to be lamented. I can scarcely be accounted for 
but as a mere instrument of the great forces which have been at work 
in Venezuela. However, my life, my conduct, all my acts, both public 
and private, are subject to censure by the people. Representatives! 
You are to judge them. 1 submit the history of my tenure of office to 
your impartial decision; 1 shall not add one thing more to excuse it; I 
have already said all that could be my apology. If I deserve your ap- 
proval, I have attained the sublime title of a good citizen, to me prefer- 
able to that of Liberator, given me by Venezuela, that of Pacificator, 
which Cundinamarca accorded me, and all the titles that the whole 
world could bestow upon me. 

Legislators! I deposit in your hands the supreme command of 
Venezuela. Yours is now the august duty of devoting yourselves to 
achieving the happiness of the Republic; you hold in your hands the 
scales of our destinies, the measure of our glory; your hands will seal 
the decrees insuring our Liberty. At this moment the Supreme Chief 
of the Republic is nothing but a plain citizen, and such he wishes to 
remain until death. I will serve, however, in the career of a soldier 
while there are enemies in Venezuela. The country has a multitude of 
most worthy sons capable of guiding her; talents, virtues, experience, 
and all that is required to direct free men, arc the patrimony of manj' 
of those who are representing the people here; and outside of this 
Sovereign Rody, there are citizens, who at all times have shown their 
courage in facing danger, prudence in avoiding it, and the art, in short, 
to govern themselves and of governing others. These illustrious men 
undoubtedly merit the vote of Congress, and they will be entrusted with 
the Government that I have just resigned so cordially and sincerely and 

The continuation of authority in the same person has frequently 
proved the undoing of democratic governments. Repeated elections 
are essential to the system of popular government, because there is 
nothing so dangerous as to suffer Power to be vested for a long time in 
one citizen. The people become accustomed to obeying him, and he 
becomes accustomed to commanding, hence the origin of usurpation 
and tyranny. A proper zeal is the guarantee of republican liberty, and 
our citizens must very justly fear that the same Magistrate who has 
governed them for a long time, may continue to rule them forever. 


And, now that by this act of adherence to the Liberty of Venezuela, 
I can aspire to the glory of being counted among her most faithful 
lovers, permit me, Sirs, to state with the frankness of a true republican, 
my respectful opinion regarding the scope of this Project of a Constitu- 
tion, which I take the liberty to submit, as a token of the sincerity and 
candor of my sentiments. As this is a question involving the welfare of 
all, I venture to believe that I have the right to be heard by the Repre- 
sentatives of the People. Well I know that in your wisdom you have 
no need of counsel; I am also aware that my project may perhaps 
appear to you erroneous and impracticable. But, Sirs, receive with 
benevolence this work which is a tribute of my sincere submission to 
Congress rather than the outcome of a presumptuous levity. On the 
other hand, your functions being the creation of a body politic, and, one 
might say, the creation of an entire community surrounded by all the 
difKculties offered by a situation — a most peculiar and difTicult one — 
the voice of a citizen may perhaps point out a hidden or unknown 

By casting a glance over the past, we shall see what is the basic 
element of the Republic of Venezuela. 

America, on becoming separated from the Spanish monarchy, 
found itself like the Roman Empire, when that enormous mass fell to 
pieces in the midst of the ancient world. Each dismembered portion 
formed then an independent nation in accordance with its situation or 
its interests, the difference being that those members established anew 
their former associations. We do not even preserve the vestiges of 
what once we wei'e; we are not Europeans, we arc not Indians, but an 
intermediate species between the aborigines and the Spaniards — Ameri- 
cans by birth and Europeans in right, we are placed in the dilemma 
of disputing with the natives our titles of possession and maintaining 
ourselves in the country where we were born, against the opposition of 
the invaders. Thus, ours is a most extraordinary and complicated case. 
Moreover, our part has always been a purely passive one; our political 
existence has always been null, and we find ourselves in greater diffi- 
culties in attaining our liberty than we ever had when we lived on a 
plane lower than servitude, because we had been robbed not only of 
liberty but also of active and domestic tyranny. Allow me to explain 
this paradox. 

In an absolute regime, authorized power does not admit any limits. 
The will of the despot is the supreme law, arbitrarily executed by the 
subordinates who participate in the organized oppression according to 
the measure of the authority they enjoy. 

20 bolivar's address 

They are intrusted with civil, political, military and religious func- 
tions; but in the last analysis, the Satraps of Persia are Persians, the 
Pashas of the Great Master are Turks, the Sultans of Tartary are Tar- 
tars. China does not send for her Mandarins to the land of Genghis- 
khan, her conqueror. America, on the contrary, received all from 
Spain, which had really deprived her of true enjoyment and exercise of 
active tyranny, by not permitting us to share in our own domestic 
affairs and interior administration. This deprivation had made it im- 
possible for us to become acquainted with the course of public affairs; 
neither did we enjoy that personal consideration which the glamour of 
power inspires in the eyes of the multitude, so important in the great 
revolutions. I will say, in short, we wei'e kept in estrangement, absent 
from the universe and all that relates to the science of government. 

The people of America having been held under the triple yoke of 
ignorance, tyranny and vice, have not been in a position to acquire 
either knowledge, power or virtue. Disciples of such pernicious mas- 
ters, tlie lessons we have received and the examples we have studied, 
are most destructive. We have been governed more by deception than 
by force, and we have been degraded more by vice than by superstition. 
Slavery is the offspring of Darkness; an ignorant people is a blind tool, 
turned to its own destruction; ambition and intrigue exploit the 
credulity and inexperience of men foreign to all political, economical 
or civil knowledge; mere illusions are accepted as reality, license is 
taken for liberty, treachery for patriotism, revenge for justice. Even 
as a sturdy blind man who, relying on the feeling of his own strength, 
walks along with the assurance of the most wideawake man and, strik- 
ing against all kinds of obstacles, can not steady his steps. 

A perverted people, should it attain its liberty, is bound to lose this 
very soon, because it would be useless to try to impress upon such people 
that happiness lies in the practice of righteousness; that the reign of 
law is more powerful than the I'eign of tyrants, who are more inflexible, 
and all ought to submit to the wholesome severity of the law; that good 
morals, and not force, are the pillars of the law and that the exercise of 
justice is the exercise of liberty. Thus, Legislators, your task is the 
more laborious because you are to deal with men misled by the illu- 
sions of error, and by civil incentives. Liberty, says Rousseau, is a 
succulent food, but difhcult to digest. Our feeble fellow-citizens will 
have to strengthen their mind much before they will be ready to as- 
similate such wholesome nourishment. Their limbs made numb by 
their fetters, their eyesight weakened in the darkness of their dungeons 
and their forces wasted away through their foul servitude, will thej' 


be capable of inarching with a firm step towards the august temple of 
Liberty? Will they be capable of coming close to it, and admiring the 
liglit it sheds, and of bi'eathing freely its pure air? 

Consider well your decision. Legislators. Do not forget that you 
are about to lay the foundations of a new people, which may some day 
rise to the heights that Nature has marked out for it, provided you 
make those foundations proportionate to the lofty place which that 
people is to fill. If your selection be not made under the guidance of 
the Guardian Angel of Venezuela, who must inspire you with wisdom 
to choose the nature and form of govei-nment that you ax"e to adopt 
for the welfare of the people; if you should fail in this, I warn you, the 
end of our venture would be slavery. 

The annals of past ages display before you thousands of govern- 
ments. Recall to mind the nations which have shone most highly on 
the earth and you will be grieved to see that almost the entire world 
has been, and still is, a victim of bad government. You will find many 
systems of governing men, but all are calculated to oppress them, and if 
the habit of seeing the human race, led by shepherds of peoples, did not 
dull the horror of such a revolting sight, we would be astonished to see 
our social species grazing on the surface of the globe, even as lowly 
herds destined to feed their cruel drivers. 

Nature, in truth, endows us at birth with the instinctive desire for 
liberty; but whether because of negligence, or because of an inclination 
inherent in humanity, it remains still under the bonds imposed on it. 
And as we see it in such a state of debasement we seem to have reason 
(o be persuaded that the majority of men hold as a truth the humiliating 
principle that it is harder to maintain the balance of liberty than to 
endure the weight of tyranny. Would to God that this principle, con- 
trary to the morals of Nature, were false! Would to God that this 
principle were not sanctioned by the indolence of man as regards his 
most sacred rights! 

Many ancient and modern nations have cast off oppression; but 
those which have been able to enjoy a few precious moments of liberty 
are most rare, as they soon relapsed into their old political vices; 
because it is the people more often than the government, that bring on 
tyranny. The habit of suffering domination makes them insensible to 
the charms of honor and national prosperity, and leads them to look 
with indolence upon the bliss of living in the midst of liberty, under the 
protection of laws framed by their own free will. The history of the 
world proclaims this awful truth! 

Only democracy, in my opinion, is susceptible of absolute freedom. 

22 bolivar's address 

But where is there a democratic government that has united at the 
same time power, prosperity and permanence? Have we not seen, on 
the contrary, aristocracy, monarchy rearing great and powerful empires 
for centuries and centuries? What government is there older than that 
of China? What republic has exceeded in duration that of Sparta, that 
of Venice? The Roman Empire, did it not conquer the world? Does 
not France count fourteen centuries of monarchy? Who is greater than 
England? These nations, however, have been, or still are, aristocracies 
and monarchies. 

Notwithstanding such bitter reflections, I am filled with unbounded 
joy because of the great strides made by our republic since entering 
upon its noble career. Loving that which is most useful, animated by 
what is most just and aspiring to what is most perfect, Venezuela in 
separating from the Spanish Nation has recovered her independence, 
her freedom, her equality, her national sovereignty. In becoming a 
democratic republic, she proscribed monarchy, distinctions, nobility, 
franchises and privileges; she declared the rights of man, the liberty 
of action, of thought, of speech, of writing. These preeminently liberal 
acts will never be sufficiently admired for the sincerity by which they 
are inspired. The first Congress of Venezuela has impressed upon the 
annals of our legislation with indelible characters the majesty of the 
people, so fittingly expressed in the consummation of the social act 
best calculated to develop the happiness of a Nation. 

I need to gather all my strength in order to feel with all the rever- 
ence of which I am capable, the supreme goodness embodied in this 
immortal Code of our rights and our laws! But how can I venture to 
say it! Shall I dare profane by my censure the sacred tablets of our 
laws? There are sentiments that no lover of liberty can hold within 
his breast; they overflow stirred by their own violence, and notwith- 
standing the efforts of the one harboring such sentiments, an irresistible 
force will disclose them. I am convinced that the Government of 
Venezuela must be changed, and while many illustrious citizens will 
feel as I do, not all possess the necessary boldness to stand publicly for 
the adoption of new principles. This consideration compels me to 
take the initiative in a matter of the gravest concern, although there 
is great audacity in my pretending to give advice to the Counsellors of 
the People. 

The more I admire the excellence of the Federal Constitution of 
Venezuela, the more 1 am persuaded of the impossibility of its appli- 
cation in our State. And, in my opinion, it is a wonder that its model 
in North America may endure so successfully, and is not upset in the 


presence of the first trouble or danger. Notwithstanding the fact that 
that people is a unique model of political virtues and moral education; 
notwithstanding that it has been cradled in liberty, that it has been 
reared in freedom and lives on pure liberty, I will say more, although 
in many respects that people is unique in the history of humanity, it 
is a prodigy, I repeat, that a system so weak and complicated as the 
federal system should have served to govern that people in circum- 
stances as difficult and delicate as those which have existed. But, what- 
ever the case may be, as regards the American Nation, I must say that 
nothing is further from my mind than to try to assimilate the conditions 
and character of two nations as different as the Anglo-American and 
the Spanish-American. Would it not be extremely difficult to apply to 
Spain the Code of political, civil and religious liberty of England? It 
would be even more difficult to adapt to Venezuela the laws of North 
America. Does not the Spirit of Laws state that they must be suited to 
the people for whom they are made; that it is a great coincidence when 
the laws of one nation suit another; that laws must bear relation to 
the physical features of a country, its climate, its soil, its situation, 
extension and manner of living of the people; that they must have 
reference to the degree of liberty that their constitution may be able 
to provide for the religion of the inhabitants, their inclinations, wealth, 
number, trade, customs and manners? Such is the Code that we should 
consult, not that of Washington! 

The Venezuelan Constitution, notwithstanding the fact that the 
bases on which it rests have been taken from the most perfect consti- 
tution of its kind, — should we consider correctness of principles and the 
beneficent effect of its administration — -differed essentially from the 
American Constitution in a cardinal point, and the most important with- 
out doubt. The Congress of Venezuela, like the American Congress, 
shares in some of the duties of the Executive Power. We, moreover, 
subdivide this power, having vested it in a collective body subject to 
the objection of making the life of the government a periodical one. 
suspending and dissolving it whenever their members separate. Our 
triumvirate lacks, one may say, unity, continuity and individual re- 
sponsibility, is deprived of action at a given moment, of continued life, 
of real uniformity, and immediate responsibility, and a government that 
does not possess everything that constitutes its moral force, must be 
called incapable. 

Although the faculties of the President of the United States are 
limited by excessive restrictions, he alone exercises by himself all the 
functions of government that the Constitution vests in him, and there 

24 bolivar's address 

is no doubting that his administration must be more uniform, constant 
and truly his own than that of a power divided among several persons, 
which can be but a hideous composite. The judiciary power of Vene- 
zuela is similar to the American, indefinite in its duration, temporary 
and not for life, and enjoying all the independence appertaining to it. 

The first Congi-css in its federal Constitution took into considera- 
tion the spirit of the Provinces rather than the solid idea of creating a 
republic indivisible and centralized. Our legislators in this instance 
yielded to the inconsiderate request of those provincials captivated by 
the dazzling appearance of the happiness of the American people, be- 
lieving that the blessings they enjoy are solely due to the form of gov- 
ernment and not to the character and habits of the citizens. In effect, 
the example given by the United States, because of their rare pros- 
perity, was too enticing not to be followed. Who could resist the 
glorious attraction of the full and absolute enjoyment of sovereignty, 
independence, liberty? Who could resist the admiration inspired by an 
intelligent government which binds at the same time private and public 
rights, and forms by common consent the supreme law of individual 
choice? Who could resist the rule of a beneficent government that 
with an able, active and powerful hand directs always and everywhere 
all its activities towards social perfection, which is the sole end of human 

But, no matter how flattering might appear and might be the effect 
of this splendid federal system, it was not feasible that Venezuelans 
could enjoy it of a sudden just after having cast off their fetters. We 
were not prepared for so much good; good as well as evil produces 
death when it is sudden and excessive. Our moral constitution had not 
attained yet the necessary consistency to reap the benefits of a govern- 
ment entirely representative and so exalted that it might be adopted to 
a republic of saintly men. 

Representatives of the People! You have been called to confirm 
or suppress whatever you may deem worthy of being preserved, amended 
or rejected in oiu" social compact. To your lot falls the correction of 
the work of our first legislators; I would fain say that it behooves you 
to cover a portion of the beauties found in our political code, because 
not every heart is so made as to love all beauties, nor can all eyes stand 
the heavenly light of perfection. The book of the Apostles, the doc- 
trines of Jesus, the divine writings sent us by Providence to better man- 
kind, so sublime, so holy, is a rain of fire in Constantinople, and 
Asia entire would be a fierj' conflagration should such a book of peace 
be suddenly imposed as a code of religion, law and customs. Permit 


me to call the attention of Congress to a matter which may be of vital 
importance. We must bear in mind that our population is not the 
people of Europe, not of North America, that it is rather a composite 
of Africa and America, which is an offspring of Europe. Spain herself 
ceases to be European on account of her African blood, her institutions 
and her temperament. It is impossible to point out with preciseness 
to what human family we belong. The greater portion of the natives 
has been annihilated, the European has mixed with the native American 
and the African, and this has mixed again with the Indian and the 
European. All having been born of the same mother, our parents, of 
different origin and blood, are foreigners, and all differ visibly in color 
of skin. This dissimilarity is a hindrance of the greatest importance. 

The citizens of Venezuela all enjoy by the Constitution, — the in- 
terpreter of what Nature intended, — a perfect political equality. Even 
though this equality had not been a dogma in Athens, France and in 
America, we need to make it such, to correct the difference that appar- 
ently seems to exist. My opinion is. Legislators, that the fundamental 
principle of our system depends immediately and exclusively on equality 
being established and exercised in Venezuela. That men are all born 
with equal rights to the benefits of society, has been sanctioned by the 
majority of the learned; but it has also been sanctioned that not all men 
are equally capable of attaining every distinction; while all should prac- 
tise virtue not all do practise it; all should be courageous and all are not 
courageous; all should possess talents and all do not possess them. Hence 
the real distinction existing among individuals of the most liberally 
established society. If the principle of poltical equality is generally 
acknowledged, that of physical or moral inequality is also recognized. 
Nature has made men unequal as regards genius, temperament, strength 
and characteristics. The laws correct that difference by giving man a 
place in society so that education, industry, service, virtue may give him 
a fictitious equality, properly called political and social equality. It is 
an eminently beneficent inspiration that of reuniting all classes in a 
State, where diversity multiples in proportion to the propagation of the 
species. By this single step, cruel discord has been torn out by the 
roots. How much jealousy, rivalrj' and hatred has been thus avoided! 

Having done our duty towards justice, towards humanity, let us 
do it now to politics, to society, by smoothing over the difficulties pre- 
sented by a system so simple and natural, but so weak that the slightest 
obstacle will upset and ruin it. The diversity of origin requires to 
be handled with infinite firmness, with infinite delicate tact in order to 
deal with an heterogeneous society whose complicated mechanism will 

26 bolivar's addrkss 

become disjointed, divided, will dissolve at the slightest alteration. 
The most perfect system of government is that which produces tlie 
greatest sum of happiness possible, the greatest sum of social security 
and political stability. Through the laws enacted by the first Congress 
we have the right to expect that happiness be the lot of Venezuela, and 
through your laws we must hope that security and stability will per- 
petuate such happiness. It is for you to solve the problem. But how, 
after having broken all the chains of our former oppression, could we 
accomplish the marvelous task of preventing the remnants of our fet- 
ters from being turned into liberticide weapons? The relics of Spanish 
domination will last a long time before we succeed in annihilating them; 
contagion of despotism has vitiated our atmosphere, and neither the 
fire of war nor yet the remedy of our wholesome laws has succeeded in 
purifying the air we breathe. Our hands are now free, while our hearts 
still suffer the ills of servitude. Man in losing his liberty, — Homer has 
said, — loses one-half of his manhood. 

A republican government has been, is and must be that of Vene- 
zuela, based on the sovereignty of the people, the division of power, 
civil liberty, proscription of slavery, abolition of monarchy and privi- 
leges. We need equality to recast, so to speak, in a single mass the 
classes of men, political beliefs and public customs. Now, casting our 
eye over the vast field to be surveyed, let us fix our attention on the 
dangers to be avoided. Let History be our guide in this undertaking. 
Athens is the first to give us the most brilliant example of an absolute 
democracy, and at the same time Athens will offer the most melancholy 
example of the extreme weakness of such a system of government. The 
wisest among the legislators of Greece did not see his republic last ten 
years, and suffered the humiliation of having to acknowledge the inade- 
quacy of absolute democracy to govern any form of society, even the 
most cultured, moderate and restrained, because it only shines with 
flashes of liberty. We must acknowledge, therefore, that Solon has 
undeceived the world and shown how difficult it is to govern men with 
mere laws. 

The republic of Sparta, which appeared to be a chimerical inven- 
tion, did produce moi'c real results than the skilful work of Solon. 
Glory, virtues, morals, and therefore national happiness, were the result 
of Lycurgus' legislation. Although two kings to one State are two de- 
vouring monsters, Sparta had very little to complain of its double throne, 
while Athens confidently expected the most splendid future with an 
absolute sovereignty, free election of officials, frequently changed, and 
laws that were gentle, wise and politic. Pisistratus, a usurper and a 


tyrant, did more good to Athens than her laws, and Pericles, although 
a usurper also, was the most useful citizen. The republic of Thebes did 
not live longer than Pelopides and Epaminondas, because at times men 
and not principles constitute a government. No matter how great the 
wisdom contained in codes, systems and statutes, they are a dead letter 
having but little influence in society; virtuous men, patriotic men, 
learned men make the republic. 

The Roman constitution has given the greatest power and fortune 
to any one people in the world. It did not provide for an exact division 
of powers. The Consuls, the Senate, the people now were legislators, 
now executive oflBcials, now judges; all participated in all the functions. 
The Executive, consisting of two Consuls, had the same difficulty as that 
of Sparta. Notwithstanding this shortcoming, the republic did not 
suffer the disastrous results, which all prevision might have thought 
unavoidable, of an Executive consisting of two officials having the same 
authority with the powers of a monarch. A government, the only in- 
clination of which was conquest, did not seem destined to cement the 
happiness of the nation. A monstrous government, purely warlike, 
raised Rome to the highest state of virtue and glory and made of the 
earth a Roman domain as if to show man how far political virtue may 
lead, and how unimportant institutions may be. 

And passing now from ancient to modern times, we find England 
and France attracting attention of all nations, and teaching them elo- 
quent lessons of all sorts in the matter of government. The revolution 
of these two great peoples, like a brilliant meteor, has flooded the world 
with such a profusion of political light that now all thinking men have 
learned what are the rights of men, what are their duties, what consti- 
tues the excellency of a government and what its vices. All know how 
to appreciate the intrinsic value of the speculative theories of modern 
philosophers and lawmakers. In fine, that star, in its luminous career, 
has even inflamed the heart of the apathetic Spaniards, who have also 
entered the political whirlwind, have made ephemeral attempts at 
liberty, have acknowledged their incapacity to live under the gentle 
rule of law, and have gone back to their immemorial dungeons and 
the stake. 

This is the proper time. Legislators, to repeat what the eloquent 
Volney says in the dedication of his Ruins of Palmyra: "To the rising 
peoples of the Spanish Indies, to the generous men who lead them to 
liberty. May the errors and misfortunes of the Old World teach wisdom 
and happiness to the New World." Let us not lose, then, the benefit of 
the lessons drawn from experience, and may the schools of Greece, 

28 bolivar's address 

Rome, France, England and America instruct us in the difficult science 
of creating and maintaining the nations under proper laws, just, legiti- 
mate and above all useful. We must never forget that the superiority 
of a government does not consist in its theories, or in its form, or in its 
mechanism, but in its being appropriate to the nature and character of 
the nation for which it has been instituted. 

Rome and Great Rritain are the two nations which have excelled 
most among ancient and modern peoples. Both were born to rule and 
to be free, but both were constituted not with dazzling forms of liberty, 
but built on solid foundations. Hence, I recommend you, Representa- 
tives, to study the British Constitution, which is the one that seems 
destined to do the most possible good to the peoples that adopt it. But 
no matter how perfect it may be, I am very far from suggesting a ser- 
vile imitation. When I speak of the British Government, I only refer 
to whatever it has of the republican system; and truly, could we call a 
monarchy a system, that recognizes popular sovereignty, the division 
and balance of power, civil liberty and the liberty of conscience, the 
freedom of the press and everything which is sublime in politics? Could 
there be any more liberty in any republic whatsoever? And, could any 
more be said of social order? I recommend such constitution as the 
most worthy of being taken as a model by all who yearn for the enjoy- 
ment of the rights of men, and all political happiness compatible with 
our frail nature. 

Our fundamental laws would not be altered in the least should we 
adopt a legislative power similar to the British Parliament. We have 
divided, as Americans did, national representation into two Chambers, 
the Representatives and the Senate. The first is very wisely constituted, 
enjoys all the functions appertaining to it, and is not susceptible of a 
radical reform, because it is the Constitution which gave it origin, form 
and such faculties as the will of the people deemed necessary to be 
legally and properly represented. If the Senate, instead of being elective 
were hereditary, it would be, in my opinion, the foundation, the binding 
tie, the very soul of our republic. This body would arrest tlie lightning 
of government in our political storms, and would break the popular 
waves. Attached to the government, because of its natural interest of 
self-preservation, it will always oppose the invasions attempted by the 
people against the jurisdiction and the authority of its rulers. We must 
confess it: the generality of men fail to recognize what their real in- 
terests are and constantly endeavor to asail them in the hands of their 
trustees; and the individual struggles against the masses, and the masses 
against the authorities. It is necessary, therefore, that a neutral body 




should exist in every government, always siding with the aggrieved 
party to disann the offender. This neutral body, to be such, must not 
owe its origin to the election of the government, nor to the election of 
the people, so as to enjoy a full measure of freedom, neither fearing nor 
expecting anything from either of these two sources of authoi'ity. The 
hereditary Senate, as a part of the people, shares in its interests, in its 
sentiments, in its spirit. For this reason it is not to be presumed that a 
hereditary Senate would disregard the popular interests or forget its 
legislative duties. The Roman Senators and the Lords of London have 
been the staunchest columns on which the structure of political and civil 
liberty has been erected. 

These Senators would be elected by Congress the first time. The 
succession to the Senate should engage the first attention of the govern- 
ment, which would educate them in a college specially devoted to in- 
structing these tutors, future legislators of the country. They should 
learn the arts, sciences and letters, the accomplishments of the mind of 
public men; from childhood they should know the career to which 
Providence has destined them, and from a tender age they should 
temper their soul to the dignity awaiting them. 

The creation of a hereditary Senate would be in nowise a violation 
of political equality; 1 do not pretend to establish a nobility because, as 
a famous republican has said, it would be to destroy at the same time 
equality and liberty. It is a calling for which candidates must be pre- 
pared; it is an office requiring much knowledge and the proper means 
to become learned in it. Everything must not be left to chance and for- 
tune in the elections; the people are more easily deceived than Nature 
perfected by art, and although it is true that these Senators would not 
spi-ing from the womb of Perfection, it is also true that they would 
spring from the womb of a learned education. On the other hand, the 
liberators of Venezuela are entitled to hold, always, a high rank in the 
republic which owes its existence to them ! I believe that posterity 
would grieve to see the effacement of the illustrious names of their first 
benefactors. I say, moreover, that it is a matter of public interest, ol" 
the gratitude of Venezuela, of national honor, to preserve with glory 
to the end of posterity a race of men of virtues, prudence and valor, 
who mastering all obstacles have founded the republic at the cost of 
the most heroic sacrifices. And if the people of Venezuela do not 
applaud the elevation of their benefactors, they are unworthy of being 
a free people, and never will be free. 

A hereditary Senate, I repeat, will be the fundamental support of 
the Legislative Power and, therefore, the basis of the entire govern- 

30 bolivar's address 

ment. It will equally serve to counterbalance both the government and 
the people; it will be an intermediate power that would blunt the 
shafts those two eternal rivals direct against each other. In all con- 
flicts, the calm reasoning of a third party becomes the means of recon- 
ciliation; thus, the Senate of Venezuela will be the keystone of this 
structure so delicate and so liable to violent shocks; it would be the 
rainbow which calms the storms and maintains harmony between the 
members and the head of this political body. 

Nothing whatever could corrupt a legislative body vested with the 
highest honors, self-dependent, having nothing to fear from the people, 
and nothing to expect from the government; having no other object 
than the repression of all elements of evil, and the fostering of all ele- 
ments of good, and having the greatest interest in the existence of a 
society, in the good or bad results of which it must participate. It has 
been very justly said that the Upper House of England is invaluable to 
the nation because it is a bulwark to liberty, and I may add, that the 
Senate of Venezuela would be not only a bulwark to liberty but a sup- 
port to make the republic everlasting. 

The British Executive Power is clothed with all the sovereign 
authority devolving upon it, but it is also surrounded by a triple line 
of dikes, barriers and stockades. It is the Chief of the Government, but 
its Ministers and subordinates rely more on the laws than on its 
authority, because they are personally responsible, and not even the 
orders coming from the Royal Authorities could exempt them from 
such responsibility. It is the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and 
Navy; it makes peace and declares war, but it is Parliament that gen- 
erally votes the sums to be paid to the military forces. If the courts 
and judges are dependent on it, the laws originate in Parliament which 
approves them. In order to neutralize this authority, the person of the 
King is inviolable and sacred, and while leaving the head free, the hands 
are bound. The Sovereign of England has three formidable rivals: 
his Cabinet, responsible to the people and Parliament; the Senate which 
defends the interests of the people as representatives of the nobility 
of which it consists, and the House of Commons, acting as the organ 
and mouthpiece of the British people. Moreover, as the judges are 
responsible for the proper application of the laws, they never deviate 
from them and the administrators of the Exchequer, being liable to 
prosecution not only for their own transgressions, but also for those 
of the government itself, guard most carefully against any malversation 
of the public moneys. No matter how the nature of the Executive 
Power of England is examined nothing can be found to lead to the 


belief that it is not the most perfect model, whether for a kingdom, an 
aristocracy, or a democracy. Let us apply to Venezuela this sort of 
Executive Power in the person of a President appointed by the people 
or their representatives, and we would have taken a great step toward 
national happiness. 

Whoever be the citizen discharging these functions he will be sup- 
ported by the Constitution; being authorized to do good, he can not 
do harm, because whenever he is acting under the law, his Ministers will 
cooperate with him. If, on the other hand, he attempts to violate the 
law, his own Ministers would leave him isolated in the midst of the 
Republic, and may even impeach him before the Senate. The Ministers 
being responsible for any transgressions committed, they are the true 
governing powers, because they have to pay for their own misdeeds. 
Of no little advantage in the system is the obligation resting on the offi- 
cials near the Executive Power to take great interest and a most active 
part in the deliberations of the government and to look on this depart- 
ment as if it were their own. It may happen that the President is not a 
man of great talents or great virtues, but notwithstanding the lack of 
these essential qualifications the President may perform his duties in a 
satisfactory manner, as in such cases the Ministry, doing all, bears the 
burden of the State. 

However excessive the authority of the Executive Power of England 
may appear to be, it might not be excessive in the Republic of Venezuela. 
Here, Congress has bound the hands and even the head of the officials. 
This deliberative body has assumed a portion of the Executive func- 
tions, against the maxim of Montesquieu, that a representative body 
must not take any active resolution; it must make the laws and see 
whether the laws made are properly executed. Nothing is more con- 
trary to harmony between powers than having them mix; nothing i^ 
more dangerous to the people than a weak Executive, and if in a King- 
dom it has been deemed necessary to grant the Executive so many 
faculties, in a republic these faculties are much more indispensable. 

Let us direct our attention to this difference, and we will find that 
the balance of power must be distributed in two ways. In republics the 
Executive must be the stronger, because everything conspires against 
it, while in monarchies the stronger must be the Legislative Power, 
because everything conspires in favor of the monarch. The veneration 
of peoples for Royalty is a fascination which has powerful influence in 
increasing the superstitious respect paid to its authority. The splendor 
of the throne, of the crown, of the purple, the formidable support of 
nobility, the immense wealth that whole generations accumulate under 

32 bolivar's address 

the same dynasty, the fraternal protection that kings mutually receive, 
are very considerable advantages in favor of royal authority, making it 
almost unlimited. These very advantages are, therefore, those which 
must confirm the necessity of granting a republican Executive a greater 
authority than that possessed by a constitutional prince. 

A republican Executive is a man isolated in the midst of a com- 
munity, to restrain the impulse of the people towards license, the in- 
clination of judges and administrators towards the abuse of the law. 
He is responsible to the Legislative body, the Senate and the people; 
he is one single man resisting the combined attack of the opinions, the 
interests and the passions of the social state, which, as Carnot has said, 
does nothing but continually struggle between the desire to dominate 
and that of getting away from domination. He is, in short, an athlete 
pitted against a multitude of athletes. 

The only means to correct this weakness would be a well supported, 
well proportioned force against the resistance which the Legislative 
Power, the Judiciary and the People necessarily oppose to the Executive 
in a republic. If all the means that a just distribution of authority 
grants the Executive are not placed within its reach, it will necessarily 
become null or will misuse its own powers. 1 mean that it will be the 
death of the government, whose heirs are anarchy, usurpation and 
tyranny. It is sought to restrain executive authority with restrictions 
and obstacles; nothing is more just, but it must be borne in mind that 
the ties, the preservation of which is desired, must be strengthened, 
but not tightened. 

Let us strengthen, then, the entire system of government, and see 
to it that the balance be established so that it will not break, and that 
its own sensitiveness be not a cause of decadence. As there is no form 
of government weaker than democracy, its structure must be built with 
great solidity, and its institutions carefully studied to insure stability. 
If it be not so, we must be sure that a trial government, and not a per- 
manent system, is being established ; we must reckon with an ungovern- 
able, tumultuous and anarchical society, not with a social establish- 
ment where happiness, peace and justice hold sway. 

Let us not be presumptuous, Legislators, let us be moderate in our 
pretentions. It is not likely that we should attain that which humanity 
has not succeeded in attaining, what the greatest and wisest nations 
never attained. Indefinite liberty, absolute democracy are the rocks 
upon which all republican hopes have been wrecked. Cast your eye 
over the ancient republics, the modern republics, the rising republics; 
almost all have tried to establish themselves as absolute democracies. 


and almost all have failed in their just aspirations. They arc praise- 
worthy, undoubtedly, who wish for legitimate institutions and social 
perfection! But, who has told men that they possess already all the 
wisdom, that they practice all the virtues uncompromisingly demanded 
by the union of power and justice. Only angels, not mere men, can 
exist free, peaceful, happy, while exercising all the sovereign power. 

The people of Venezuela already enjoy the rights they can legiti- 
mately and easily enjoy. Let us moderate, now, the pressure of exces- 
sive pretentions, which the form of a government not suited to their 
needs might perhaps excite. Let us abandon the federal forms not 
suited to us; let us abandon the triumvirate of the Executive Power and 
center it in one President; let us grant him sufficient authority to enable 
him to struggle against the obstacles anent our recent condition, the 
state of war we are in, and the kind of foreign and domestic enemies 
against whom we will have to battle for a long time. Let the Legislative 
Power relinquish the functions belonging to the Executive and acquire, 
notwithstanding, a new consistency, a new influence in the balance of 
authority. Let Uie courts be strengthened by the stability and inde- 
pendence of the judges, the creation of juries, and civil and criminal 
codes not dictated by antiquity, nor by conquering kings, but by the 
voice of Nature, by the cry of Justice and by the genius of Wisdom. 

My desire is that all parts of government and administration should 
require that degree of vigor that can only preserve the equilibrium, not 
among the members of the government itself, but among the different 
fractions of which our society consists. It would be of no importance 
that the springs of a political sj'stem become loose because of weakness, 
if this condition should not mean a general dissolution of the social 
body and the ruin of its members. The cries of humanity on the battle- 
fields or in the mobs, clamor to Heaven against the inconsiderate and 
blind legislators who have thought that experiments with chimerical 
institutions can be made with impunity. All the peoples in the world 
have tried to attain liberty, some by the force of arms, others by framing 
laws, passing successively from anarchy to despotism, or from despotism 
to anarchy. There are very few who have been contented with mod- 
erate pretensions by constituting themselves in a manner more in keeping 
with their means, their minds and their circumstances. We do not at- 
tempt the impossible, lest by soaring above the region of libertj' we 
might descend to the region of tyranny. From absolute liberty we 
always descend to absolute power, and the mean between these two 
extremes is supreme social liberty. Abstract theories produce the per- 
nicious idea of unlimited freedom. Let us work to the end that the 

34 bolivar's address 

public force be confined within the bounds that reason and interest de- 
mand; that national will be restrained to the limit marked out by a 
just power; that a civil and criminal legislation, analogous to our 
present constitution, have an absolute control over judicial power. 
Then that equilibrium will exist and there will be no classes to hinder 
the onward march of the State, and there will be no complications tram- 
meling up society instead of binding it together. 

In order to form a stable government the basis is required of a 
national spirit, the object of which is a uniform tendency toward two 
capital jjoints : to moderate the popular will, and to limit public author- 
ity. The terms which theoretically fix these two points are of difficult 
determination, but it can be well imagined that the rule which must 
govern is reciprocal restriction, in order to have the least friction pos- 
sible between that will and legitimate authority. This science is uncon- 
sciously acquired through practice and study. Progress of education 
broadens the progress of practice, while uprightness of mind widens the 
progress of enlightenment. 

Love of country, love of law, love of the authorities, are the noble 
passions which must have exclusive sway in a republican soul. The 
Venezuelans love their country, but do not love their laws, because these 
were noxious and the source of evil; nor could they love their authori- 
ties, because they were unjust, and the new authorities are scarcely 
known in their new calling. If there is not a holy respect for the 
country, the laws and the authorities, society becomes a disorder, an 
abyss; an individual conflict between man and man, and hand to hand. 

In order to bring our rising republic out of this chaos, all our 
moral power will not be sufficient unless we cast the entire mass of the 
people in one single body, the composition of the government in one 
single body, legislation in one single body, and national spirit in one 
single body. Union, Union, Union, must be our motto. Our citizens are 
of different blood, let us mix it for the sake of union; our constitution 
has divided the powers, let us bind them together for the sake of union; 
our laws are sorry relics of all the ancient and modern despotisms; let 
us demolish such an awful structure. Let it fall, and discarding even its 
ruins let us create a temple to Justice, and under the auspices of its 
holy inspiration, let us frame a code of Venezuelan laws. If we wish 
to consult monuments and models of legislation. Great Britain, France, 
North America have admirable ones. 

Popular education should be the paramount care of the paternal 
love of Congress. Morals and enlightenment are the poles of a republic; 
morals and enlightenment are our prime necessities. Let us take from 


Athens her Areopagus, and the guardians of customs and laws; let us 
take from Rome her censors and domestic tribunals, and forming a 
holy alliance of those useful institutions, let us revive on earth the idea 
of a people which is not contented with being free and strong, but wants 
also to be virtuous. Let us take from Sparta her austere institutions, 
and forming with these three springs a fountain of virtues, let us give 
our republic a fourth power, having jurisdiction over childhood and the 
heart of men, public spirit, good customs and republican morals. Let 
us establish such an Areopagus to watch over the education of children, 
over national instruction, that it may purify whatever is corrupt in the 
republic; denounce ingratitude, selfishness, coldness of love for the 
country, idleness, negligence of the citizens; pass judgment upon the 
origin of corruption, and pernicious examples, applying moral penalties 
to correct breaches of custom, — just as afflictive punishment is applied 
to atone for a crime and not only whatever is repugnant to customs 
but that which weakens them as well; not only what may violate 
the Constitution, but also whatever should infringe on public respect. 
The jurisdiction of such court, a truly holy tribunal, should be effective 
with respect to education and instruction, and advisory only in what 
refers to penalties and punishment. Its annals or records, however, 
where its acts and deliberations are kept, the moral principles and 
the conduct of the citizens, shall be the books of virtue and vice; 
books that the people will consult for their elections, the executives for 
their decisions and the judges for their trials. Such an institution, no 
matter how chimerical it may appear, is infinitely more feasible than 
others which ancient and modern legislators have established, much less 
useful to human kind. 

Legislators! The project of a Constitution which I most respect- 
fully submit, will show you the spirit in which it was conceived. In 
suggesting the division of citizens into active and passive, 1 have tried to 
promote national prosperity through the two greatest levers of industry: 
work and knowledge. By stimulating these two great springs of society, 
the most difficult thing to make men honest and happy is attained. By 
just and prudent restrictions on primary and electoral assemblies, we 
place the first bar to popular license, avoiding tumultuous, blind gather- 
ings which at all times have made blunders at elections. These blunders 
have extended to the executives and the government, because that all 
important act is the maker of either the liberty or the slavery of a 

By increasing in the balance of powers the weight of Congress by 
the increase in the number of legislators, and the nature of the Senate, 

36 bolivar's address 

I have endeavored to give a fixed basis for the first Body of the Nation 
and to clothe it with a dignity most important to the success of its 
sovereign functions. 

In separating by means of well defined boundaries the jurisdiction 
of the executive from legislative jurisdiction, I have not endeavored 
to divide but to bind with the bonds of that harmony born of indepen- 
dence, such supreme authorities, whose prolonged clash has never failed 
to frighten one of the two contending parties. When I wish to vest the 
Executive with a number of duties beyond those formerly devolving 
upon it, it is not my desire to authorize a despot to tyrannize the Re- 
public, but to prevent a deliberating despotism from becoming the im- 
mediate cause of a cycle of despotic vicissitudes in which anarchy will 
alternatively be replaced by oligarchy and by monocracy. In asking 
for the stability of judges, the creation of juries, and the new code, I 
ask Congress for the guarantee of civil liberty, the most priceless, the 
most just, the most necessary form of liberty, in a word the only kind of 
liberty, as without it, the others are void. I have requested the correc- 
tion of the most lamentable abuses to which our judiciary is subjected, 
due to its defective origin as coming from that sea of Spanish legisla- 
tion which, like time, gathers from all ages and men, whether the works 
of the insane or the works of the sane, whether the production of the 
wise or the productions of some extravagant mind, whether a monu- 
ment of genius or a monument of fancy. This judiciary encyclopedia, a 
monster of ten thousand heads which has been until now the scourge 
of the Spanish peoples, is the most refined punishment the wrath of 
Heaven has permitted to descend upon this unfortunate empire. 

While pondering over the effective means of regenerating the 
character and customs which tyranny and war have formed in us, I 
have dared to invent a Moral Power, drawn from the depths of obscure 
antiquity and from the now forgotten laws which for a time sustained 
public virtue among the Greeks and Romans. This may be an ingenuous 
dream, but not an impossibility, and I flatter mj^self that you will not 
altogether disdain a thought that, improved through experience and 
instruction, may become most efficacious. 

Horrified at the separation that has prevailed and must prevail 
among us because of the subtile spirit that characterizes the federal 
government, I have been led to beg of you to adopt centralization and 
the union of all the States of Venezuela into a Republic, one and indi- 
visible. This measure which in my opinion is urgent, vital, saving, is 
of such nature that without it death will be the fruit of our regeneration. 

It is my duty. Legislators, to present before you a detailed and true 


report of my political, civil and military administration, but this would 
overtax your valuable attention, and deprive you at this moment of a 
time as important as pressing. Therefore, the Secretaries of State will 
report to Congress on their respective departments, submitting at the 
same time the documents and records which will serve to illustrate and 
to give an exact idea of the real, positive condition of the Republic. 

I would not mention to you the most notable acts of my administra- 
tion, did they not concern the majority of the Venezuelans. I refer, 
(ientlemen, to the most important resolutions taken in this last period. 
Atrocious, godless slavery covered with its sable mantle the land of 
Venezuela and our skies were overcast with storm clouds threatening 
a deluge of fire. I implored the protection of the God of Humanity, and 
Hedemption scattered the storm. Slavery broke its chains and Vene- 
zuela has found herself surrounded by her new children, grateful chil- 
dren who have turned their instruments of captivity into arms of liberty. 
Yea, those who were slaves are now free; those who were the enemies 
of their foster mother are now the defenders of a country. To empha- 
size the justice, the necessity, the beneficent results of this measure, is 
superfluous, when you know the history of the Helots, Spartacus and 
Haiti; when you know that one can not be free and enslaved at the 
same time, unless in violation of the laws of nature and the civil and 
political laws. I leave to your sovereign decision the reform or abroga- 
tion of all my statutes and decrees; but I implore of you the confirma- 
tion of the absolute freedom of the slaves, as I would beg for my life 
and the life of the Republic. 

To mention the military history of Venezuela would be to remind 
you of the history of republican heroism among the ancients; it would 
be to tell you that Venezuela has been inscribed in the great roll of 
honor of the sacrifices made on the altar of liberty. Nothing could fill 
the noble breasts of our generous warriors, but the exalted honors paid 
to the benefactors of humanity. 

Not fighting for power, nor yet for fortune, not even for glory 
but only for liberty, the title of Liberators of the Republic is their 
most fitting guerdon. I have, therefore, founded a sacred associa- 
tion of these illustrious men; 1 have created the Order of the Libera- 
tors of Venezuela. Legislators, the authority to confirm honors and 
decorations belongs to you; it is your duty to perform this august act 
of national gratitude. 

Men who have given up all pleasures; all the comforts they en- 
joyed as the fruits of their virtues and talents; men who have under- 
gone all that is cruel in a horrible war, suffered the most painful priva- 

38 bolivar's address 

tions, and the bitterest torments; men so well deserving of the countrj', 
must attract the attention of the government, and in consequence I 
have directed that they be allowed a compensation out of the national 
wealth. If I have acquired any merit whatever before the eyes of the 
people, I ask the representatives of the people to grant my request as 
the reward of my feeble services. Let Congress direct the distribution 
of the national property in accordance with the law that in the name of 
the Republic I have decreed, for the benefit of the military men of 

Now that after infinite victories we have succeeded in anniliilating 
the Spanish hosts, the Court of Madrid in desperation has vainly en- 
deavored to impose upon the mind of the magnanimous sovereigns who 
have just destroyed usurpation and tyranny in Europe, and must be 
the protectors of the legality and justice of the American cause. Being 
incapable of attaining our submission by force of arms, Spain has re- 
course to her insidious policy; being unable to conquer us, she has 
brought into play her devious artfulness. Ferdinand has humbled him- 
self to the extent of confessing that he needs foreign protection to 
bring us back to his ignominious yoke, a yoke that there is no power 
which could impose on us! Venezuela, fully convinced of possessing 
sufficient strength to repel her oppressors, has made known by the voice 
of the government her final determination to fight to the death in de- 
fense of her political life, not only against Spain, but against all men, 
if all men had degraded themselves to the extent of espousing the de- 
fense of a devouring government whose only incentives are a death 
dealing sword and the flames of the inquisition. A government that 
wants not domains, but deserts, not cities but ruins, not vassals but 
graves. Tlie Declaration of the Republic of Venezuela is the most 
glorious, most heroic, most worthy Act of a free people; it is the one that 
with the greatest satisfaction I have the honor to offer Congress, being 
already sanctioned by the unanimous will of the free people of 

Since the second epoch of our Republic our army has lacked mili- 
tary elements; it has always lacked arms, it has always lacked ammuni- 
tions, has always been poorly equipped. Now the soldiers, defenders 
of our independence, are not only armed with justice, but also with 
force. Our troops can cope with the most select of Europe, since there 
is no inequality in the weapons of destruction. Such great advantages 
are due to the boundless liberality of some generous foreigners who 
have heard the groans of humanity, and have seen the Cause of Right 
yield. But they have not been mere spectators, they have rushed with 


their generous help and have loaned the Republic everything that was 
needed for the triumph of its philanthropical principles. These friends 
of humanity are the guardian angels of America and to them we owe 
eternal gratitude, and the religious fulfillment of the sacred obligations 
we have contracted with them. The national debt. Legislators, is a 
sacred trust in the faith, the honor and the gi-atitude of Venezuela. 
Let it be respected like the Holy Ark, holding not only the rights of 
our benefactors, but the glory of our faithfulness. May we perish before 
we break a pledge which has saved the country and the life of her 

The merging of New Granada and Venezuela into one Great State, 
has been the unanimous wish of the peoples and the government of 
both republics. The fortunes of war have effected this union so earnestly 
desired by all Colombians; in fact, we are incorporated. These sister 
countries have already entrusted to you their interests, their rights and 
their destinies. In contemplating the union of these countries my soul 
rises to the heights demanded by the colossal perspective of such a won- 
derful picture. Soaring among the coming ages my imagination rests 
on the future centuries, and seeing from afar with admiration and 
amazement the prosperity, the splendor and the life which have come 
to this vast region, I feel myself carried away, and I see her in the very 
heart of the universe, stretching along her lengthy shores between two 
oceans which Nature has separated, but which our country unites 
through long wide channels. I can see her as the bond, as the center, 
as the emporium of the human family. I can see her sending to all the 
corners of the globe the treasure hidden in her mountains of silver 
and gold; I see her sending broadcast, by means of her divine plants, 
health and life to the sufferers of the old world; I see her confiding her 
precious secrets to the learned who do not know how much her store 
of knowledge is superior to the store of wealth bestowed by Nature 
upon her; I can see her sitting on the throne of liberty, the scepter of 
justice in her hand, crowned by glory, showing the old world the majesty 
of the modern world. 

Deign, Legislators, to accept with indulgence the profession of my 
political faith, the highest wishes of my heart and the fervent prayer 
which on behalf of the people I dare address you: Deign to grant to 
Venezuela a government preeminently popular, preeminently just, pre- 
eminently moral, which will hold in chains oppression, anarchy and 
guilt. A government which will allow righteousness, tolerance, peace 
to reign; a government which will cause equality and liberty to triumph 
under the protection of inexorable laws. 

Gentlemen, commence your duties; I have finished mine. 


Presidcnte loterino de la Republica de Vene^ueb , Capkan- General de sus 
Exercitos y los de la Nueva^ Granada , &c. occ. Sec. 


Venczolanos ! 

JlLl Congreso general de Venezuela ha re.isumldo el PoJcr Soborano tjuc 
antes me babiais confiado : yo lo ha devueko al Pueblo tranjiniticndok) a 
legkimos Reprcsentanies. 

La Soberania Nacional me ha honrado nucvamentc , encargandomc cl 
Poder Execntivo ba.xo el titulo de Presidcnte Intcrino dc Venezuela. 

Venezolanos !-*— Yo me siento incapaz do gobernaro" : lo he fepre- 
sentado por muchas vcces i vuestros Rcprescntantes , y a pe'sar de mh justas 
retiuncias he sido for-tado a mandaros. 

Soldados del Excrcito Libortador ! — Mi unica ambicion ha sido sicmprc 
la de partlcipar con vocotros de los peligros que arrostrais por la Republica. 

Ciudadanos ! — Una Legion Britanic:? , protectora de nuestra Libertad , 
ha Uegado a Venezuela a ayudarnos a quebrantar nuestfas cadenas : recibidla 
con la veneracion que inspira el heroismo benefico. Abrid vuestros brazos 
i esos Extrangcros generosos que vienen a disputarnos los ti'tidos de Libertadores 
de Venezuela. 

Q,uartel-gcneral de Angostura i 20 de Fcbrero de 1819. ="9° 


Impreso por Andres Roderick . Ixiipresor del Goblemo. 









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