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The Delirium of the Liberator

Biography of General Simon Bolívar

Colonel Luis Alberto Villamarín P.

Our History N°.1







Luis Alberto Villamarín P.

The Delirium of the Liberator

© Luis Alberto Villamarín P.

Author-Editor

lualvipu@hotmail.com

© Luis Alberto Villamarín Pulido

Director of English Version

© Ediciones Luis Alberto Villamarín Pulido

Cellular 9082624010

New York City-USA

First Edition: April, 2006

Actualization, March 2017

Publisher: Smashwords Inc.

ISBN 9781370609413

Without written authorization signed by the author, neither partial nor totally, this book can be reproduced, nor in any of the printed or electronic forms, nor will be used for film, cinematographic, documentary activities of television, or audio. It was made the legal deposit in Colombia.




Index

About the Author

Note of the Author

Preface

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Epilogue

Bibliography


About the author

Luis Alberto Villamarín-Pulido, is invited lecturer in several universities in the world, columnist-analyst of many mass media, especially for CNN in Spanish, corresponding member of Academia de Historia del Huila, Academia Colombiana de Historia Militar, and Sociedad Bolivariana de Colombia; titleholder in Political Sciences and Military Sciences, analyst of strategic themes; specialist in National Defense and National Security; expert in counter-terrorism and rural or urban counter- guerrilla operations.

In addition, he is the author of 33 books related to the phenomenon of the violence in Colombia international terrorism and geopolitics. Some of them have been translated into English, French, German, Poland and Portuguese.

His text En el Infierno translated to the English Language under the title In Hell is in the process to become a film in Hollywood- California. Right now, he prepares a collection of books about history of the independence of Bolivarian countries

Narrated like the virtual testimony of the slave José Palacios, The Delirium of the Liberator, is a clear example of personal overcoming, by means of the precise route by some of the most important experiences during the intense General Simón Bolívar’s life.

This book describes a human being, with virtues and defects, successes and failures, but makes special emphasis in the dimension and the reaches of the will to surpass stumbling blocks.


Note of the Author

While Simon Bolívar was a Liberator, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Marco Antonio, Hannibal Barca, Napoleon Bonaparte, Genghis Khan, Tamerlán, and Charlemagne were conquerors.

Oscillations between the triumph and the defeat that demarcate the astonishing existence of the self-declared Man of the Difficulties, reflect the shock of dimensions, between the thought and the action that evaluated in his particular case of citizen-soldier, statesman-warrior and Liberator-President, put him on the podium of the glory, destined to paladins.

General Simon Bolívar’s extraordinary experiences, build a mixture of virtues and defects, successes and failures, defeats and triumphs. With exceeded reason, in a singular tribute in the remote small village of Pucará- Perú, Inca José Domingo Choquehuanca raised the flashing work of the Liberator with these unforgettable phrases:

— So that someone can imitate to you, it will be precise that there is the world to free. Your fame will grow as the time increases with the course of the centuries, and as the shades grow when the sun declines—

With exception of Simon Bolívar, manager of the freedom in six Latin American nations, and of George Washington, whose geopolitical vision articulated the structural bases of the United States of America, other victorious Generals in all latitudes and times were famous due to their strategic ability to execute military maneuvers, but their political constructions were temporary.



PREFACE

Numbers speak for themselves. During his life as politician and warrior, General Simon Bolívar went over a distance that surpassed in 123,000 kilometers; the land journeyed by Christopher Columbus and Vasco de Gamma together. And while General Bolívar covered the non-uniform stretch, he spread the ideas of the freedom, on a length equivalent to one and a half of the Earth’s diameter, that is the same to say, ten times more than the land journeyed by Hannibal Barca and the triple of the space walked by Alexander the Great.

In spite of the tenacious resistance of Royalist troops, during the successful military campaigns of El Bajo Magdalena and Admirable, in less than six months, dated between the endings of 1812 and the beginnings of 1813, Simon Bolívar crossed triumphantly over, all the ramifications of La Cordillera de Los Andes in Colombia and Venezuela.

Neither before, nor later, none known military man in the history of the humanity, achieved so many success in a so ample space, during a so brief lapse.

Like statesman Simon Bolívar headed four constituent congresses over and built the legal, political, economic and social bases of six republics. Like a soldier, he participated in fourteen military campaigns, he directed more than four hundred battles, and with sweeping leadership, he commanded more than one million of soldiers from diverse nationalities.

Similar facts happened during the Liberating Campaign of La Nueva Granada in 1819, initiated with uncertainty in Los Llanos de Setenta in Venezuela, and it successfully culminated four months later at the South of Tunja City, in the bridge on Teatinos River.

In spite of the calculated obstacles laid by General Santander in Santa Fe, the foolish regional leaders’ ambitions in Venezuela, and the intrigues wrapped in Perú, in less than a year, General Simon Bolívar freed to Perú and founded to Bolivia. During the same period, he summoned a Pan-American Congress, and until he glided to go to fight against Spain´s loyal Royalists in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Spain.

In this order of ideas, The Delirium of the Liberator, examines the biographical chronology of the well-called Genius of America, neither from the moved away surroundings of the myth, nor from erratic passion of bad politicians, but from the clear reality of an exceptional human being, full of vitality and positive mind, solved to make specific a transcendental intention, without concerning the difficulties and circumstances of way, time and place. Without a doubt, this is his greater legacy.

It was noon. The hot sun shone on the extensive Venezuelan flatland. High temperature contrasted with the exuberant and calmed vegetation. Due to the effects of the tropical environment, time seemed to be stopped in the entrails of the interminable plain. Nor a leaf did move. Under the shade of enormous trees, some soldiers roasted many pieces of meat.

Dominated by an uncontrollable crisis of nerves, and sunk in the sad and inconsolable weeping, a humble-farmer-girl, fell on the grass. She hoped in the last instance of the crucial yearning, that Simon Bolivar changed his decision. The girl embraced with firmness the legs covered for the boots of General Bolívar, who looked her, as surprised as disturbed.

Nails of the small hands of the tearful girl were blackened with earth. Her hair was sweating, dirty and untidy, but her pretty black eyes, full of infantile purity, illuminated an angelical beauty of a nine-year-old toothless little peasant.

— Sir: I beg that you pardon to my dad— the anxious creature supplicated.

The Liberator put his right knee on earth, grasped the slight youngster by the left arm, and smoothed her hair with his other hand. Merciful General Bolívar looked the little girl and kissed her forehead.

Then, he helped the girl to stand up, and intrigued by knowing more about the unexpected visitor, asked to her:

— What is your name?—

— María Candida Rodríguez—

— Who is your father?—

— Pánfilo Rodríguez, sentenced to death by desertion in combat—

— Why are you coming to me?—

—I spoke with the Commander of the Guard, with the Officer of Duty, with the officer in charge of the security of the prisoners, and with General Soublette. None of them gave hopes to me.... At a little negligence of the guard, I entered until your place to begging for your mercy—

— Your feet are covered with blood and with several wounds. How long have you walked?—

— All the night and today in the morning. I came here from a very far poor ranch—

— Where is your mother?—

— I am orphaned because my mother died when I was born. Then I was raised by my father, but when he engaged at Patriotic Army I was left living with my aunt Alicia. Now she is very ill of arthritis. If my father died, we would be alone and without support—

— Do you attend the school?—

— No, I don’t. Nearest school is seven hours walking from where I am living—

— Have you eaten some meal today?—

— No sir. I did not—

In spite of the maturity reached by the rigor of the war, the Liberator was stupefied, perceiving the good sense of that peasant girl. During a brief moment, his mind was overwhelmed with the vivid reminds of his intrepid childhood, the day when he questioned to an Oídor de la Real Audiencia in Caracas:

— (...) this court can take out my goods, but not of me, as a person—

Begging eyes of the girl stayed fixed in the cautious ones of the General, who interrupted the silence with a military order:

— Palacios: Give her something to eat. Look for a male nurse who cures her feet, and make a bed to her, close to the saddle of my horse.

Small intruder ate the piece of meat without salt, accompanied with yucca and a cup of typical refresh named “agua de panela”.

With the special attention, the Liberator observed the girl eating. Meanwhile, his thoughts digressed in warm memories of his own child insolences, in front of Professor Miguel Sanz:

— How do you want that I become a horse-rider? If I always ride on a donkey!—

— How can I eat? If you said me: Keep your mouth closed!—

— If I am a powder barrel, take care of you, because I can explode!—

Then, José Palacios covered the furtive visitor’s body, with a blanket.

Seated on his inseparable hammock, General Bolívar listened to General Carlos Soublette’s explanation:

Court-martial found the culprit to Pánfilo Rodríguez, for the crimes of desertion in combat, treason to the fatherland, and espionage in favor of the enemy. Therefore he was condemned to the main pain of execution—

This girl has explained to me that he committed those crimes by necessity to survive— General Bolívar answered.

Perhaps the jury does not know the familiar antecedents of the condemned— Soublette added.

—It is possible that Rodríguez did not explain the reasons for his flight either, nor why he made serious confession to the enemy. On really, he is a widower, so he needed to live to take care of his sister and his little daughter— Bolivar explained.

— I am so sorry. The jury must have known all that information, before producing the verdict—General Soublette answered.

As commander, I respond for all that you make or you do not make— the Liberator asserted.

I am embarrassed because this case was already sanctioned in the second instance. Changing a verdict that is already public would denote a lack of coordination. Orders and contrary orders are disorder signal—

thank you very much, Sir General Soublette. You can continue doing your job—

The reddish brilliance of the last sun hours disappeared slowly of the panorama. Laid down on one esterilla of a rush, the exhausted girl reclined her head over the saddle of General’s horse and left slept. She was not aware when a male nurse healed her feet.

Trying to analyze better the situation, the Liberator took in his hands a unit of the book The Spirit of Laws written by Montesquieu, but he could not organize his ideas either. Nervous, General Bolívar watched several times towards the place where the audacious creature rested. The mixture of temper and innocence of the girl caused admiration to him.

—Palacios: This girl is tenacious. You know that thus I was— asserted analytical the Liberator.

— Yes, sir—

— But, the law is for fulfilling it. Pánfilo Rodríguez failed to the oath of loyalty to the Republican Flag. He was found guilty of the crimes that are imputed to him. Pardon him it would be only well to stimulate the indiscipline and the treason within the rows—

—Whichever is your decision, it will be accepted and respected by all the troops— commented Palacios with the purpose of calming to the Liberator.

Damnation!... Before the daybreak, I must decide this subject.... More than one thousand soldiers are expecting for knowing my answer to the request of the girl. I cannot change the decision of a court-martial. Neither it is ethical, nor it is a legal act— the Liberator said, and added:

— It is even fresh in the mind of the soldiers, the memory of General Piar’s execution.... All of them, in special the Mulattos (people half- Indian blood and half-black race blood) hope equal justice for everyone—

At midnight, distressed General Bolívar was stood. During 30 minutes he walked from a side to another one, accompanied by his permanent secretary and loyal friend, then Colonel Pedro Briceño Méndez.

After deep ponderings, the Liberator ordered to the Officer on Duty of the campsite:

—To avoid alarms with the firings, communicate to all the soldiers, that at four in the next morning, I will preside Rodríguez’ execution over, and that José Palacios will bury the corpse—

According to the schedule, when the last shades of the night still covered with mystery the extensive plain, the Liberator selected the firing squadron and organized the line of skirmishers, to execute the death sentence.

With firmness in his voice, the Liberator shouted:

— Squad:….Prepare!.... Aim!... Fire!—

A massive unloading of shots interrupted the silence in Patriotic camping that dawn. The scent to powder impregnated the atmosphere. José Palacios covered the grave, with several earth shovelfuls, while it was sounding a chilling mechanical noise.

The fast silhouette of a barefoot girl ran quickly through the plain. Horses whinnied scared. Roosters sang to the distant spot. The barking of the dogs was lost in the immensity. With so unusual dawn, Republican Soldiers initiated another day of workings.

The previous event, was narrated with total details before an astonished group of intellectuals, by a man of black race, 6 feet, athletic muscles, fine set of teeth, European manners, and gestures of experimented traveler, who a pleasant afternoon in August 1835, walked paused before his interlocutors, on one of Walls of Cartagena de Indias, with his glance focused in the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.

A military officer, a writer, a painter and a sculptor, listened extensive stories turned on legend, of glories and sacrifices, successes and defeats, joys and sadness, passions, hatreds and loves.

The diligent narrator was José Palacios, loyal servant and subordinate faithful since the birth to the death of the Liberator Simon Bolívar.

—Due to coincidences of the destiny— continued Palacios with the extraordinary narration— in another scenario of the same war, inside the office of Viceroy Juan Sámano, located in the downtown of Santa Fe, the Spanish Chief Executive Officer, was receiving the routine reports of military intelligence.

—If you arrest Policarpa Salavarrieta, I will promote you to the rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Army. She and her partisans deserve a hard punishment which serves as a public example, and once for all, to end the damn conspiracy, performed by the miserable Grenadines—bad-tempered, Viceroy Sámano exclaimed.

—I already located the house where the conspirator is hidden during the nights. Soon you will see her here—Sergeant Anselmo Iglesias answered.

— I hopefully wait that this information is certain. Often, I have doubts about the reports of the intelligence service. Simply, I believe in the person who produces results. I detest mediocre and deluded men that promise, but remain suspended in good intentions—

In hours of the night, Sergeant Anselmo Iglesias arrested to Policarpa Salavarrieta in a house located at the East of the city. Heroin was the person in charge to make liaison, between the networks of logistic and military intelligence of the guerrillas, that conspired against Spanish Crown, from Santa Fe to Llanos del Casanare.

Next morning, Viceroy Sámano entered at his luxurious colonial office, accompanied by Anselmo Iglesias, and the members of a court-martial. Inside the hall meetings, there were several detained Patriotic, under the safekeeping of many gendarmes.

Sámano brandished with firmness in his right hand, some documents seized to some fugitives, and with the arrogant attitude of satisfaction, for having found the necessary proof to condemn Policarpa, he asked disagreeably:

— Do you know these letters?—

— Yes, I do—

— Are they yours?—

— I wrote them, and I signed them—

— When did you begin to cooperate with assassins, bandits, and rebels?—

— Patriotic are neither the one nor another one. I support the revolution, since the day that we proclaimed the shout of freedom against the tyrants—

— Traitor miserable!. Do you know the seriousness of which you say?—

— I know that I must to work for a free and sovereign fatherland!—

— You are rejecting the supreme authority of His Majesty the King of Spain—

— I defend the rights of the humanity, offended by the oppressions and the tyranny in name of your King—

— Shameless!— Sámano vociferated, and after a brief pause he shouted:

— Continue the judgment!—

Policarpa’s firmness of character and her matchless arrogance as opposed to the powerful Viceroy astonished to all people present right there.

Finished all the accusations and the jury’s brief deliberation, the premeditated sentence, sarcastically read by Viceroy Sámano was written up:

Policarpa Salavarrieta, Joaquín Suárez, Antonio Galeano, Alejo Sabaraín, José María Arcos, Francisco Arellano and Manuel Díaz, are criminals and they are guilty of high treason. They will be shot, like a rude lesson for other conspirators. Male-corpses will be hung in the gallows after the firing execution—

Two days after the tenebrous sentence was read and signed; a squadron of Royalist Soldiers prepared the South flank of the Plaza Mayor of Santa Fe, to kill the prisoners. At the date of the multiple executions, a security group guided the condemned towards the scaffold for capital punishment.

Hundreds of persons crowded along the parallel sidewalks, to testify the macabre spectacle, despite the coldness of the grayish morning and intermittent rain with snowdrift,

Tided-up, and under strict surveillance of armed guards, the condemned marched one after another one, towards the scaffold. In front of them, there were the ready gallows, an enormous platform with eight seats, the line of skirmishers in rigid military formation, the crestfallen priests, the military band, and the mailmen holding the copies of Royal Death Decree. All was ready to complete the winding sacrifice.

Beautiful, clean until the limit of neatness, proud and adorned with the best one of her clothes, and with her shoulders and back covered by a black fine Spanish mantilla, Policarpa stopped the step of the unfortunate courtship of prisoners, and exclaimed to all lung:

— Indolent people: How diverse it would be our luck if you knew the price of the freedom... But is not late.... Look at that although the woman and young one, I exceed value to undergo my death and thousand deaths more.... Do not forget this example—

Satisfied, because he had assured the hierarchic promotion promised by Viceroy Sámano, with a clear voice, the now Lieutenant Anselmo Iglesias, read in public the death sentence.

When Anselmo Iglesias finished the reading, Patriotic condemned to death occupied positions in front of the gallows. Despite the fatality, with singular proud, Policarpa Salavarrieta was the first victim going to the platform.

The commander of the troops in charge of the execution ordered:

Polonia (Policarpa): Seat astride on the stool. Give your back to the firing squad. Put your jaw on the back of the chair—

Why I must assume that position?—

Because you betrayed to His Majesty Fernando VII—

This position is obscene for a lady. I will give the back to my executioners if that pleases you—

— Make which comes to you in desire, damn treasonous dog!—

— Your words does not belong for an officer of the Spanish Crown—

— You would have to regret of your sins, before dying—

— I do not fear to the death because I scorn unworthy life.... I will die happy because I am defending the rights of my people—

Spanish officer was disturbed, but the military duty imposed on him to fulfill the ominous order. On really, his hierarchic superior was also disturbed, because they intuited the open evidence of a lost war, in spite of the terror and the frustration seeded among the governed ones.

Sentenced woman watched towards the sky and exclaimed:

— Eternal God: Please observe this injustice—

The resounding of the drums, the redoubles of the bells, and the resonant voice of the commander of the firing squad silenced her reclamation:

Squadron:… Prepare.... Aim!... Fire!–

Without she had reached to take the humiliating position in front of the seat, her body shook wounded by six accurate rifle shots. Her hands moored behind her waist were irritated with nervousness, wrath, and impotence.

Cold morning snowdrift raised the inferior part of the victim’s skirt, and left to the public sight, a beautiful pair of a feminine calf. Policarpa remained standing up some seconds more, but with dramatic slowness, she lost the balance. Nevertheless, her soul resisted to accepting the insurmountable defeat offered by the death.

Heroin doubled her knees and finally fell on the stool, which rolled next to her fiancé Alejo Sabaraín, one of the condemned Patriotic; who immediately afterward would be shot, hung in the public gallows and dismantled for a warning to potential rebels.

Grieved, with the tearful eyes, her brother, Priest José M. Salavarrieta threw a handful of flowers and gave the Christian blessing to the body without life. Then he smoothed her hair, contemplated her beautiful face, and declared:

—Holy God, please receives this servant who died convinced of great ideals—

Increasing water flow derived from the rain dragged the blood of the woman just shot, whose corpse was immediately taken to the cemetery, to avoid any popular reaction. Sámano With the hands crossed on the prominent belly, from the balcony of his office Viceroy Juan Sámano observed nervous and impatient, the fulfillment of the violent order. Without a doubt, he wished that the macabre act finished as rapidly as possible.


CHAPTER I

—I remember whether it was today when I listened to the narration about Policarpa’s death and other Patriotic officers in Santa Fe. I had exact reports about which they did in La Nueva Granada, in defense of the freedom— exclaimed the Liberator

—When and where that Liberator’s comments happened?— the painter asked, at the precise moment that the sea waves struck with intensity against the wall, and the writer copied the testimony told by the ancient slave.

—The Liberator remembered with much vehemence such facts, near to Riobamba-Ecuador, when we were pawned in the Campaign of the South, to consolidate La Gran Colombia. To be more exact, a day before the following episode happened—Palacios answered and after a brief pause, he continued:

—Palacios: Warn to Colonel Ibarra and to Colonel O’Leary, that I am going to climb to the summit of El Chimborazo.....They must to prepare an escort with the necessary provisions for five days— ordered the Liberator, in the spurs of the gigantic mountain.

—... I will climb until the first height of Los Andes because a febrile delirium obstructs my mind. I burn inside the live coals of a strange and superior fire..... God of Colombia is possessing my soul!— General Bolívar added.

—After two debilitating journeys, the Liberator ascended until the cold summit. Four days later he returned to the ranch with his spirit renewed—Palacios commented and added:

A gigantic Condor of Los Andes seemed to stop the majestic flight, between limpid blue sky and the mixture of colors that adorn the corrugated mountains surrounding to Riobamba. To the bottom of the landscape, Volcán Nevado del Chimborazo embellished the environment—

General Bolívar walked nervously from a side to another one, with his hands interlaced behind the waist. The martial noise of his boots on the wooden floor, resounded in the broad hall of the rustic house, that surrounded by gardens, also had plants, full of spring flowers hanging from the balconies.

The Liberator stopped his accustomed movement in front of the five writers, to whom he often dictated several letters at the same time.

Although all the assistants were conscious of the elevated abilities of their Commander-in-Chief, they did not imagine that that morning, the Liberator would dictate to them, a singular document, to express the personal experiences of his obstinate step by perpetual summits, when against all the recommendations and suggestions, ascended to the top of El Chimborazo.

— I climbed until the summit of the watchtower of the universe, surrounded by the mantle of the rainbow that has been our partner, from the mouth of the Orinoco River in the Atlantic Ocean—the Liberator explained.

Colonel Diego Ibarra headed the group in charge to transcribe a lot of letters, orders, instructions, and documents, that the Liberator transmitted like bursts of sufficiency and wisdom, to govern La Gran Colombia and simultaneously to coordinate the warfare against Royalists.

Ibarra took detailed note from the phrases of the soldier- statesman, whose glance penetrated as a flash in the eyes of the owner of the ranch, who astonished listened to the speech also.

—Obsessed to discover, what more is there in the heights?, I followed the tracks left by both wise La Condamine and Humboldt, during the exploration that they did of the snowed land two decades ago— the Liberator complemented, so moved and added:

—Nothing stopped to me. Although the ether choked my breath, I climbed to the glacial peak… Before today, no human plant had stepped on the first height of Los Andes—

Liberator’s speech was so vehement. It seemed as if a supernatural force had dragged to all gathered human beings in that Ecuadorian place so that accompanied by the narration, they could walk above the hill, towards the frozen peak of El Chimborazo.

While the strange phenomenon charmed the witnesses, the over-flight of the Grand Condor, drew filigrees of absolute precision on the steep Andean corner, accompanied by the sounds produced by imaginary hundreds of flutes of fine wood, operated with total skill by natives, who interpreted millenarians musical compositions of pre-Columbian Andean tribes.

Nor the heart-rending and strange sound of the wind, closed between rocky crags, extinguished the melodious chords. Morning terrestrial dream transferred the Liberator’s General Staff, until more than 6,000 meters of altitude above sea level.

Once positioned in the highest summit, whose perpetual snows resemble the encounter of terrestrial with celestial elements, the Liberator straightened up radiating among those who listened to him, to transmit with much vitality, the reasoning of his philosophical, moral and ethical delirium.

In spite of the rigor of the cold morning, the hurried right hand of diligent Colonel Diego Ibarra copied the text.

The flag of the independence, the same that crossed hellish regions with my troops, the same that has furrowed to the rivers and the seas, is settling today on gigantic shoulders of Los Andes—

—I thought: the Earth yields on the feet of Colombia... Nobody, not even the Time will stop the march of the freedom.... Snatched by the force of a divine spirit, I conquered the top. I have come here, impelled by an invisible genius that animates me—

Liberator took air and continued:

—I believed that I was the owner of the glory, but I became weak when I touched the firmament with the head... Oh surprise... In front of my feet, there were the thresholds of the abyss—

So moved, Colonel Ibarra tried to interrupt the torrent of phrases, looking for losing none word, but the Liberator was engrossed in another dimension. At that supreme moment, his thoughts unloaded a cataract of ideas of great projection. Writer shook the right hand, trying to distention his fingers and so, to continue his historical compiling written work:

— Suddenly— the Liberator added—it appeared before my eyes, the fantastic venerable image of an old man of curled complexion, bald, frowning and inclined, who carried a sickle in his hand, and was loaded with despoliation of the ages—

—I am the Time..... I am the father of the centuries. I am the arcane of the fame and the secret... My mother is the Eternity.... Only, the Infinite indicates the limits of my empire. There is no tomb for me because I am more powerful than the death. I see the past, I foresee the future, and the present passes for my hands— the fantastic old man exclaimed with a resounding voice that astonished to General Bolívar.

Sweating, the Liberator made a pause, sighed deep and watched towards the extensive and pacific horizon. Suddenly, with a hoarse voice, General Bolívar pronounced other phrases, that for the surprise of all the witnesses were transmitted by the Time, through General’s vocal cords.

—Why do you make vain, old man, boy, or hero?—

—Do you think that your particular universe is too much?—

—Do you intuit that soaring yourself, is to place the feet on an atom of the creation?—

—Do you think that the brief moments, called centuries, can serve as measurement for my arcane?—

—Do you imagine that you have seen the holy truth?—

—Do you suppose that your actions have some price before my eyes?—

—All of these, that is not less than a point is opposed to the dimension of my brother Infinite!—

Affected by the alluvium of questions, loaded with originating philosophical revelations, coming from an unintelligible figure, which gave off a halo of sacred terror, the Liberator stammered several reflections listened to with patience by the phantom:

—Oh great Time: Whereupon facility, you have vanished a miserable mortal who has risen so high...—

—Do not you see, that I am luckier than many human beings? because I have exceeded the head of all of them.....—

—From here, I dominate to Earth, and with my hands, I feel the Eternity. Hellish passions move underneath my steps. Right now, I observe sparkling stars and infinite suns. I can measure the space that locks the matter up. In your face I can read the history of the past, and the thoughts of the destiny—

—As you reveal too much clarity, please tell me: What I must to do now, when many of the beneficiated by the freedom and independence, think that my fight has been and will be a delirium?—

—Observe around you.... Learn!— the phantom answered that right then symbolized the Time and added:

—Keep in your mind, all which you have seen. Draw in front of people eyes’, the picture of physical and moral universes. Do not hide the secrets that the heaven has revealed to you. Say the truth to the men!—

— Which truth?— the overwhelmed Liberator asked, but the ghost disappeared dragged by a gust of the wind that turned him in a distant eddy.

Engrossed, without words, the Liberator remained undisturbed several minutes, before the kind glance of the officers and the owner of the home.

His body was laid down on the immense and perpetual snow mattress, which served as a bed to him. His nervous face sweated abundant, while his glance observed towards the infinite horizon, in search of the truth that he had to transmit to the mankind and that obviously, his companions longed for to listen.

Suddenly, as if he should revive and he had found the answer to the enormous doubt, the Liberator was gotten up with firmness on the highest rock of the cold peak, stretched the arms with the open hands and shouted:

— Colombia’s voice indicates to me, that I must continue fighting for the freedom in the rich Peru—

The writer was stupefied. The Liberator watched directly to his eyes and exclaimed to all lung a phrase that resounded until in the borders of Los Andes:

—I am a common and a current mortal!—

One slight fog layer covered El Chimborazo. The powerful natural unloading of a sparkling ray illuminated the near landscape. General Bolívar’s silhouette, with a sword, grasped in his right hand, and seated on the white horse, appeared imposing in the extensive horizon.

Euphoric by the effects of the supernatural vision, Colonel Ibarra gave to the Liberator the text just written, that he read aloud to the silent group.

Then, he soaked the fine pen with ink, and he signed it, without correcting anything of the recently written text.

Outside of the bucolic house, the big condor settled on an enormous rock. Stimulated by warm morning sun rays, the called King of the Heights, extended both wings with elegance and inclined the head towards the right side, while of his pick hung a little cluster of green laurel.

With the document that he had finished to sign, hold in his left hand, the Liberator observed with thoroughness the condor. After that, General Bolívar placed the sheet of paper on the table, raised his saber and while he indicated towards the gigantic bird, he asserted:

—Although aloof, the freedom and the order in La Gran Colombia must be as strong as the rock, where this worthy guardian of El Chimborazo is resting—

—One by one the officers retired from that hall I was the unique one who remained next to the Liberator, waiting for his orders for— Palacios told and added.

— You are already a legend for universal history. You would have to write a book condensing your experiences— I suggested that clear morning.

— God wanted that I headed the fight by the freedom of a continent. I will not dictate texts, to register something written with facts and actions, in the battlefields and inside the politicians’ scenarios of the New World. I am not the only author of such successes. If I had not been here, it surely is that another leader had arisen. My good star would not have hidden the one of another military, who also had the possibilities to do it— answered the Liberator.

— It is not only is good luck—

— If I had not widowed, perhaps I would not have been the Liberator, although I believe that either, I had not served to be a government officer of low profile or a rich landowner. War had exploded, and I had been there—

—My master knows why says that—

—Crossed way is extensive but still, lacks so much stretch. We have climbed until cold Andean summits to fulfill an aim. You have been my inseparable fellow traveler, so you know a number of obstacles, meanness, and difficulties faced until today, without counting those that will come. La Gran Colombia will sail during many years on turbulent waters, overwhelmed with personal ambitions—

—That is dramatic—

— Although the rigorous school of the tragic events affirms our march, and although we learn of the falls, where there are the abysses; and of the shipwrecks, where there are the stumbling blocks; all the benefited will delay centuries in understanding— answered the Liberator with philosophical style.

—Then: Who will relate your history?— I stammered for the sake of focusing the conversation, in the subject of the biographical memories of the Liberator.

—Whole humanity!... My fight is not personal but universal. Neither the life nor the work of the soldiers of American Independence can be transformed in texts of personal memories. Our ideal is the axis of a society governed by republican democratic principles, in which leaders will be for the service of the humanity, and not vice versa—

—It will take time and patience— I answered.

—Sufficient one, so that other people complete the initiated work. Nevertheless, I dare to paraphrase to Jesus of Nazareth, to emphasize the subject: False prophets will come to speak in name of Bolivarian ideals—

—Do you think that your efforts will be understood someday?—

—With the step of time, laws and education will establish a sort of social balance and the understanding. Due to the colonial customs that still continue alive, leaders, clergymen, lawyers and doctors press our people.

Right now, La Gran Colombia has an aristocracy of rank, wealth and uses, equivalent to the aristocracy of title and birth in Europe—

—Perhaps we, who had the honorable privilege to know you and to share your anguishes, dreams, and satisfactions, will tell your history— I interceded.

—Although I do not want to write a biography, I recognize that the documents and the written testimonies will be the best reference for future investigators, because works are love and none good reasons. Deliriums are not synonymous of action. It is necessary to pass from the words to the facts—

—Let me be the lucky man, who shares the history of your life, with the readers of the future—

Be your will, my faithful José Palacios—


CHAPTER II

Gathered today and here in Cartagena de Indias, to honor the memory of the Liberator, I will narrate to you, what and it is consisted of me, about General Simon Bolívar’s life and work—Palacios asserted with ceremonious with the warm Caribbean waters like an exceptional witness, and surrounded by the silent intellectuals.

Palacios took immediately a whiff from the fresh tropical air, breathed deep, exhaled with slowness, and began to narrate the vibrant biographical description that is written along the following pages:

General Bolívar’s known origins begin in 1587, when the enterprising businessman Simon Bolíbar who changed the b by v in his last name, left from Bilbao-Spain towards the prosperous Venezuela, with the intention to work in agriculture and cattle ranch.

Through an uninterrupted sequence, his descendants held important positions in the Town Hall, the Office of the Judge Advocate General, the Mayorship of Caracas, and for example Colonel Juan Bolívar y Ponte, father of the Liberator, became the commander of the Batallón de Milicias de Aragua y San Mateo, Marqués de San Luis and Señor de Aroa, an important Venezuelan mining zone.

By maternal genealogy, Palacios family came from influential persons in Castilla La Vieja (The Old Castilia), with broad experience in the war like combatants serving for Spanish Crown. Consequently, both families would afford to him, with cultural traditions, material wealth, well-being, social influences and to be able economic.

During 1782 Christmas, La Casona (the large house) belonging to the Bolívar-Palacios influential family, located in front of the Park of San Jacinto in Caracas, was a swarm of many people who was coming from different corners of Venezuela.

Each host had a different reason to be there. Most of them arrived to make specific pending businesses with prosperous Colonel Juan Vicente Bolívar, or to celebrate the traditional Christian date.

Social meeting served to murmur in private, about French Revolution Independence of 13 colonies in North America, insolvent revolutionary bud of Los Comuneros in El Socorro, the first rumors of conspiracies among the Santa Fe’s intellectuality and simultaneously among the rich Venezuelan retailers, or the augury of Conde de Aranda before King Carlos III, that soon Spain would lose the American colonies.

The luxurious room was illuminated by ignited teas, that inlaid on enormous lamps brought from Europe, seemed to shine more than in other occasions. Party was pleasant, warm, hospitable and very entertained. A musical set brightened up the meeting. Seated the ladies were waiting for the gentlemen who invited and took them to dance waltzes, contradanzas or minués. Everyone demonstrated the dowries and artistic progress because the critical eyes of elder ladies were acute to judge much more defects than they saw.

At midnight, all the guests to the concurred social meeting, listened to the traditional toast of rigor on the part of Colonel Juan Bolívar, lean man, of angular factions and narrow thorax, with the appearance of chronic tubercular, clothed for the occasion with the military uniform of Royal Spanish Army:

—Ladies and gentlemen: Let’s thanks to God of Heaven, because the fortune smiles to us. In addition to prosperous businesses, He honors to us with the coming of a new heir. María Concepción has in her entrails another son. We hoped that he is a man and that with special qualities; he will become a sort of Sun for America because our children will inherit the fortune and, the obligation to multiply it in the entire continent—

After the noisy applause, headed by Feliciano Palacios father-in-law of the Colonel, who proud named himself, godfather of the coming grandson; the assistants to the luxurious meeting, raised the fine crystal glasses to offer champagne in name of the King of Spain, and by the success, the prosperity and the good star of the mother, the father, the family and the coming son.

Twenty-five-year-old, María Concepción Palacios, was a beautiful lady, of the white race, who carries kindle and aristocratic silhouette. Two great and innocent black eyes, shaded by long eyelashes illuminated her face.

Her mouth expressed kindliness and grace. She was a woman, with all the fine and particular qualities of the ladies educated in the middle of colonial large houses.

Twenty-five-year-old, and valued in 300 pesos, beautiful Hipólita, one of the Afro-American slaves, who for a coincidence of the destiny also were pregnant, went towards María Concepción, who right then received congratulations from the visitors. The slave said to her master:

— My master: Give me the privilege to nurse and feed the new son. I have the hunch that he is predestined—


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