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Simón BolívarTravels and Transformations of a Cultural Icon$
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Maureen G. Shanahan and Ana María Reyes

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062624

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062624.001.0001

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The Birth of the Myth

The Birth of the Myth

The Liberals and the Cult of Bolívar (1840–1900)

Chapter:
(p.96) 5 The Birth of the Myth
Source:
Simón Bolívar
Author(s):

Tomás Straka

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062624.003.0006

In contrast to what occurred in Colombia and Ecuador, Venezuela’s Partido Liberal, founded by Antonio Leocadio Guzmán, exalted Simón Bolívar as a device to unify the nation, capable of surpassing the racial and regional division threatening to divide the country. The cohesive function of the Liberator extended to the rest of the region at the end of the nineteenth century. This project helped cement what is today known as a “continental nationalism” capable of exorcising the advances of imperialism, especially from the United States. According to Ricardo Melgar Bao, we can trace a path from this Bolívarianism to contemporary neoBolívarianism through men such as José Martí, José Enrique Rodó, Rufino Blanco-Fombona and José María Vargas Vila; and this legacy has serious consequences for Latin American thought from its geopolitical projects to its ethnic self-perception.

Keywords:   Partido Liberal/Liberal Party, Antonio Leocadio Guzmán, Bolivarianism, Imperialism, Venezuela

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