Venezuela declared its independence from Spain 205 years ago, with a statement adopted by a congress of Venezuelan provinces on July 5, 1811. The signing of this document was the continuation of the popular movement initiated on April 19, 1810, by the Municipal Council of Caracas.
Loyalty to King Ferdinand VII of Spain was renounced, and thus the connection to the Spanish metropolis. Seven of the ten Venezuelan provinces signed the document in Congress to form the American Confederation of Venezuela of the Southern Continent.
Documents of the time indicate that the Declaration, drafted by Juan Germán Roscio and Francisco Isnardi, was approved by all deputies on July 7.
“We, therefore, in the name and by the will and authority which we hold from the virtuous people of Venezuela, do declare solemnly to the world, that its United Provinces are, and ought to be, from this day, by act and right, free, sovereign, and independent states; and that they are absolved from every submission and dependence on the Throne of Spain, or on those who do, or may call themselves its agents and representatives; and that a free and independent state, thus constituted, has full power to take that form of government which may be conformable to the general will of the people,” reads a fragment of the historical text.
Although independence was now a legal reality, it was on the battlefield that it was definitively secured, with the battles of Carabobo (June, 24, 1821) and Lake Maracaibo (July, 24, 1823).
The role of Venezuela’s national hero, Simón Bolívar, as well as other figures of the time, led an independence movement across the region.
Two centuries later, the country is still struggling to maintain these gains and end foreign interference in its internal affairs. The battle waged by the current administration of President Nicolás Maduro, in continuity of the Revolution initiated by the Bolivarian leader, Hugo Chávez, adheres, today more than ever, to the letter and spirit of the Declaration of Independence of this South American nation.
The constant threats to the Bolivarian project drive the struggle of the current civic-military union to defend what has been achieved in recent years.
On celebrating the 201st anniversary of independence in 2012, then-President Hugo Chávez stated before the Venezuelan National Assembly: “Today history is more alive than ever.”
This July 5, the current head of state noted, during a civic-military parade, “The freedom and sovereignty of the people have been the central concepts that have driven the struggle in Venezuela during the 205 years, since it’s absolute independence from the Spanish empire was signed.”
Speaking from the Paseo Los Próceres Avenue in Caracas, Maduro stressed the fighting spirit of the Venezuelan people during these “times of battle, struggle, and construction.”
He added that 205 years ago, when, “in this heroic and sacred Caracas the foundation of the Republic, absolute independence, sovereignty and freedom” were declared, a sacred document was signed that constituted “more than a paper written with the haste and anxiety of the time, a paper written with sacred ink which emanated from the patriotic passion of those who founded us.”
Regarding the current situation in the country, Maduro noted that the oligarchies and international right, seeking to impose their will on Venezuela, disregard the country’s heroic history, its heroes and its people.
“Today, when the overseers of the rapacious oligarchy of the National Assembly invoke interventionism, at this time when supposed foreign guardians and masters, and supposed internal overseers and masters seek to break up the most beautiful thing that has been built in 205 years, we must say: Venezuela is standing strong, alert, and Venezuela will win this 2016, sooner rather than later the final victory over masters and overseers will come,” Maduro concluded.