SIMON BOLIVAR, LIBERATOR & FREEMASON.

             A Brief Historical Synopsis on South America’s Foremost Founding Father

                                                  By: Carlos Antonio Martinez, Jr.

 

                                                                

                                                                INTRODUCTION

 

The history of Latin-American communities is so peculiar, that any analysis on their development and posterior evolution requires multiple considerations and interpretations. Among such considerations and interpretations is the very evaluation of their impetuous existence.

 

The conquest of the American Continent and the posterior period known as “the colony” left such deep foot-prints in the minds of our ancestors, that only until the end of the XVIII century the Intellectual Revolution required for them to acquire their own identity took place. Obviously, this Revolution and its posterior development generated the consequential of established norms and the pretension of the Creoles over the right to self-determination of their people. A reaction undoubtedly inspired by the Declaration of Human Rights of the French Revolution of 1789.

 

Suddenly, around that time, the pronouncement of the Peruvian Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui, better known as “Tupac Amaru” making the first significant call for insurrection against the Spanish Crown appeared. A year later, “The Great Commoner” Jose Antonio Galan protested against the colonial authorities in the province of Charala (known today as Santander), seeking Equitableness between Iberians and Natives. Almost immediately thereafter, multiple clamors for independence were heard throughout the continent, induced in most part by our North American Brethren who in 1776, headed by our Ill:.Bro:. George Washington, initiated the process of independence of the thirteen colonies against all historical processes established – this, I emphasize – due to their demand for self-determination, an act which did not follow in line with the terms brought forth by other movements that generally only promoted “improvement in living conditions”, not independence.

 

From these occurrences emerged “the Cry-Out of Dolores” (Sept. 15, 1810) in Mexico headed by the priest Hidalgo; the cry for independence of Santa Fe de Bogota given by Camilo Torres and Antonio Narino (1810); the “Open Chapter” in Buenos Aires directed by Mariano Moreno and Manuel Belgrano; the proclamation of autonomous government in Santiago de Chile at the behest of Mateo De Toro Zambrano, also in 1810.

 

As we can observe, these reactions were curiously coincidental, and this can only be analyzed as a process induced by Mechanisms of Integration then “unknown”, or, at least un-divulged publicly. With the exception of the Commoner Movement of Jose Antonio Galan and the insurrection of Tupac Amaru, all other Significant Uprisings and Manifestations of the colonies against Spain took place in the year 1810.

 

I wish to underline at this point that this series of events constitute the core of historical evidence that places our Order in an active sponsoring and participating role in the revolutionary processes of America. Obviously, a Communion and Alliance of Free-Thinkers was the appropriate setting for the devising of such objectives.

 

Father Hidaldgo was a Free-Mason, and so were Ignacio de Allende and the Aldama Brothers who joined him in the first official Pro-Independence Mexican uprising; Mariano Moreno and Manuel Belgrano were also members of our Fraternity in Buenos Aires (Argentina); Mateo De Toro Zambrano had already presided over few Lodges in Chile; and Antonio Narino is also widely accepted by many Masonic Biographers as having been a member and Past Master of “Sensible Hearts Lodge No. 20” situated in Santa Fe de Bogota (Colombia). Often on anecdotes are still related in our days with respect to frequent debates-meetings held at Masonic Temples where the topic of Human Rights was discussed under the hour-glasses of Wor:. Narino and Wor:. Andres Rosillo. It is noteworthy to add that, at this point in time, the principal Masonic Headquarters of Nueva Granada (present-day Republic of Colombia) were located in Cartagena, Santa Fe de Bogota and Tunja.

 

The few events afore-stated and the considerable amount of evidence available for any serious research, lead us to conclude unequivocally that the Revolutionary Processes of the Spanish colonies was skillfully carried out by Universal Free-Masonry, or, in the least of cases, said processes were effectively induced by maneuvers of the Order.

 

The mere act of Publicly Protesting alone was not enough to conduct the infant revolutionary process to an actual state of accomplishment; It was necessary to promote and support armed uprisings which began in Venezuela, where, in 1797, Brothers Manuel Gual and Jose Maria Espana  sponsored our Ill:.Bro:. Francisco De Miranda to seek help in the European Continent, thus initiating him to participate in the struggle for Independence, and rapidly becoming so efficacious and indispensable in said struggle that today Miranda is known as “The Precursor” of American Independence.

 

It was Francisco De Miranda who “infected” young Simon Bolivar with the “fever” of Independence. And it is at this point where I will proceed to give a rather compact account of the Private Life of The Liberator, before resuming on his Masonic and Public Life.

 

                                                                

                                                                  THE ORIGINS

 

Simon Jose Antonio De La Santisima Trinidad Bolivar Palacios was born on July 24, 1783, in Caracas, Captaincy General of Venezuela (present-day The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela). Born in the bosom of a rather prominent-aristocratic family, he was the son of Don Juan Vicente Bolivar y Ponte, a descendant and air of a Noble Spanish Family who arrived as new settlers in Caracas at the end of the XVI century. He was a rich land-owner with properties in the valleys of Tuy and Aragua, he was a Militia Colonel and enjoyed the hereditary title of “Perpetual Regent”. At the age of 47, Don Juan Vicente decided to marry Dona Maria Concepcion Palacios y Blanco, a woman of singular beauty who was also impetuous, sensible, a lover of luxury and delirious over music. With her he had five children: Maria Antonia, Juana, Juan Vicente, Simon and Maria del Carmen.

 

As it was/is the Catholic custom, Simon was baptized few days after his birth on July 30th, under pressure of the Family Presbyter Don Juan Felix Jerez de Aristeguieta y Bolivar. His maternal grandfather Don Feliciano Palacios y Sojo acted as Godfather, and the baptizing priest was, of course, Jerez de Aristeguieta, whom later that same year under precise instructions of Dona Luisa Bolivar (the Liberator’s paternal grandmother) constituted such a rich estate in favor of the child which made the infant a true millionaire over night.

 

In January of 1786, when the child was scarcely two and half years of age, Don Juan Vicente Bolivar died already in his sixties, leaving his widow Dona Maria Concepcion in charge of administrating the family estate and wealth, including young Simon’s inheritance and trust. This duty she performed until the age of 34 when she was finally overcome by tuberculosis. Simon was 9 years old. Don Feliciano, his maternal grandfather, then took over these responsibilities and initiated Simon in the art of basic reading.

 

Around this time, his family began to rapidly dismantle to such a point that after three months Maria Antonia, still almost a child, got suddenly married, clearly evading the responsibilities of being burdened with the family business. Almost immediately thereafter, her sister Juana, even younger than her, followed her example. While all this family turmoil was taking place, Simon was following the tradition of his epoch by learning to read and write and studying  the imperative sequential subjects of Arithmetic, History and Religion. His first tutors were Carrasco, Fernando Vides (both Free-Masons) and the alternate family priest Father. Jose Antonio Negrete. His Uncle Esteban Palacios, whom due to Seniority and Eminence in the family should have undertaken the role of Legal Guardian and Administrator of Simon’s estate, was then residing in Madrid where he held an important post in the “Royal Tribunal of Accountants”, a circumstance which prompted the responsibility to fall upon the shoulders of his Uncle Carlos, whom, notwithstanding the unfavorable opinion of Simon’s Grandfather, accepted the job and carried it out. Single, ill-tempered, not very intelligent and totally immersed in the administration of his holdings, Uncle Carlos was incapable of providing love, care and comprehension to any person with qualities and needs like those of Simon Bolivar. It was then decided that the education of the teenager Bolivar was to be entrusted solely to Notable Venezuelan Scholars like Andres Bello and Simon Rodriguez. Bello and Rodriguez (both Prominent Free-Masons) inculcated in the young Liberator’s mind a particular admiration for “Emile” by Ill:.Bro:. Jean-Jacques Rosseau, and for the principle of “Free Thinking” which would ultimately take him to his final destiny. He eventually abandoned the New World, and after settling in his new city of residence, Madrid, he started to mingle with the most elevated socio-economical classes of the peninsula, where at one point he even took part in the infantile games of the future Emperor Fernando VII, against whom he posteriorly focused his struggle. Sometime thereafter, feeling nostalgic and necessitated of that particular love which only a significant other can give to a person, he again crossed the Atlantic and met a distant relative recently arrived from Europe, Dona Maria Teresa Rodriguez del Toro, with whom he got married in his natal city, Caracas. The tropic caused such an immediate deterioration in the fragile constitution of his consort, that after few months Bolivar found himself a widower and seeking new horizons in his life. In January of 1803 he returned to the Old World and there he started his fecund journey.

 

                                                               

                                                                  MASONIC LIFE

 

According to the historians Jules Mancini, the Marques de Villa Urrutia and Americo Carcinelli, Bolivar was initiated in 1803 in the Masonic Lodge “Lautaro” which operated in Cadiz, Spain, and where Jose De San Martin, Bernardo O’Higgins, Jose Marra Zapiola, Carlos Marra De Alvear and Mariano Moreno among other South American Founding Fathers were initiated.

 

These three historians coincide in affirming that the year in which Bolivar was inducted into the Order was 1803; However, the Spanish Historian Urrutia, though concurring with the same year, he strongly points out that Bolivar’s Lodge of initiation was not called “Lautaro”, but “Rational Knights”.

 

In the late 1970s, after the most celebrated death of that monster, Francisco Franco (anointed arch-enemy of Free-Masonry) and the consequential official re-surfacing of the Craft in Spain, the Spanish Grand Orient was able to investigate, discover and prove that, in fact, there were two rather distinct Masonic Lodges operating in Cadiz around 1803, one called “Lautaro” and the other “Rational Knights”. The confusion arose from the constant fraternal visits that Bolivar made to the latter.

 

The Lodge Lautaro was founded in 1800 by the Venezuelan Francisco De Miranda while residing in London, and while devising plans for a Liberating Expedition in Venezuela. Knowing of Miranda’s “Ultra Liberal” thinking for a Revolutionary and Intellectual of his time, it is accepted that his suggestion of “Lautaro” was in clear homage to the Araucanian Chief, whom in 1554, defeated the conquistadors headed by Valdivia in Tucapel, Chile.

 

Even though Miranda could not be physically present at the Lautaro Lodge in Cadiz, due to having a price on his head by the Spanish Crown, he was able to access it in the form of written correspondence brought by fellow free-masons traveling from London to the Iberian Peninsula.

 

Later on, Jose De San Martin founded another Lautaro Lodge in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in memory of their “Mother Lodge” in Cadiz. And shortly thereafter he did the same in Santiago de Chile and Lima, Peru, thus creating a hot-bed of patriots needed in the struggle for independence.

 

THE ENTERED APPRENTICE.

 

Orphan and widower at the age of 20, and at the mercy of solitude, Bolivar began to wander all over the Venezuelan territory submerged in a constant silent mourning, until finally his relatives convinced him to return to Europe.

 

All of the sudden, almost without giving notice to his relatives and administrators, one day, at the dawn of 1803, he boarded a ship that took him to Cadiz, Spain. At that time, that Andalusian port was the foremost portal of entrance to mainland Europe, due to its advantageous location which communicated with Africa and America. In addition to being a small commercial metropolis, Cadiz was a rather attractive city and had gradually become a leisure center favored by foreigners where an interesting and rather appealing ambiance of Liberalism prevailed.

 

Few days after his arrival, Bolivar befriended some of the Intellectuals who frequently attended the “Lautaro” Masonic Lodge, and with whom he used to exchange ideas and ideals of Liberty and the necessity of fighting against all forms of oppression. Feeling thus attracted toward these revolutionary thoughts, he decided to join the Lautaro Lodge. There he met his peers Jose De San Martin and Mariano Moreno, among other South American pro-independence and revolutionary notables.

 

Aside from studying those Esoteric “Occult” Sciences which justified the presence of an armed Brother Mason guarding the outer-door of their Lodge room, the brethren of the Lautaro Lodge used to address and discuss in “Open Lodge” the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, the Dignity of Man, and the possibility of converting into Republics the Spanish colonies of America.

 

The truth is that the Lautaro Lodge made the Ideal of Independence germinate in the mind of Bolivar. His decision to terminate the Spanish dominion in Venezuela became a conviction then, and his determination to make that his first move to liberate the rest of South America became the paramount obsession of his New Life.

 

After his initiation, Bolivar traveled to Madrid, from where he left for France in May of 1804 accompanied by his compatriot and relative Fernando Toro. Young and rich he became a regular in the most prestigious and opulent halls of Paris where he also befriended another Distinguished Free-Mason, the German Erudite Alexander Humboldt after his return from a scientific trip to Austral America.

 

While in “La Ville-Lumiere” (City of Light), his social intercourse took place while alternating between the literary, mundane and political circles, his attendance to Masonic Lodges, and, particularly, his constant presence at the Lodge “Scottish Mother of St. Alexander of Scotland”, where he was overjoyed to encounter his former tutor and friend, Simon Rodriguez, who was already known as a distinguished American Free-Mason and a  passionate enemy of the Spanish monarchy.

 

Simon Rodriguez had left Venezuela in 1797 due to his participation in the revolutionary movement of Jose Maria Espana and Manuel Gual. Around that time Bolivar was barely 11 years old, but, he had kept intact and vivid the memory of his humanist and rebel teacher.

 

The new Masonic bond and the admiration which Bolivar always had for Simon Rodriguez ended sealing their ancient teacher-student friendship in a warm fraternal embrace. Since then until Bolivar’s return to Venezuela, via-the United States, in 1806, they were always together, talking about politics, participating in public forums, visiting towns and, above all, perfecting the idea of liberating Venezuela.

 

THE FELLOWCRAFT.

 

On November 11, 1805, Bolivar was conferred upon the Degree of “Companion” (“Fellow-Craft” in English Masonry) or Second Degree of the Symbolic Lodge in a French Lodge. An account of this ceremony was duly recorded in a document which is now zealously guarded in the archives of the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree of The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

 

Since his arrival in Paris, Bolivar became an avid visitor of the Lodge “Scottish Mother of St. Alexander of Scotland” where in a short period of time he fulfilled the mandatory requirement of attendance, thus earning the right to his respective promotion in the Order.

 

At this point, it is note-worthy to add that in Symbolic Masonry no individual is advanced to a higher degree without satisfactorily meeting the requirement of attendance and showing due assimilation/progress in the knowledge of the Craft. In 1805 Bolivar was young and intelligent, but, lacking the influence to attain Higher Masonic Degrees without first complying with the exigencies of the Institution.

 

The document which recorded Bolivar’s promotion to the Degree of Companion was acquired in Paris by the Venezuelan writer Ramon Diaz Sanchez, whom, before donating it to the Venezuelan Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree in Caracas, had it thoroughly examined by skilful paleographers and historians well versed/informed on the Masonic activities of The Liberator. Said document written in French, translated into English textually reads the following:

 

“ To the Glory of The Great Architect of The Universe, etc., The 11th day of the 11th month of the Year of the Great Light 5805, the labors of Companion were duly opened in the East by the Dear Bro:. La Tour D’Auvergne. The West and the South were illumed by the Dear Brothers Thory and Potu. The lecture of the last speech was repeated and sanctioned. The Venerable proposed the elevation to the Degree of Companion of the Dear Bro:. Bolivar, a recently arrived initiate, in light of the next trip that he is about to venture into. The approval of the Attending Brethren was unanimous regarding his admission and their sanction was favorable; the Dear Bro:. Bolivar was introduced into the Temple, and after the required formalities he took his obligation at the foot of the Throne; situated between the two Wardens he was proclaimed Knight and Companion Mason of the Respectable Mother Scottish Lodge of St. Alexander of Scotland. The labors were crowned with a triple “Houza”, and the Bro:. having expressed his gratitude proceeded to stand at the head of the Column of High Noon”. The labors were then closed in the accustomed manner. Signed by J. La Tour D’Auvergne, Venerable Master; Thory, Senior Warden; Potu, Junior Warden; De Jura; P. Vidal, 33rd; D’Auduar, 33rd; C. Abraham; Jeanne De La Salle; and Simon Bolivar. Few days later, proudly carrying his brand new Diploma of Mason-Companion, and accompanied by his friend and teacher Simon Rodriguez, off he went to Italy and Switzerland on a trip of study and observation.

 

While in Rome, he stated his famous “Oath of the Sacred Mount”, thus making official the beginning of his struggle for independence of Venezuela.

 

THE MASTER MASON.

 

In May of 1806, just as he was preparing his trip back to Venezuela, Bolivar was raised to The Sublime Degree of Master Mason in the same Lodge “Scottish Mother of St. Alexander of Scotland” along with Companions Manuel Campos, Antonio Bianchi, Crussaire and Count Jean Serurier. This is taken from documents which are in the possession of the National Library of Paris and The Grand Orient of France. This event was also duly corroborated by the historians Jules Mancini and the Marques de Villa Urrutia.

 

The Board of Government which was formed immediately after the pronouncement of April 19, 1810, created a commission integrated by Simon Bolivar, Luis Lopez Mendez and Andres Bello for the purpose of gathering decisive support from the governments of Great Britain and the United States in the form of weapons and economic resources.

 

Since his return to Venezuela at the end of 1806, after visiting the United States, up until August of 1810, Bolivar had no Masonic activity, save a visit he made to a Lodge in Philadelphia and the sporadic contacts he had with some members of the Patriotic Societies, which, without being Masonic Lodges per se, brought together persons with Masonic formation such as: Juan German Roscio, Vicente Salias and Juan Jose De Landaeta.

 

When he arrived in London, in the company of the Commissioned Auditor General Luis Lopez Mendez and the First Officer of the Secretaryship of State Andres Bello, he found in Francisco De Miranda a fraternal Free-Mason and ever cordial friend. Miranda, one of the most cultivated men of his epoch, brilliant military professional and exquisite worldly gentleman, just like Simon Rodriguez, was repudiated on account of his revolutionary ideals by the Creole cast of Caracas.   

 

Miranda was a true revolutionary and was not well appreciated by the Oligarchic Board of Government of Caracas, and notwithstanding their specific secret instructions of keeping distant from Miranda, Bolivar ignored the request and  developed a very close friendship with “The Precursor of Independence”.

 

Between July 19 and August 10, 1810, the unfruitful negotiations with Prime Minister Wellesley were held. England, which had Spain as an ally against Napoleon, did not want to take part in the dispute promoted by the Venezuelan patriots.

 

At the end of August, Bolivar, who was a regular at the Masonic Lodge “The Great American Reunion” founded and directed by Miranda, was confirmed in the Sublime Degree of Master Mason in a special ceremony which was not entirely Masonic in its ritualistic structure.

To culminate this ceremony, just like everyone else who had been invested with this honor, Miranda had Bolivar take the following oath: “I shall not recognize anyone as legitimate rulers of my country, other than those elected by the free and spontaneous will of the people; and being the Republican System the most acceptable to govern the Americas, I shall employ all possible means within my reach to have it accepted by their habitants”. This, was actually the fifth vow that Miranda demanded of all Free-Masons who had reached the summit of Masonic Symbolism. This version originally published by Americo Carnicelli was duly confirmed by the prestigious Argentinian Historian and Free-Mason, Bartolome Mitre, in his book about the organization of the “Rational Knights”.

 

Due to his great personality and uniqueness, Miranda had imposed upon “The Great American Reunion” a number of modalities that were alien to the official Masonic ritual, and for this reason a number of “historians” have attempted to question the Masonic authenticity of the confirmation of Master received by Bolivar. Other “writers”, sadly Venezuelans, have gone so far as to place in doubt the Masonic membership of Miranda – an act which is not only a shocking disrespect to the memory of one of the greatest men of America, but a malicious fallacy aimed at casting a shadow over the past of Venezuelan Free-Masonry, which has in Miranda not only its maximum menthor, but the Father of Latin-American Free-Masonry.

 

Bolivar remained in London until September 25, 1810, the date on which he returned to Venezuela aboard the corbette “Sapphire”. Miranda did so as well, by boarding the ship “Avon” on October 10, 1810.

 

THE INSPECTOR GENERAL HONORARY.

 

In the last decades, particularly this last one, a number of evidences have appeared relating to the Masonic hierarchy of The Liberator, which, accordingly, did not end with the Degree of Master Mason alone, but, with having reached the summit of Scottish Free-Masonry, the 33rd Degree.

 

By 1823, The Liberator had attained an unarguable continetal prestige. His name was frequently featured on the first page of every newspaper, particularly in those most accredited in the United States, England and France. A person of such stature and fame is always deserver of the highest honors, mainly among institutions like Free-Masonry which, then, paid homage to the moral and intellectual values of man. Therefore, it should not seem rare that The Scottish Rite of Free-Masonry had conferred upon him the most exalted Philosophical Degrees, just like Universities do when conferring a “Honoris Causa Degree” upon illustrious individuals.

 

The Masonic museum of The Grand Lodge of New York, along with other Masonic relics which belonged to some of the heroes of American Independence, has an exhibit featuring Bolivar’s apron and collar which are decorated with the ornaments and symbols of “Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret”, the 32nd Degree. To this respect, an erudite North American Mason pointed out in a publication of The Grand Lodge of New York, that during the agitated years of the war for Independence the leaders accumulated such a sum of powers, that it was perfectly natural to confer the highest degrees of Scottish Free-Masonry upon them in a single ceremony.

 

Bolivar was not only a remarkable military hero, but an extraordinary politician, great state-man, writer and thinker. He had enough brilliant merits to wear around his neck the collar of the 32 Degree.

 

In due time, the Venezuelan Masonic Historian, Celestino B. Romero, went a little further. After an exhaustive investigation, he was able to gather enough proof to inform in one of his books that The Liberator Bolivar had been invested with the regalia of “Inspector General Honorary”, the 33rd and Last Degree of The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Free-Masonry. The Most Worshipful and Illustrious Celestino B. Romero, was Grand Master of The Grand Lodge of The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree for The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Before becoming the Prime Masonic Dignitary of his country, Bro:. Romero was already a respected and revered Masonic historian, and, naturally, after having been entrusted with such responsibilities and powers, he was able to access the archives of the Order where he found old and even unknown documents dating back by as much as 200 years. During one of his visits to the old archives he made a sensational discovery. He found a yellowish document which reveals that in 1823, the Illustrious Joseph Cerneau, High Dignitary of the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree for The United States, had arrived in Caracas with the clear mission of conferring the maximum Masonic Honors to those Free-Masons who had distinguished themselves in the struggle for liberty of The Grand Colombia (present day Panama, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador).

 

The document reads the following: The Illustrious Bro:. Joseph Cerneau, invested with ample powers, and in the name of the Sovereign Grand Consistories of Chiefs of the High Masonry for The United States, as recorded in the Bulletin of the National Archive number 2, in the publication edited by prestigious historian Vicente Davila, on the month of April of 1824, installed in diverse bodies the following 33rd Degree Masons: Diego Urbaneja, Carlos Soublette, Lino De Clemente, Manuel Quintero, Jose De Espana, Jose Manuel Landa, Jose Marra Lovera, Jose Santiago Rodriguez, Simon Bolivar, Juan Barry, George Woudwery, Pedro Gual, Santos Michelena, Jose Grau, Pablo De Michelli, Rafael Hermoso, Juan Escalona, Carlos Cornejo, Carlos Padron, Agustin Armario, Jose Blanco (Priest) and others.

 

According to this list (intentionally shortened by me) published in April, 1824 in the Bulletin of National Archives and corroborated by the investigations carried out by the Illustrious and Most Worshipful Bro:. Celestino B. Romero, the Liberator Simon Bolivar was indeed crowned with the 33rd and Last Degree of The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Free-Masonry.

 

                                                                 

                                                                    PUBLIC LIFE

 

Up until his death in Santa Marta in 1830, the titanic labors of his public-political life are well known by the educated world, and a recapitulation of his deeds and accomplishments is wholly unnecessary; However, for the benefit of those Free-Masons who are not quite familiar with Bolivar’s heroic endeavors and accomplishment, I shall list a few of the most important epical aspects and moments of his public-political life:

 

His condition of millionaire Creole permitted him to attend in Paris to the coronation of Napoleon as Emperor of France. An event that impacted the young Bolivar to such an extent that unleashed in him a “military fever” that, up to that moment, the “Bourgeois Creole” (as Miranda called him teasingly) had never experienced.

 

From there, he parted to explore Intellectuality – which he still lacked – in order to successfully initiate and lead the uprisings which the colonies demanded of him.

 

On August 15, 1805, in the company of his teacher Simon Rodriguez, he pronounced his famous Oath of the Sacred Mount, which states: “I swear that I will give neither rest to my arm nor repose to my soul, until seeing broken the chains that oppress us by will of the Spanish Empire”.

 

On June 11, 1806, he found himself short of money to continue living in the Old Continent – a shortage which was undoubtedly due to the situation in his native country – where Francisco De Miranda had already started the war against Spain. This and the abundant requests of the Independence seekers took him to North America in search of solidarity with the process already initiated.

 

In January of 1807, he arrived in Charleston, and from there he went to Philadelphia (birth-place of the United States and North American Free-Masonry) seeking the collaboration already mentioned. There the leaders of the infant United States furnished him with some help, but not the ideally needed and required.

 

After three and half years of absence he returned to his country where he finally initiates the process which made him the “Liberator” of five nations and the greatest man of Hispanic-America.

 

In 1813 after the defeat of the Venezuelan revolutionary forces at the hand of Monteverde, he proclaimed the “Manifesto of Cartagena” where he demanded the support of all Neo-Granadinos (present day Colombians) to continue the task already commenced.

 

After a series of successful military campaigns at the service of Nueva Granada, he obtained permission to return somewhat considerably armed to his native country.

 

From there originated the famous “Liberating Campaign” which culminated successfully in the battles of Pantano de Vargas and Puente de Boyaca in 1819, not without first rightfully exalting the deeds of the patriots who died in Paso de Pisba, where the strategic genius of Bolivar was well applied. The royalists were awaiting any movement from the rebels, but never imagined that they would get in through such a place.

 

In the battle of Pantano de Vargas, the fate of Nueva Granada was defined militarily; but it was on the bridge above the Teatinos river where the rebels profiting from their nap time made the royalists prisoners, and caused panic among the Spanish hosts.

 

From this moment on, Bolivar understood that his goal was within the reach of his genius, a conviction that brought forth the independence of Venezuela, later that of Provincia de Quito (modern day Ecuador), the independence of Peru, and finally that of El Alto Peru (modern day Bolivia), a territory where he re-defined the boundaries of his liberating task. When this territory was named after him, the Liberator tried to implement the Constitution which in his great vision the newly constituted nation merited.

 

This and his posterior relocation in the city of Lima, thus believing that his task had been accomplished, produced a series of confrontations that gave rise to anti-bolivarian movements that eventually destroyed the goals initially set.

 

After three years of residing in Lima as the Hero of America, Bolivar understood that his labors had been seriously eroded – a reason which prompted him to return to Santa Fe de Bogota, with the purpose of re-implanting his authority, but, instead, he found such an adverse reaction toward his name that he had to block the “Ocana Convention”, and lastly suffer the assassination attempt of the infamous “September night”.

 

This attempt on his life made Bolivar realize that, notwithstanding the historical and heroic precedent of his struggles and accomplishments, the fruit of his labors could easily be eliminated.

 

As a consequence of that, he tried to exert the dictatorship, so harshly criticized and despised by himself, which produced the reverse effect in the citizens of Nueva Granada.

 

This forced him only to surround himself with people who had his complete trust, and, to his disadvantage, by foreigners such as: Major. Peru De La Croix, General. O’Leary, Urdaneta and others. His selection of “advisers” brought about the victory of his detractors - the same neo-oligarchs who used him to put Miranda behind bars had won, and so the Liberator was “legally” forced to retire from power. The Genius left for Europe with only two objectives: One, to seek alleviation for his illness, and Two, to wait for the internal passions of the provinces to dissipate until naturally achieving, once again, that ideal unity through which they had accomplished their emancipation from the Iberian yoke.

 

Such had been the reversal of fortune in the life of Bolivar, that while still in the Municipality of Honda his health was already fatally undermined. Immediately after arriving in Cartagena from where he planned to set sail for Europe, he realized that his days were numbered, and instead he sought an amiable place for the twilight of his life. His decaying state of health demanded an environment with fresh winds, and his sole alternative was the city of Santa Marta, where ironically he ended up being the honored guest of a Repose Cottage owned by Don Joaquin De Mier, a  Spanish national and Free-Mason admirer of Bolivar’s colossal deeds.

 

As it is well known, on December 17, 1830, at exactly 1:04 p.m. and attended solely by his French Doctor. Don Prospero Reverend and his Lawyer. Don Aquilino Noriega (both Free-Masons), The Liberator passed away. He died like an Initiate and Adept, divested of all metals and measuring his actions on the square and compass. In the end, on he marched to the Eternal Orient, saluted with the battery of 3x3, having accomplished his monumental mission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                 BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

 

 

“El Libertador”, Indalecio Lievano

 

“Bolivar”, Jules Mancini

 

“La Masoneria en la Independencia de America”, Americo Carnicelli

 

Apuntes para la Historia Diplomatica de Espana”, Marques de Villa-Urrutia

 

“Bolivar Libertador”, Michelle Varcaire

 

Mocedades de Simon Bolivar”, Cova Maza

 

“Bolivar Mason”, Pedro A. Barbosa De La Torre

 

“Simon Bolivar”, Gerard Masur

 

“Bolivar, Dia a Dia”, Cely Gutierrez & Fabio Puyo Vasco

 

Diario de Bucaramanga”, Peru De La Croix

 

Venezolans Masones”, Ramon Diaz Sanchez

 

“Bolivar Para Todos”, Jose Luis Acosta Rodriguez

 

“Bolivar Jefe Militar”, Hector Bencomo Barrios

 

“Miranda, Bolivar & Sucre”, Alfredo Boulton

 

“The Birth of Latin-American Countries”, Neill Bushnell & David Macaulay

 

“10,000 Famous Masons”, William R. Denslow

 

“Universal History”, Larousse