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Famous Freemason - Bro. Simón Bolívar

“Slavery is the daughter of darkness: an ignorant people is a blind instrument of its own destruction”

One of the most influential Freemasons in history, liberator of Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, President of Colombia (1821-30) and Peru (1823-29), Bolívar lead revolutions against Spanish rule throughout New Grenada.

Born to wealthy family in Caracas Venezuela in 1783, Bro. Bolívar was sent to Europe to be educated in the midst of the Napoleonic wars. It is there that he first encountered Enlightenment ideas and Freemasonry.

Bolívar returned to Venezuela in 1807. When Napoleon named Joseph Bonaparte King of Spain and its colonies, which included Venezuela, Bolívar joined the resistance movement. The resistance group based in Caracas gained independence in 1810, and Bolívar traveled to Britain on a diplomatic mission. The fight for control of Caracas, Venezuela and most of South American continued on back home.

Finally, Bolívar returned to Venezuela and began a campaign to wrest control of that country from the Spanish. He and his followers invaded Venezuela on May 14, 1813; this marked the beginning of his "Campaña Admirable" (Admirable Campaign), which resulted in the formation of the Venezuelan Second Republic later that year. Bolívar was hailed as El Libertador (The Liberator), though civil war soon erupted in the republic, forcing him to flee to Jamaica and seek foreign aid. There he wrote his famous "Letter From Jamaica," detailing his vision of a South American republic with a parliamentary setup modeled after England and a life-long president.

Gaining support from Haiti, Bolívar returned home. 1821 saw the creation of the Gran Colombia, under Bolívar's leadership. This federation included much of what is now Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Ecuador. Further maneuvers saw him named Dictator of Peru in 1824, followed by the creation of Bolivia in 1825.

Bolívar succeeded in uniting much of South America in a federation free from Spanish control, but the government was fragile. Despite his desire to create a union of states similar to that which created the United States of America, Bolívar faced opposition from internal factions throughout the huge Gran Colombia, with there being a push to form single nations. As a temporary measure, Bolívar declared himself dictator in 1828, though in September of the same year he escaped an assassination attempt with aid from his mistress and fellow revolutionary Manuela Sáenz. He resigned this post in 1830.

Bro. Bolívar passed away in 1830 at a friend’s estate in Santa Marta Columbia.

Bro. Bolívar was initiated into Lautaro Lodge in Cadiz, Spain in 1803. It was there he would meet many of the Masonic Brothers who would join him in liberating Latin America. He became a Scottish Rite Mason in Paris in 1806, receiving the 33rd Degree of Inspector General Honorary in 1824, founding Lodge Order and Liberty No. 2 the same year.

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