DescriptionSimón Bolívar Letter Signed "Bolívar." Three integral pages, 6.25" x 8.5", in Spanish, Tocuyo [Venezuela], August 16, 1821, to José Antonio Páez, recently promoted general in chief of the Army of Gran Colombia due to his brilliant victory at the Battle of Carabobo against the Spanish army three weeks earlier. The success at Carabobo secured the independence of Venezuela from the Kingdom of Spain and led to his appointment as administrator of the Department of Venezuela.
Bolívar begins the letter by playing on the patriotic spirit of Páez: "Imagine creating...a Republic of Venezuela within this department..." But there are battles yet to be fought: "...marching day and night, writing about everything that happens to the State...I would be tired; but...there are still enemies in Colombia and the goal of my life is to destroy them..." For this reason he intends to leave politics: "...I will go to Maracaybo and from there...to Quito in order to end the war in Colombia and also to end my [political] career...because I am well determined to serve only in the military."
The Colombian Congress had recently named Francisco de Paula Santander as Bolívar's vice president and he gives his approval because "...in this way, there will be the most perfect harmony between both powers." He reiterates his plan to leave politics and focus on his military duty: "...[I] do not want to be more than soldier, a simple soldier if necessary rather than President...I have another reason to leave the Presidency... a head that has been created in the midst of tumult, anarchy, and...arms can govern wisely a philosophical Republic decreed by Congress."
With that in mind he names Páez military chief and administrator of the Department of Venezuela: "This account, my friend, has been made by me to approve the appointment of you...because I believe that to govern this Republic, what is needed is a man that is a thousand times stronger than I..."
José Antonio Páez (1790-1873) succeeded Bolívar as president of Venezuela following the latter's death in 1830, an office he would hold three separate times over the course of the next thirty years.
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