Return to Table of Contents for Colombia


March 16, 1805 Dear Diary, It is my first time writing to you, and I feel it is very important to share my history with you, because, after all, that is how I got to be where I am today. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela and my parents both died when I was only a child. My uncle then cared for me and I was sent away to España to finish my education [1]. There, I fell in love with Maria, and we later got married. After returning to my home, Maria fell dreadfully ill, with a terrible disease that turned her porcelain skin to a sickly yellow. She died soon after becoming ill. We were married for less than a year, and at the time of Maria’s death was one of the most difficult for me. It still pains me to remember her being so sick, yet it was a full two years ago. In February of this year, trouble began when Emperor Napoleon I, a man I once had great faith and respect for, appointed his brother to rule Spain. I know the right thing to do would be to fight for independence, not only for the sake of my country, but for the countries surrounding it, like Colombia.

Hasta la próxima, Simón Bolívar

July 18, 1810 Dear Diary, The fight for independence has become my only focus, and I have poured my heart and soul into this battle. I have joined together, with others who feel the same goal as I and we are attempting to help rid South America of the Spanish rule. I have been instructed to travel to England in hopes of finding support for our cause there, and I pray that they will give us some assistance. The involvement of England is very important to all of South America’s independence from Spain.

Hasta la próxima, Simón Bolívar

August 2, 1811 Dear Diary, My sincerest apologies, as it has been very long since I have last written. Much has happened since last time I wrote, and I bear both bad and good news. My request for help in the fight for independence was shot down by English government after a long journey there. My fellow freedom fighters were disappointed, but I said to them what I have said before: 'A people that loves freedom will in the end be free.'[2] I have confidence that eventually, we will all be free of Europe. On the other hand, I am excited, and proud to say that my fellow Venezuelan, Francisco de Miranda has decided to return home in order to help me and the rest of us fight for this change!

Hasta la próxima, Simón Bolivar

December 13, 1818 Dear Diary, Since I have last written, so much has happened. In 1811, my home country was finally able to declare independence! At Valencia in January of 1812, I won a great victory. Not only did I win the battle, but I won my men’s trust. An uneventful year followed and in 1813, I pronounced New Granada [Colombia] its own republic and I made myself the leader of the great nation [1]. The people were grateful and I am proud to lead such a beautiful land. Since then, many setbacks have kept me from my land but I have finally made it back to New Granada.

Hasta la próxima, Simón Bolívar

December 18, 1819 Dear Diary, Today is my first day as the first President of Gran Colombia. I feel so proud to be weaving myself into this great nation’s history. After working so hard for independence of Spain, it is a beautiful thing to have this vast power and confidence from the people, and it feels good to know that my hard work has been rewarded. I can still remember my days in Europe, only a few years ago, and hearing word of my home of Venezuela and the terribly unsuccessful attempts at independence here. And look how much has changed now! With my lead, Gran Colombia is a new land, a free land. I feel proud and honored to be referred to by many as El Libertador, the Liberator, for unshackling much of South America from the overpowering and controlling Spain. I have confidence that I can successfully maintain control, however, I know it will not be easy being such a vast area. I still do feel great trust in my good friend Francisco (José de Paula Santander y Omaña) skills as a leader, and I know he will help me to hold this great land together. And, of course, we are plenty capable to do so together with both of our advanced military and political backgrounds together. Yet again, there remains a glint of uneasiness in the pit of my stomach, as is expected with my new place in history and the lack of knowledge of what is to come in the future. I expect to prove myself wrong in the weeks and months to come, to prove to myself that this nervousness is unnecessary and foolish of me to feel. I do pray that I will prove myself wrong!

Hasta la próxima, Simón Bolívar

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