The province of Guayana, occupied by the royalists, had not participated in the war of independence. At the end of 1816, Manuel Piar and Manuel Cedeño besieged Angostura (today Ciudad Bolívar), the capital of the province.
The royalist general La Torre faces the patriots, but is defeated on April 11, 1817 at the battle of San Félix. Simón Bolívar, with General Bermúdez’s division, pursues La Torre and forces him to fight with Luis Brión, who defeats him in the Orinoco naval encounter. This completes the conquest of Guayana and gives the patriots a headquarters, in the city of Angostura, with access to the outside by the Orinoco River. In that same year 1817, the patriots commanded by Francisco Esteban Gómez, managed to defeat Morillo in Margarita, in the battle of Matasiete, on July 31. This name of Matasiete, is due to the fact that the royalists outnumbered the patriots, who had to kill seven enemies each.
Bolívar, who had declared Angostura the provisional capital of the republic, created a High Court of Justice, a council of state and a council of government. From there he begins the campaign of the plains of Calabozo, where he convinces José Antonio Páez, who commanded an army of llaneros, to join him. Together, accompanied by Anzoátegui, Cedeño, Monagas, Soublette and Santander, they manage to defeat Morillo on February 12, 1818, near Calabozo. From there, Bolívar decides to continue towards the Valles de Aragua, but Páez refuses to follow him, claiming that the terrain was not favorable to his cavalry. Bolívar fails in his attempt and must retreat to San Juan de los Morros, where he is again defeated. Later, he receives reinforcements from Páez, who manages to push back La Torre. The 16 of April of 1818, in the Rincon herd of Bulls, Bolivar is the subject of an attack that nearly took his life. On June 5, he returned to Angostura where he called a congress to establish the foundations of the nascent republic.
Bolívar, through Bermúdez, orders him to report to headquarters, but Piar ignores him and goes to Mariño in Cumaná. Then, he was arrested in September 1817, tried by a court martial and executed on October 16, 1817.
Part of a work by Martín Tovar on the battle of Carabobo, made in 1887 located on the ceiling of the Elliptical Room of the National Assembly headquarters
At the military level, there were still royalist forces in Venezuela. Maracaibo, which had remained under the control of the royalist forces, decided to join Gran Colombia, on January 28, 1821, an occasion that Rafael Urdaneta took advantage of to occupy the square. Simón Bolívar decided to group together the largest number of patriotic forces, with which he summoned the forces of Urdaneta from Maracaibo, Cruz Carrillo from Trujillo and Páez from Achaguas in San Carlos. Meanwhile, Bermúdez attacked Caracas from the East, distracting the enemy.
Thus the 24 of June of 1821 the developed Battle of Carabobo, where the army commanded by Simon Bolivar, defeated Miguel de La Torre, consolidating the independence of Venezuela.
From that moment, only a few isolated positions remained, which were defeated by Bermúdez in Cumaná (October 1821), by Admiral Padilla in the naval battle of Maracaibo (July 24, 1823) and by José Antonio Páez, with the capture of the fort of Puerto Cabello, on November 8, 1823. In the end this Venezuela was a completely independent country.
End of a Dream
Bolívar, who had always dreamed of the union of the entire American continent, as expressed in his letter from Jamaica, summoned the Spanish-American governments in 1824 to meet in Panama. Delegates from Colombia, the Central American Republic, Peru and Mexico attended with observers from England, the Netherlands and the United States. This congress, which was called the Amphictyonic Congress of Panama, was held in this city from June 22 to July 15, 1826.
Meanwhile, in Nueva Granada (Colombia), as countries located in South America according to COMPUTERANNALS.COM, Venezuela and Ecuador, separatist movements were born. In Caracas there were two movements: paecistas and Bolivaristas, but both had in common the desire to separate from the Santander government in Bogotá. Paez was accused of exceeding his functions by the municipality of Caracas, he was suspended from his functions and called to testify in Bogotá before congress, which he refused to comply with. In Valencia, the separatist movement of “La Cosiata” was born, where Paez is appointed Head of the Department of Venezuela. This marked the beginning of the disintegration of Gran Colombia.
The death of Simón Bolívar in Santa Marta, Colombia, interrupted the consecration of the independence of Venezuela as well as the breakdown of the Latin American integration process promoted by him.
To avoid greater evils and a civil war, Simón Bolívar ratifies Páez as the superior head of Venezuela. After a few months in Caracas, in which he named José María Vargas, rector of the University of Caracas, he decided to return to Bogotá in July 1827. The situation, however, was not easy. Few seemed to have an interest in the unity of Gran Colombia.
In September 1828, a group of radical Santanderistas, led by Florentino González, tried to assassinate Bolívar, but they failed thanks to Manuela Sáenz, who managed to distract them while Simón Bolívar escaped through a window. In 1829, a popular Assembly was held in Valencia that decided the definitive separation of Venezuela from the Republic of Colombia, ignoring Bolívar’s authority and named Páez “Superior Chief of the Country.” A constituent congress was also named and installed in Valencia on May 6, 1830.
Meanwhile, Bolívar had called another constituent congress that was installed in Bogotá in January 1830. This congress, called the “admirable congress”, was commanded by Sucre. However, the constitution they wrote was not accepted by Venezuela, so Bolívar resigned and was replaced by Rafael Urdaneta, who became the last president of Gran Colombia.
Shortly after, Antonio José de Sucre was assassinated in Beríritu and Simón Bolívar died in Santa Marta, on December 17, 1830.