Tag Archives: independence

Week Four

The story of independence in Latin America is quite interesting since it is quite unique compared to other social movements in the history. The independence in Latin America started in 1821 by Bolivar who belonged to the “second tier” group during that era. Although he was “white” he did not have the advantages that a Spanish person would have such as having the right to participate in decision making procedures. As a result, this unfairness motivated him to fight for the people who had the same situation as him against the Spanish. This is exactly the point that makes Latin America independence different compared to the other significant social movements.

When I think about independence my first thoughts goes toward nationalism however, the fact that Bolivar had totally personal drivers to start such movement is very interesting and therefore this might be one of the reasons that made this independence movement less successful compared to other social movements such as United States independence. For instance and to be more particular, I can mention the fact that even after the independence movement by Bolivar, indigenous people still struggled with their lives and still faced many obstacles to considered a normal citizen. I think this is a very important point since it highlights the fact that planning for the future and the aftermaths of social movement is even more important than succeeding in that event itself. As we seen in one of the videos, Bolivar was also furious at himself in his last days of life since he also realized that people of Latin America might not be able to make decision for themselves and improve their situation following the departure of Spaniards.

Regarding Hugo Chavez, I believe his ideal was to modify Bolivar’s approach to independence and make it a nationalism. I think his nationalism approach made him popular in Venezuela and by using the money that his government received from selling oil, he could stand up against the United States. It is obvious that his actions were motivated by his role model, Bolivar, but I think his adjustments were to the point and assisted him to gain popularity.

I believe it is very crucial to realize what are the reasons for a social movement and what you want to gain from it but also more importantly how you want to achieve your targets and in my opinion Bolivar knew what he want but did not know how to reach them.

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