Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’

SIMON BOLIVAR (1783-1830) South American
Liberator, Statesman

Born in Caracas, Venezuela his astounding career left his imprint on South American politics, a proof of which is Bolivia: Bolivia is named for Bolívar. His first opportunity arrived when a revolt erupted in 1810. Spain already weakened by the Napoleonic Wars could not hold onto its empire. Bolivar had no military experience other than the American War of Independence for model. After a series of military victories Venezuela gained independence (1813), but in the civil war that followed his forces were defeated by a royalist army (1815). Man of daring resolution who, like his hero George Washington had great capacity to bear adversity.

After exile in Jamaica, -he received help from President Alexandre Pétion of Haiti, he returned to lead rebel forces based in Orinoco. In 1819 he defeated the Spanish and established the republic of Greater Colombia, a federation that included present-day Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Ecuador. Further victories in Peru, at Junin and Ayacucho (1824) spelled the end of Spanish rule Peru.
Bolivar was a complex man. Born to privileges and educated abroad( he was present during the coronation of Napoleon) he nurtured a vision of a united South America* which however was never realized. As in the case of Napoleon who carried with him the nationalist ideals in his Italian campaign Bolivar’s victories created various separatist movements. Their parochial outlook made them resent at the grand vision of their liberator. Towards the end he complained thus:’Those of us who have toiled for liberty in South America have but plowed the sea.’ In 1830 Bolívar resigned as president of Greater Colombia in 1830, just months before dying from tuberculosis. Unlike his hero who died a man venerated by all he died penniless.
Note:* Pan Americanism
Bolívar had a dream of uniting all South American, Central American and Caribbean countries and turning them into a single, economically independent country, which he had planned to name Estados Unidos de Latinoamérica, or The United States of Latin America. There was a meeting(1826)in Panama by Latin American presidents and governors to discuss this and rejected by only one vote.
While in Paris, Bolivar met Alexander von Humboldt, the great naturalist who had just returned after five years in South America. As von Humboldt spoke of the enormous natural resources and wonders of the continent, Bolivar remarked, “In truth, what a brilliant fate–that of the New World, if only its people were freed of their yoke.”

Von Humboldt responded, “I believe that your country is ready for its independence. But I can not see the man who is to achieve it.” It was a fateful comment Bolivar was to vividly recall the rest of his life.(Gerhard Masur: Simon Bolivar p.37/Albuquerque-University of New Mexico Press.1948)


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Color of Religion
Is there a color to code religion as founded by a prophet and organized by his disciples?
The purity of a vision seen from the unconscious mind has to be translated by the rational mind. Prophet can only approximate rationally what is revealed in the other. To compound the confusion it has to dictated to one. From there how a prophet’s teachings are translated by his scribe or faithfuls into an order is anybody’s guess. It is neither white nor is it black but gray.
Of this I had touched upon in the concluding part of the Silk Road and Via Appia.

Mexican Americans who are living in the south-western border states of America may be citizens of the U.S.A but they trace their origins to Mexico; pattern of belief-systems as it is impressed in them goes still deeper. The Roman Catholic beliefs were imposed on the New World by force and coercion some 500 years ago; These serve now as the basic religion in Mexico. It did not mean that the Mexicans could not work from within. The result is obvious.The policy of the Church in the sixties was to Americanize these people. But it was not much of a success. The Church found that whenever the priests offered masses in other than Spanish the flock tended to go to other churches where Masses were in Spanish.
In Haiti the Church was first associated with the Francophile elite, and which by 1940’s became identified with African values. Naturally a reconciliation with voodoo was inevitable. The Masses are now sung in Creole accompanied by voodoo drums. Devotion of the celebrants see no distinction between the Christian, Indian or African spirits which are merely lubricants that smoothen their daily grind of living. No Church can hope to establish dogmas per se and expect it to be held pure. It is people who give its vitality to beliefs and in the process it is transmuted into something unforeseen by the founder of the Religion himself.
Fools stone nevertheless some because of blasphemy or impiety. Or it may be for breaking the oath. In some cases these fools burn with lot of mumbo jumbo attached to it. Grand Inquisitor and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem alike can rest. If we pee on the clod of the earth neither will know the difference. They have become one with earth where no infidels or believers, arami or kaffirs exist. The peace that they feel can only matched by worms that specialize on dead bodies.

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