It Has Been Independent For 206 Years

"Contrary to popular belief, Hugo Chávez did not liberate Venezuela — at least not the first time," says South America specialist Chris Moss. Simón Bolvar, of course, was the tub-thumping proponent of the bolivariana revolution.

In August 1806, Francisco de Miranda, a dashing Venezuelan expatriate, landed with a force of 500 largely British and American volunteers from Barbados (where he had sought the advice of British Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane). Their quest for independence was put down by Spanish loyalists, but it resulted in the creation of a flag.

The First Venezuelan Republic
was founded in 1810 by a group of Caracas Creoles led by Simón Bolvar. On April 19, 1810, the colonial officials were ousted, and independence was declared on July 5, 1811. Venezuela was the first country in the region to revolt against Spanish rule, but the conflict lasted until 1823.

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