JIS News

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government, who are signatories to the PetroCaribe Agreement, will meet in Montego Bay on September 6, to commemorate the legacy and vision of South American Liberator Simon Bolivar.
Prime Minister P.J Patterson, who made the announcement during a press briefing at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Rose Hall early Wednesday morning (Aug. 24), after a series of bilateral talks with visiting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, said the event would commemorate the 190th year since the liberator penned the now famous ‘Letter from Jamaica’.
Prime Minister Patterson said the meeting, which would include heads of all countries, which signed the PetroCaribe Agreement at Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela on June 29, would facilitate a range of discussions on matters of regional concern and to reaffirm the commitment to self reliance and regional integration.
Meanwhile, President Chavez paid homage to the vision of the South American Liberator, whose mission was, “create in this part of the world, a single nation, a strong nation, that will reestablish the balance with the older parts of the world.”
Born in 1793 in Caracas, Venezuela, to wealthy parents who died when he was nine years old, Simon Bolivar dedicated his life to the independence of the then Spanish colonies and the dream of Latin American unity.
In 1810, Bolivar, as a 27-year-old military officer, joined with a group who inspired revolts against Spanish rule in Venezuela. Together they seized Caracas and declared independence from Spain.
They were, however, overthrown by royalist forces in 1814 and Bolivar went into exile in Jamaica for close to one year. While in Jamaica, Simon Bolivar wrote the now famous ‘Letter from Jamaica’ in which he expressed his ideas for republican government and Latin American unity.
Widely recognized as an important political doctrine, the letter was actually titled, ‘Reply of a South American to a Gentleman of this Island’. It was Bolivar’s lengthy response to a letter he had received from an unnamed Jamaican, who empathized with Bolivar’s struggle for South American liberation and indicated a desire to learn more about the politics and people of each South American province.
Specifically, the Jamaican gentleman asked Bolivar to explain such technicalities as whether each province desired a monarchy or a republic or to form one unified republic or one single monarchy. This sparked the Spanish American patriot and general to launch into his treatise,