Cartagena Manifesto

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The Cartagena Manifesto was written by Simón Bolívar during the Colombian and Venezuelan War of Independence, after the fall of the First Republic, explaining with great detail and precision what he believed to be the causes of this loss. It was written in Cartagena de Indias, on 15 December 1812. This is the first of Bolívar's public documents, which due to his later fame as the "Liberator of five nations," have become quite well known. Prior to this, Bolívar had been an officer in the Venezuelan army; now he was acting on his own. A few months after his arrival in Cartagena, he accepted a commission in the army of the United Provinces of New Granada, which later granted him permission to lead a force to free Venezuela, in what became known as the Admirable Campaign.

The political, economic, social, and natural causes which Bolívar mentioned included:

  • The use of a federal system, which Bolivar considered weak for a time of war
  • Bad administration of the public income by the republican government
  • The earthquake of Caracas of 1812, which worsened the economic and political situation
  • The impossibility of establishing a permanent army due to the intransigence of the general population
  • The opposing influence of the Roman Catholic Church, which clandestinely promoted anti-republican views

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