A political spectrum is a system of classifying different political positions upon one or more geometric axes that represent independent political dimensions. Most long-standing spectra include a left wing, which referred to seating arrangements in the French parliament after the Revolution. On a left–right spectrum and socialism are regarded internationally as being on the left, Liberalism can mean different things in different contexts: sometimes on the left; those with an intermediate outlook are sometimes classified as centrists. That said and neoliberals are called centrists too. Politics that rejects the conventional left–right spectrum is known as syncretic politics, though the label tends to mischaracterize positions that have a logical location on a two-axis spectrum because they seem randomly brought together on a one-axis left-right spectrum. Political scientists have noted that a single left–right axis is insufficient for describing the existing variation in political beliefs and include other axes.
Though the descriptive words at polar opposites may vary in popular biaxial spectra the axes are split between socio-cultural issues and economic issues, each scaling from some form of individualism to some form of communitarianism. The terms right and left refer to political affiliations originating early in the French Revolutionary era of 1789–1799 and referred to the seating arrangements in the various legislative bodies of France; as seen from the Speaker's seat at the front of the Assembly, the aristocracy sat on the right and the commoners sat on the left, hence the terms right-wing politics and left-wing politics. The defining point on the ideological spectrum was the Ancien Régime. "The Right" thus implied support for aristocratic or royal interests and the church, while "The Left" implied support for republicanism and civil liberties. Because the political franchise at the start of the revolution was narrow, the original "Left" represented the interests of the bourgeoisie, the rising capitalist class.
Support for laissez-faire commerce and free markets were expressed by politicians sitting on the left because these represented policies favorable to capitalists rather than to the aristocracy, but outside parliamentary politics these views are characterized as being on the Right. The reason for this apparent contradiction lies in the fact that those "to the left" of the parliamentary left, outside official parliamentary structures represent much of the working class, poor peasantry and the unemployed, their political interests in the French Revolution lay with opposition to the aristocracy and so they found themselves allied with the early capitalists. However, this did not mean that their economic interests lay with the laissez-faire policies of those representing them politically; as capitalist economies developed, the aristocracy became less relevant and were replaced by capitalist representatives. The size of the working class increased as capitalism expanded and began to find expression through trade unionist, socialist and communist politics rather than being confined to the capitalist policies expressed by the original "left".
This evolution has pulled parliamentary politicians away from laissez-faire economic policies, although this has happened to different degrees in different countries those with a history of issues with more authoritarian-left countries, such as the Soviet Union or China under Mao Zedong. Thus the word "Left" in American political parlance may refer to "liberalism" and be identified with the Democratic Party, whereas in a country such as France these positions would be regarded as more right-wing, or centrist overall, "left" is more to refer to "socialist" or "social-democratic" positions rather than "liberal" ones. For a century, social scientists have considered the problem of how best to describe political variation. In 1950, Leonard W. Ferguson analyzed political values using ten scales measuring attitudes toward: birth control, capital punishment, communism, law, theism, treatment of criminals and war. Submitting the results to factor analysis, he was able to identify three factors, which he named religionism and nationalism.
He defined religionism as belief in God and negative attitudes toward birth control. This system was derived empirically, as rather than devising a political model on purely theoretical grounds and testing it, Ferguson's research was exploratory; as a result of this method, care must be taken in the interpretation of Ferguson's three factors, as factor analysis will output an abstract factor whether an objectively real factor exists or not. Although replication of the nationalism factor was inconsistent, the finding of religionism and humanitarianism had a number of replications by Ferguson and others. Shortly afterward, Hans Eysenck began researching political attitudes in Great Britain, he believed that there was something similar about the National Socialists on the one hand and the communists on the other, despite their opposite positions on the left–right axis. As Hans Eysenck described in his 1956 book Sense and
Politics of Cuba
Cuba has had a communist political system since 1959 based on the "one state – one party" principle. Cuba is constitutionally defined as a Marxist–Leninist socialist state guided by the political ideas of Karl Marx, one of the fathers of historical materialism, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Lenin; the present Constitution ascribes the role of the Communist Party of Cuba to be the "leading force of society and of the state" and as such has the capability of setting national policy. The most recent leader was Raúl Castro, who held the title of First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba; as of 2018 Miguel Díaz-Canel is now the president of Cuba. Executive power is exercised by the Government, represented by the Council of State and the Council of Ministers. Legislative power is exercised through the unicameral National Assembly of People's Power, constituted as the maximum authority of the state. With effect from 19 April 2018, Miguel Díaz-Canel is President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers.
The previous president, Raúl Castro — brother of former leader Fidel Castro — remains First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces. Fidel Castro ruled from 1959 to 2006. Esteban Lazo Hernández is President of the National Assembly. Executive power is exercised by the government; until February 2008, Cuba was led by President Fidel Castro, Chief of State, Head of Government, Prime Minister, First Secretary, Commander in Chief of the Cuban armed forces. The Ministry of Interior is the principal organ of state control. According to the Cuban Constitution Article 94, the First Vice President of the Council of State assumes presidential duties upon the illness or death of the President. On July 31, 2006, during the 2006 Cuban transfer of duties, Fidel Castro delegated his duties as President of the Council of state, first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party and the post of commander in chief of the armed forces to first Vice President Raúl Castro.
Cuba has an elected national legislature, the National Assembly of People's Power, which has 612 members, elected every 5 years and holds brief sessions to ratify decisions by the executive branch. The National Assembly convenes twice a year in ordinary periods of sessions. However, it has permanent commissions to look after issues of legislative interest. Among its permanent or temporary commissions are those in charge of issues concerning the economy, sugar industry, industries and communications, foreign affairs, public health and interior order; the National Assembly has permanent departments that oversee the work of the Commissions, Local Assemblies of the People's Power, International Relations, Judicial Affairs and the Administration. Article 88 of the Constitution of Cuba, adopted in 1976, provides for citizen proposals of law, prerequisite that the proposal be made by at least 10,000 citizens who are eligible to vote. In 2002 supporters of a movement known as the Varela Project submitted a citizen proposal of law with 11,000 signatures calling for a national referendum on political and economic reforms.
The Government response was to collect 8.1 million signatures to request that Cuba's National Assembly enact a constitutional amendment making socialism an unalterable feature of Cuban government. The Committees for the Defense of the Revolution is a network of neighborhood organizations across Cuba and most Cubans are members; the organizations are designed to put medical, educational or other campaigns into national effect, to report "counter-revolutionary" activity. It is the duty of the CDR officials to know the activities of each person in their respective blocks. Suffrage is non-compulsory and is afforded to Cuban citizens who have resided for two years on the island; such citizens must be aged over sixteen years, must not have been found guilty of a criminal offense, cannot be mentally handicapped. Cubans living abroad are denied the right to vote; the national elections for the 612 members of the National Assembly of People's Power are held according to this system and the precepts of the 1976 Constitution.
Under the system, neighbors meet to propose the candidates to the Municipal Assemblies. The candidates do not present a political platform, but only their resumes; the municipal candidates elected in each neighborhood elect the Municipal Assembly members. In turn, the Municipal Assembly members elect the Provincial Assembly members, who in turn elect the national Assembly members. A direct vote is cast to decide whether the decanted members that appear in the final step need to be ratified. Cuba is a single-party state. Other political parties than Communist Party of Cuba are illegal First Secretary: Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz Second Secretary: José Ramón Machado Ventura Members of Politburo: Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz, José Ramón Machado Ventura, Ramiro Valdés Menéndez, Abelardo Colomé Ibarra, Esteban Lazo Hernández, Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez Mario, Leopoldo Cintra Frías, Ramón Espinosa Martín, Álvaro Lopez Miera, Salvador Valdés Mesa, Mercedes López Acea, Marino Murillo Jorge, Adel Yzquierdo Rodríguez.
Members of Secretariat: José Ramón Machado Ventura, Esteban Lazo Hernández, Abelardo Álvarez Gil, José Ramón Balaguer Cabrera, Víctor Gaute López, Olga Lidia Tapia Iglesias. President: Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez First Vice President: Salvador Valdés Mesa Vice Presidents: Abelardo Colomé Ibarra, Ramiro Valdés Menéndez, Juan Esteban Lazo Hernández, Gladys María Bejerano Portela, José Ramón Machado Ventura Secretary: Homero Acosta Álvarez President: Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez Firs
Christian socialism is a form of religious socialism based on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Many Christian socialists believe capitalism to be idolatrous and rooted in greed, which some Christian denominations consider a mortal sin. Christian socialists identify the cause of inequality to be the greed that they associate with capitalism. Christian socialism became a major movement in the United Kingdom beginning in the 19th century; the Christian Socialist Movement, since 2013 known as Christians on the Left, is one formal group. Other earlier figures are viewed as Christian socialists, such as the nineteenth century writers Frederick Denison Maurice, John Ruskin, Charles Kingsley, Thomas Hughes, Frederick James Furnivall, Adin Ballou, Francis Bellamy. Elements that would form the basis of Christian socialism are found in the New Testaments. Old Testament had divided perspectives on the issue of poverty. One part of the Jewish tradition held that poverty was judgment of God upon the wicked while viewing prosperity as a reward for the good, stating that "The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want".
However, there are other sections. The Torah instructs followers to treat neighbours and to be generous to have nots, such as stating: You shall not oppress your neighbour...but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner therefore; when you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again... When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward. You shall remember. Rescue the weak and the needy, he has distributed he has given to the poor. The prophet Isaiah to whom is attributed the first thirty-nine chapters of the Book of Isaiah, followed upon Amos' themes of justice and righteousness involving the poor as necessary for followers of God, denouncing those who do not do these things, stating: Even though you make many prayers, I will not listen. Many have come to ruin because of gold, their destruction has met them face to face.
It is a stumbling block to those who are devoted to it, every fool will be taken captive by it The most important quote of the Old Testament, recognized by Christian socialists is the verse from Ecclesiastes 3:13 that describes God as promoting an egalitarian society, stating: It is God's gift to humankind that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil In the New Testament, Jesus in Matthew 25:31–46 identifies himself with the hungry, the poor, the sick, the prisoners. Matthew 25:31–46 is a major component of Christianity and is considered the cornerstone of Christian socialism. Another key statement in the New Testament, an important component of Christian socialism is Luke 10:25–37 that follows the statement "You shall love your neighbour as yourself" with the question "And, my neighbour?", in the Parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus gives the revolutionary response that the neighbour includes anyone in need people we might be expected to shun. In the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus says, "Blessed are you poor.
Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied". Christian socialists note that James the Just, the brother of Jesus of Nazareth, in the Epistle of James criticizes the rich intensely and in strong language: Come now, you rich and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up for treasure for the last days. Behold, the wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you have kept back by fraud, cry out. You have lived in pleasure.
United States embargo against Cuba
The United States imposes a commercial and financial embargo against Cuba. The United States first imposed an embargo on the sale of arms to Cuba on March 14, 1958, during the Fulgencio Batista regime. Again on October 19, 1960 the U. S. placed an embargo on exports to Cuba except for food and medicine after Cuba nationalized American-owned Cuban oil refineries without compensation. On February 7, 1962 the embargo was extended to include all exports; as of 2018, the Cuban embargo is enforced through six statutes: the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Cuban Assets Control Regulations of 1963, the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, the Helms–Burton Act of 1996, the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000. The stated purpose of the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 is to maintain sanctions on Cuba as long as the Cuban government refuses to move toward "democratization and greater respect for human rights"; the Helms–Burton Act further restricted United States citizens from doing business in or with Cuba, mandated restrictions on giving public or private assistance to any successor government in Havana unless and until certain claims against the Cuban government were met.
In 1999 President Bill Clinton expanded the trade embargo by disallowing foreign subsidiaries of U. S. companies to trade with Cuba. In 2000 Clinton authorized the sale of "humanitarian" U. S. products to Cuba. In Cuba the embargo is called el bloqueo, "the blockade". Despite the term bloqueo, there has been no physical naval blockade of the country by the United States since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962; the United States does not block Cuba's trade with third parties: other countries are not under the jurisdiction of U. S. domestic laws, such as the Cuban Democracy Act. Cuba can, does, conduct international trade with many third-party countries. Beyond criticisms of human rights in Cuba, the United States holds $6 billion worth of financial claims against the Cuban government; the pro-embargo position is that the U. S. embargo is, in part, an appropriate response to these unaddressed claims. The Latin America Working Group argues that pro-embargo Cuban-American exiles, whose votes are crucial in the U.
S. state of Florida, have swayed many politicians to adopt views similar to their own. Some business leaders, including James E. Perrella, Dwayne O. Andreas, Peter Blyth, have opposed the Cuban-American views, arguing that trading would be good for Cuba and the United States; as of 2018, the embargo, which limits American businesses from conducting trade with Cuban interests, remains in effect and is the most enduring trade embargo in modern history. Despite the existence of the embargo, the United States is the fifth-largest exporter to Cuba. Cuba must, pay cash for all imports, as credit is not allowed; the UN General Assembly has, since 1992, passed a resolution every year condemning the ongoing impact of the embargo and declaring it in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law. In 2014, out of the 193-nation assembly, 188 countries voted for the nonbinding resolution, the United States and Israel voted against and the Pacific Island nations Palau, Marshall Islands and Micronesia abstained.
Human-rights groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have been critical of the embargo. Critics of the embargo say that the embargo laws are too harsh, citing the fact that violations can result in up to 10 years in prison; the United States imposed an arms embargo on Cuba on March 14, 1958 during the armed conflict between rebels led by Fidel Castro and the Fulgencio Batista regime. The armed conflict violated U. S. policy which had permitted the sale of weapons to Latin-American countries that were a part of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance as long as they were not used for hostile purposes. The arms embargo had more of an impact on Batista than the rebels. After the Castro socialist government came to power on January 1, 1959, Castro made overtures to the United States, but was rebuffed by the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration, which by March began making plans to help overthrow him. Congress did not want to lift the embargo.
In May 1960, the Cuban government began to purchase regular armaments from the Soviet Union, citing the US arms embargo. In July 1960, the United States reduced the import quota of brown sugar from Cuba to 700,000 tons, under the Sugar Act of 1948. In October 1960 a key incident occurred, Eisenhower's government refused to export oil to the island, leaving Cuba reliant on Soviet crude oil, that the American companies in Cuba refused to refine; this led the Cuban government to nationalize all three American-owned oil refineries in the nation as response. The refinery owners were not compensated for the nationalization of their property; the refineries became part of Unión Cuba-Petróleo. This prompted the Eisenhower administration to launch the first trade embargo—a prohibition against selling all products to Cuba except food and medicine; the Cuban regime responded with
Elections in Cuba
Elections in Cuba involve nomination of municipal candidates by voters in nomination assemblies, nomination of provincial and national candidates by candidacy commissions, voting by secret ballot, recall elections. Cuba is a one-party state with the Communist Party of Cuba as the "leading force of society and of the state" under the national constitution, although elections are nominally non-partisan; the nature of the political participation in Cuba has fostered discussion among political writers and philosophers. Since Cuba became a one-party republic, the country's political system has been condemned by opposition groups, human rights groups, foreign Western governments as undemocratic, a dictatorship or an authoritarian or totalitarian state, with all public elections considered to be only show elections. Although the media is operated under supervision by the Party's Department of Revolutionary Orientation, which "develops and coordinates propaganda strategies", the Cuban government contends that the system is democratic.
Some observers say the same, describing it as a "grassroots", a "centralized", or a "revolutionary democracy". Fidel Castro was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011, was in power first as Prime Minister and as President, from 1959 until 2008. Castro's brother Raúl Castro was designated Fidel's successor at 5th Communist Party congress in October 1997. Fidel Castro retired on 19 April 2011, leaving his brother as the sole candidate for First Secretary. According to the constitution, Cuba is a socialist republic where all members or representative bodies of state power are elected and subject to recall and the masses control the activity of the state agencies, the deputies and officials. Elections in Cuba have two phases: election of delegates to the Municipal Assembly, election of deputies to the Provincial and National Assemblies. Candidates for municipal assemblies are nominated on an individual basis at local levels by the local population at nomination assemblies.
Candidates for provincial assemblies and the National Assembly are nominated by the municipal assemblies from lists compiled by national and municipal candidacy commissions. Suggestions for nominations are made at all levels by mass organizations, trade unions, people's councils, student federations; the final list of candidates for the National Assembly, one for each district, is drawn up by the National Candidacy Commission. Anyone older than 16 other than those mentally incapacitated, imprisoned, or deprived of their political rights can vote and be nominated to these posts. No political parties are permitted to campaign. Instead, voters can consult candidates' photographs posted on public locations. All elections take place by secret ballot. Suffrage is afforded to Cuban citizens resident for two years on the island who are aged over sixteen years and who have not been found guilty of a criminal offense; the election of municipal assembly delegates involves nomination by voters in nomination assemblies, compilation of posting of candidate biographies, voting by secret ballot, recall.
Municipal assemblies are elected a half years. Municipal elections are non-partisan. Nomination assemblies are held about a month before the election in areas within the electoral districts. During regular elections, from 70% to over 90% of the electorate attend the nomination assemblies. Municipal candidates must be at least 16 years old. In elections held on 21 October 2007, turnout was reported to be 8.1 million voters 95% of the population eligible to vote, less than the last such election on April 17, 2005, where voter turnout was 97%. Elections were held in 2010 and 2013. Municipal candidacy commissions submit nominations for provincial delegates to provincial candidacy commissions; the provincial candidacy commissions produce the final list of provincial assembly candidates. Cuba's national legislature, the National Assembly of People's Power, has 609 members who sit for five-year terms. Members of the National Assembly represent multiple-member constituencies, with one Deputy for each 20,000 inhabitants.
Candidates for the National Assembly are chosen by candidacy commissions chaired by local trade union officials and composed of elected representatives of "mass organisations" representing workers, women and farmers. The provincial and municipal candidacy commissions submit nominations to the National Candidacy Commission; the municipal candidacy commissions produce slates of recommended candidates for each electoral district submit nominations for candidates that are municipal delegates, first submit their nominations to their municipal assembly who may approve or replace nominations. The final list of candidates for the National Assembly, one for each district, is drawn up by the National Candidacy Commission, taking into account criteria such as candidates’ popularity, patriotism, ethical values and “revolutionary history.” At least half of the National Assembly candidates selected must have been elected as delegates to these assemblies. Although there is only one candidate per seat, candidates must, in theory, obtain the support of 50% of voters to be elected.
If a candidate were to fails to gain 50% of the vote, a new candidate would have to be chosen. However, this has never occurred. Elections to the National Assembly were held on 24 February 2008. According to the Cuban Ministry of External Affairs, at the October 2002 electio
Christian humanism regards humanist principles like universal human dignity and individual freedom and the primacy of human happiness as essential and principal components of the teachings of Jesus, explicitly emerged during the Renaissance with strong roots in the patristic period. Major forces shaping the development of Christian humanism was the Christian doctrine that God, in the form of Jesus Christ became human in order to redeem humanity, the further injunction for the participating human collective to act out the life of Christ. Many of these ideas had emerged among the patristics, would develop into Christian humanism in the late 15th century, through which the ideals of "common humanity, universal reason, personhood, human rights, human emancipation and progress, indeed the notion of secularity are unthinkable without their Christian humanistic roots." Though there is a common association of humanism with agnosticism and atheism in popular culture, this association developed in the 20th century and non-humanistic forms of agnosticism and atheism have long existed.
The initial distinguishing factor between Christian humanism and other varieties of humanism is that Christian humanists not only discussed religious or theological issues in some or all their works but according to Charles Nauert. More important, they associated their scholarly work with a determination to bring about a spiritual renewal and institutional reform of Christian society; that connection between their scholarly efforts and their longing for spiritual and institutional renewal is the specific characteristic that distinguishes “Christian humanists” as a group from other humanists who just happened to be religious." Christian humanism originated towards the end of the 15th century with the early work of figures such as Jakob Wimpfeling, John Colet, Thomas More and would go on to dominate much of the thought in the first half of the 16th century with the emergence of influential Renaissance and humanistic intellectual figures like Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples and Erasmus, who would become the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance.
These scholars used much of their intellectual work towards reforming the church and reviving spiritual life through humanist education, were critical of the corruption they saw in the Church and ecclesiastical life. They would combine the greatest morals in the pre-Christian moral philosophers, such as Cicero and Seneca with Christian interpretations deriving from study of the Bible and Church Fathers. Although the first humanists did little to orient their intellectual work towards reforming the church and reviving spiritual life through humanist education, the first pioneering signs and practices of this idea emerged with Jakob Wimpfeling, a Renaissance humanist and theologian. Wimpfeling was critical of ecclessiastical patronage and criticized the moral corruption of many clergymen, his timidity stopped him from converting his work from speech to action for fear of controversy. Though he loved reading many of the classics of the writings of classical antiquity, he feared introducing them to mainstream Christianity and sought to use the works of the Latin Church Fathers and a few Christian poets from the Late Roman Empire towards creating a new form of education that would provide church leaders educated in Christian religion, prominent Church authors and a few important classical writings and hence improve Christnedom's condition.
John Colet was another major figure in early Christian humanism, exerting much more cultural influence than his older contemporary, Jakob Wimpfeling. Being attracted to Neoplatonic philosophers like Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola and gaining an appreciation for humanistic methods of analyzing texts and developing detailed ideas and principles regarding them, he used this humnanistic method and begun giving it a biblical applications to the epistles of Paul the Apostle. In 1505, he completed his doctorate in theology, became a dean at St. Paul's Cathedral. From there, he used his fortune to found near the cathedral St Paul's School for boys; the school was humanistic, both in its teaching of Latin and moral preparation of its students, as well as its recruitment of prominent humanists to recommend and compose new textbooks for it. The best Christian authors were taught, as well as a handful of pagan texts, his restrictions on the teaching of other classical texts was seen as anti-humanistic and reverted by the schools headmasters.
After his death, his school at St. Paul's would become an influential humanistic school, he was critical of many church leaders. Colet failed to recognize the importance of mastering Greek when it came to application of humanistic methods to biblical texts, which would be the greatest strength of the work of Erasmus. Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples was, alongside Erasmus, the first of the great Christian humanists to see the importance of integrating Christian learning, in both the patristics and biblical writings, with many of the best intellectual achievements of ancient civilizations and classical thought, he was educated in the University of Paris and began studying Greek under George Hermonymus due to his interest in contemporary cultural changes in Italy. He taught humanities as Paris and, among his earliest scholarly wo
Simón José Antonio de la cruz Santa maria Trinidad Bolívar Palacios Ponte y Blanco known as Simón Bolívar and colloquially as El Libertador, or the Liberator, was a Venezuelan military and political leader who led the secession of what are the states of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Panama from the Spanish Empire. Bolívar was born into a wealthy, aristocratic Criollo family and, as was common for the heirs of upper-class families in his day, was sent to be educated abroad at a young age, arriving in Spain when he was 16 and moving to France. While in Europe, he was introduced to the ideas of the Enlightenment, which motivated him to overthrow the reigning Spanish in colonial South America. Taking advantage of the disorder in Spain prompted by the Peninsular War, Bolívar began his campaign for independence in 1808; the campaign for the independence of New Granada was consolidated with the victory at the Battle of Boyacá on 7 August 1819. He established an organized national congress within three years.
Despite a number of hindrances, including the arrival of an unprecedentedly large Spanish expeditionary force, the revolutionaries prevailed, culminating in the patriot victory at the Battle of Carabobo in 1821, which made Venezuela an independent country. Following this triumph over the Spanish monarchy, Bolívar participated in the foundation of the first union of independent nations in Latin America, Gran Colombia, of which he was president from 1819 to 1830. Through further military campaigns, he ousted Spanish rulers from Ecuador and Bolivia, the last of, named after him, he was president of Gran Colombia and Bolivia, but soon after his second-in-command, Antonio José de Sucre, was appointed president of Bolivia. Bolívar aimed at a strong and united Spanish America able to cope not only with the threats emanating from Spain and the European Holy Alliance but with the emerging power of the United States. At the peak of his power, Bolívar ruled over a vast territory from the Argentine border to the Caribbean Sea.
Bolívar fought 472 battles of which 79 were important ones, during his campaigns rode on horseback 123,000 kilometers, 10 times more than Hannibal, three times more than Napoleon, twice as much as Alexander the Great. Bolívar is viewed as a national icon in much of modern South America, is considered one of the great heroes of the Hispanic independence movements of the early 19th century, along with José de San Martín, Francisco de Miranda and others. Towards the end of his life, Bolívar despaired of the situation in his native region, with the famous quote "all who served the revolution have plowed the sea". In an address to the Constituent Congress of the Republic of Colombia, Bolívar stated "Fellow citizens! I blush to say this: Independence is the only benefit we have acquired, to the detriment of all the rest." The surname Bolívar originated with aristocrats from La Puebla de Bolívar, a small village in the Basque Country of Spain. Bolívar's father came from the female line of the Ardanza family.
His maternal grandmother was descended from families from the Canary Islands. The Bolívars settled in Venezuela in the 16th century. Bolívar's first South American ancestor was Simón de Bolívar, who lived and worked in Santo Domingo from 1559 to 1560 and where his son Simón de Bolívar y Castro was born; when the governor was reassigned to Venezuela by the Spanish Crown in 1569, Simón de Bolívar went with him. As an early settler in Spain's Venezuela Province, he became prominent in the local society, he and his descendants were granted estates and positions in the local cabildo; when Caracas Cathedral was built in 1569, the Bolívar family had one of the first dedicated side chapels. The majority of the wealth of Simón de Bolívar's descendants came from the estates; the most important was a sugar plantation with an encomienda that provided the labor needed to run the estate. Another portion of the Bolívars' wealth came from silver and copper mines. Small gold deposits were first mined in Venezuela in 1669, leading to the discovery of much more extensive copper deposits.
From his mother's side, Bolívar inherited the Aroa copper mines at Cocorote. Native American and African slaves provided the majority of the labor in these mines. Toward the end of the 17th century, copper mining became so prominent in Venezuela that the metal became known as cobre Caracas. Many of the mines became the property of the Bolívar family. Bolívar's grandfather, Juan de Bolívar y Martínez de Villegas, paid 22,000 ducats to the monastery at Santa Maria de Montserrat in 1728 for a title of nobility, granted by King Philip V of Spain for its maintenance; the crown never issued the patent of nobility, so the purchase became the subject of lawsuits that were still in progress during Bolívar's lifetime, when independence from Spain made the point moot. Bolívar devoted his personal fortune to the revolution. Having been one of the wealthiest persons within the Spanish American world at the beginning of the revolution, he died in poverty. Simón Bolívar was born in a house in Caracas, Captaincy General of Venezuela, on 24 July 1783.
He was baptized as Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios. His mother was María de la Concepción Palacios y Blanco, and