This document was written to an English gentleman, most likely the Governor of Jamaica at the time. It is in response to a request that Simon Bolivar expounds his views on the independence movement in Venezuela and the form of government under which the country should operate. To put this document into context, we have inserted some brief analysis [in brackets].
Kingston, Jamaica, September 6, 1815
My dear Sir:
With what a feeling of gratitude I read that passage in your letter in which you say to me: "I hope that the success which then followed Spanish arms may now turn in favor of their adversaries, the badly oppressed people of South America." I take this hope as a prediction, if it is justice that determines man's contests. Success will crown our efforts, because the destiny of America has been decided; the tie that bound her to Spain has been severed...That which formerly bound them now divides them. The hatred that the Peninsula [the Iberian Peninsula upon which Spain is situated] has inspired in us is greater than the ocean between us. It would be easier to have the two continents [Europe and South America] meet than to reconcile the spirits of the two countries. The habit of obedience; a community of interest, of understanding, of religion; mutual goodwill; a tender regard for the birthplace and good name of our forefathers; in short, all that gave rise to our hopes, came to us from Spain [indicating that it was the Spanish heritage of the Venezuelans that not only tied them to Spain in previous years, but now guides them in their desire and right to be independent]…At present the contrary attitude persists: we are threatened with the fear of death, dishonor, and every harm; there is nothing we have not suffered at the hands of that unnatural stepmother-Spain [He sees that mismanagement in Spain of her colonies severs the bonds that once existed]. The veil has been torn asunder. We have already seen the light, and