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PDF Celebrates the 200th anniversary of Bolivar’s arrival in Jamaica

Press Releases — May 14, 2015

The PetroCaribe Development Fund (PDF) joins in celebrating the 200th anniversary of “the Liberator”, Simon Bolivar’s arrival in Jamaica on May 9, 1815. We regard this visit as significant in that it was while in Jamaica, Bolivar penned his seminal work in the now famous “Carta de la Jamaica” (Jamaica Letter), highlighting his passion for the independence of the then Spanish South American colonies and the unification of the Americas.

Bolivar’s visit to the United States in 1804 spurred his reflection on the differences between this newly independent nation and Spain’s South American colonies. His desire for liberation fueled his drive to join in revolts against Spanish rule in Venezuela in 1810, which resulted in the seizure of Caracas and the declaration of independence from Spain. However, Bolivar and his loyalists were overthrown by pro-Spanish forces in 1814 forcing him to go into exile in Jamaica.

While in the island, Bolivar was reportedly asked to explain political developments underway in the South American colonies. He used this opportunity to extensively describe the history of the region and explore his own ideas for their future politically. This treatise is now known as the Jamaica Letter.

Jamaica is proud of the historical fact that this document is regarded as one of the era’s most significant political document which influenced the course of Latin American history. This incipient link between Jamaica and Venezuela from the 1800’s culminated in the deepening of relations between Venezuela and the region, a manifestation of which is embodied in the PetroCaribe Agreement, a brainchild of the late Hugo Chavez.

The benefits of this Agreement redound to the Government and people of Jamaica and we wholeheartedly join in the celebration of Bolivar’s arrival which signaled the beginning of a long and historically beneficial relationship between Venezuela and the Caribbean region.

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