Bolivarianism is a current of thought inspired by Simón Bolívar. This is characterized by a strong Latin American patriotic sentiment.
Bolivarianism is a particular ideology identified in some Latin American territories. It is based on the life, work and thought of the liberator Simón Bolívar, known for achieving the independence of many Latin American territories from the Kingdom of Spain during the 19th century.
In the XXI century, this current of thought has once again had a great apogee in countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. But this time strongly identified with Marxist-inspired socialism, ideologies after Simón Bolívar.
Who was Simón Bolívar?
To understand what Bolivarianism is inspired by, it is convenient to make a brief review of the figure of Simón Bolívar. This historical figure, of Spanish descent, was born in Venezuela in 1783. He was a politician and military officer in charge of leading the independence processes of some Latin American countries from the Spanish Empire during the first quarter of the 19th century.
After graduating as a military man at the end of the century, he traveled to Spain to continue his training, where he would marry in 1802. Until 1811 he worked as a lawyer, but in that year he again joined the army. During that decade and until the middle of the next, their contests developed. Despite not having high studies of military strategy, he developed the campaigns in which he was involved with success and precision.
He was president of Bolivia, of Greater Colombia, of Venezuela and dictator of Peru. It is a figure that, to this day, arouses much controversy. For some, he was the great architect of independence and current inspiration for Bolivarian movements such as Chavismo. For others, a guerrilla and dictator whose cult of his own person was totally excessive.
Ideology of Bolivarianism
Bolívar’s objective was to create a Latin America under the same flag, the territory of the former totally united and sovereign Spanish Empire. That is why the first ideological trait, and perhaps the strongest, is nationalism and the absolute rejection of any external interference.
Since Hugo Chávez’s victory in the 1998 Venezuelan elections, Bolivarianism has acquired a new dimension. This new development combines Bolívar’s ideas of a free, sovereign Latin America without foreign interference, with Marxism, developed years later.
Thus, the economic system adopted by Bolivarianism is the socialist one, in which the means of production are nationalized, being state property. As a consequence, PDVSA was created for oil management, and a shopping basket is delivered to each family on a monthly basis. There were also numerous expropriations of businesses of all types and sizes. All this focused on creating a socialist country of Bolivarian inspiration.
Similar measures were taken in Evo Morales’ Bolivia and Correa’s Ecuador. Bolivarianism, as an anti-imperialist ideology, has the United States as its great enemy, since it had great power and influence in Latin America and in other parts of the world, economically and militarily supporting numerous Latin forces opposed to socialism. They are also against the sanctioning measures suffered by countries such as North Korea, Cuba or Venezuela.
After this presentation, we can summarize by saying that the Bolivarian ideology has the following features: