Independence Day: April 19
Independence Day is a public holiday in Venezuela.
The people of Venezuela commemorate the anniversary of their Declaration of Independence on April 19. The Venezuelan War of Independence was led by General Simón Bolívar.
Venezuela’s independence from Spain was announced on July 5, 1811 while the July 13, 1830 is marked with its separation from Gran Colombia. Its full independence was widely recognized on March 10, 1845. The country’s official name is República Bolivariana de Venezuela (English: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The Declaration of Independence which is a public holiday celebrated on April 19 should be distinguished from the celebration of Independence Day on the 5th of July.
History of Venezuela’s Declaration of Independence
Venezuela has long been part of the Spanish colonial rule starting on 1522. The march for independence intensified when the Spanish Empire fell on the hands of French under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte.
A series of uprising and revolt led to further destabilization of local colonial government rule in Venezuela. One of the personalities in Venezuela’s march to independence was spearheaded by Francisco de Miranda. Miranda declared the country’s independence on July 5, 1811 creating the First Venezuelan Republic. The first republic fell down after natural disasters and civil wars toppled the then government of Venezuela. In an attempt to reestablish the free government of Venezuela, a second Venezuelan republic was created on August 7, 1813.
On June 24, 1821, the Battle of Battle of Carabobo broke out. The war was led by Simón Bolívar with his compatriots José Antonio Páez and Antonio José de Sucre. In the same manner, José Prudencio Padilla and Rafael Urdaneta led a successful revolt in the war against the Spaniards in the Battle of Lake Maracaibo further clearing the way to the independence of Venezuela.
With Bolívar’s success in his call for Venezuela’s independence from Spanish rule, he founded Gran Colombia in 1819, an association of countries in northern portion of South America which includes Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama. Venezuela broke away from Gran Colombia on January 13, 1830 owing to a successful revolt made by Páez in hopes of creating a new and independent state. Stability in terms of independence was not seen until its eventual recognition of independence on March 30 1845.
Venezuela’s Declaration of Independence: Traditions, Customs and Activities
During the holiday, Venezuelans in major cities and towns organize musical and concert events on the street with live performances from local artists. At night, huge fireworks light up the sky of cities and towns.