'''Simón Bolívar''' (1783 - 1830) was a rather notable man from the Spanish colony of {{UsefulNotes/Venezuela}}. Inspired by the ideals of the [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution American]] and [[TheFrenchRevolution French]] Revolutions, he decided to win independence for much of Spanish South America.[[note]]It's worth noting that after {{NapoleonBonaparte}} invaded Spain, most of Spain's South American colonies declared they were still loyal to the Spanish king and set up temporary governments. Then people had the idea of just becoming completely independent.[[/note]] He then essentially did to the lands that are now the countries of Venezuela, Columbia, {{UsefulNotes/Panama}}, {{UsefulNotes/Ecuador}}, Peru, and {{UsefulNotes/Bolivia}} (which was named in his honor in 1825) what GeorgeWashington only did to one country. It was a [[WarIsHell very bloody war]] for independence, with a lot of rather nasty things done by [[GreyAndGreyMorality both sides]]. Still, Bolívar was a great general who managed to keep the war raging and won a number of impressive victories.

Bolívar thought that a republic like the one in the United States [[DemocracyIsBad would not end well]] in the brutal world of South America (he once even said that the people suffered from "triple yoke of ignorance, tyranny, and vice").[[note]]To be fair, the British colonies in North America were allowed to essentially rule themselves and elect their own rulers, something the Spanish colonies never experienced, and that is why he thought it was better suited up there.[[/note]] He was President of a union of much of these colonies known as Gran Columbia from 1819 until 1830. At one point he was declared dictator for life, but he never intended to actually rule for his entire life. Indeed, he resigned several months before his death at the relatively young age of 47. The new country, spread over a wide area and separated by geographical features like the Andes Mountains, was held together very loosely during Bolívar's lifetime, and it fell apart not long after he died. Some people would be surprised by how ahead of his time Bolívar was on some issues - for example, one of his most important goals was eliminating slavery in the region, and succeeded, even though he came from a slaveholder family (compared to, say, UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson). He also believed that the role of a government was only to protect the rights of its citizens.

HugoChavez believed that he was assassinated by traitors and had scientists dig up his remains and test him for arsenic poisoning. While they said it ''might'' have been possible that he had some traces of arsenic, there's little chance that he was poisoned.

He's pretty beloved throughout much of South America, where he is widely known as ''[[FounderOfTheKingdom El Libertador]]''. There are [[OurFounder statues of him]] in just about every city in the area he helped free. As mentioned earlier, Bolivia is named after him, making him one of the few people in history to have the honor of being a country's namesake.

There is a square named after him in every city of Venezuela.