ON THURSDAY June 24, 2021, on the 200th anniversary of the victory at Carabobo in 1821 during the Venezuelan War for Independence, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Minister of Education Curtis King, brought fraternal greetings from the government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, to the government and people of Venezuela.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves was unavoidably absent due to he having to participate in the ALBA TCP meeting of member nations, and other official functions in Venezuela.
The executive secretary of ALBA TCP Comrade Lorente, in a social media post, described the ALBA TCP as “An Alliance for life and for independence.”
Delivering the feature address at the ceremony to mark the 200th anniversary of the victory at Carabobo, Minister Curtis King described Comrade Lorente’s statement as, “Not only a bold and assertive pronouncement; it is a statement that is pregnant with meaning and desire.”
Minister King pointed out that for the Executive Secretary to make such a profound statement is a direct consequence of the battle of Carabobo.
“I say this because we must always place within context the present day events, our present day experiences, and our current efforts at development within that historical context to truly appreciate what we need to do to truly and meaningfully achieve the objectives that we desire.”
King told the gathering at the Embassy of Venezuela at Ratho Mill, that the victory of the Battle of Carabobo marked the beginning of the end of Spanish domination in Latin America, adding, “It marked the beginning of the end of Spanish colonialism in Venezuela, and Latin America. It created the conditions for the successful campaign for the independence for Venezuela, and Latin America.”
However he then delivered a sombre warning.
“I do not want us to get carried away with the success at face value of this important event. Because unfortunately, it did not; that is to say the independence that derived from this battle for Venezuela and the Latin American countries did not result in the true liberation of the people of Venezuela and Latin America.”
He pointed to several factors for the lack of success in the liberation of the people of Latin America, after such a glorious start, as evidence by the Battle of Carabobo.
“Very often those who critique these events, always start with the leadership,” King went on to state. “Clearly what we recognised today was the absence of unity among the leaders in the real sense of the word.
“What we recognise is that despite the clear and guiding philosophy of some of the leaders, none more so than Simon Bolivar, there was in fact a disconnect that allowed the people of Latin America, the people of Venezuela, to experience several years of great tribulation, despite the fact that they had obtained political independence.”
King, a historian and former president of the National Youth Council continued: “Like Venezuela, like so many of the other territories St Vincent and the Grenadines included, we share a common history of colonial exploitation. And when we thought we had gotten rid of colonialism, as was done in the earlier part of the struggle in Latin America, we were faced with the continued exercise of the colonial powers, in the form of neo-colonialism, and imperialism.”