Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios (1783 – 1830), was a Venezuelan military and political figure who played a leading role in establishing Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Panama as states independent of Spanish rule. Bolívar was born into a wealthy, aristocratic Creole family and was educated in Spain and France from the age of 16, where he met the ideas of the Enlightenment. He began his campaign in 1808, and established a national congress within 3 years. His forces finally prevailed in 1821. From 1819 to 1830, he was president of the first union of independent nations in Latin America, Gran Colombia. He later ousted Spanish rulers from Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia (which was named after him). He aimed at a strong and united South America able to cope with multiple overseas threats. At his peak, Bolívar ruled over a vast territory from the Argentine border to the Caribbean Sea. Bolívar is, along with Argentine General Joséde San Martín, considered one of the great heroes of the latinamerican independence movements and a continuing inspiration; he is commemorated by hundreds of town plazas throughout South America.
It is harder to maintain the balance of freedom than it is to endure the weight of tyranny.