Death of Father Miguel Hidalgo

As bullets from the firing squad cruelly cracked the early morning air, Father Miguel Hidalgo, the rebel priest, crumbled to the desert earth.  Hidalgo is regarded as one of founders of modern Mexico.  Born to parents of Spanish heritage in Mexico, his assignment in the region of Dolores, Mexico, transformed him from social activist to military general.  He witnessed the terrible poverty of the indigenous people, and frustrated in his attempts to help them through agricultural development, he began the Mexican War of Independence (1810–1821). He was betrayed, tried for treason, and executed.  Hidalgo’s final words rang true as his memory is honored throughout Mexico, “Though I may die, I shall be remembered forever; you all will soon be forgotten.”

Venezuelan Independence 1811

July 5, 1811

The South American democratic revolutions against the Spanish royalists gained momentum in the early 19th century.  On July 5, 1811, Venezuela declared independence from Spain, the first country on the southern continent to begin its liberation from colonial powers.  Venezuela had a difficult path to its independence.  The first Republic of Venezuela did not fully achieve victory until 10 years later, in 1821.  Venezuela is now a federal presidential republic of about 29 million people, comprised of 23 states, the Capital District of Caracas, and Federal Dependencies.