Left Wing, Nationalist Movements In Latin America


Three hundred years under Spain rule influenced left wing nationalist movements in Latin America. During the 1700’s Latin America was a country where the wealth was owned by a few with slaves and the common people struggled to survive. One of the left wing nationalist movements under the leadership of Simon Bolivar in Venezuela. More than likely, the movement did not think of themselves as “left wing” but their goal of independence, equality and opportunities for the common people were left wing ideas.

Simon Bolivar was truly not a likely leader for a left wing nationalist movement to free Latin America countries from Spain rule. Born into one of the wealthiest families in Venezuela, the Bolivar (Spanish American) family wealth came from estates and the mines, at the expense of slaves and workers. His family was a part of the problem of the “have” and “the have nots” and themselves dissatisfied with the Spain neglect of Venezuela.

However, due to the death of his parents early in his life, Simon was educated by various private tutors, received European education and training from a military academy. He was exposed to ideas and thoughts that were in conflict with this family’s position as wealthy Spanish American elite. So when Simon Bolivar returned to Latin America in 1807, seeing the conditions of Venezuela and it people he began his goal to bring independence to Venezuela from Spain.

Over many years, failures, setbacks and successes, Simon Bolivar was successful in the independence of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. Now, Simon Bolivar was only one individual who formed a nationalist movement to fight for equality in Latin America. Two other leaders were Augustin Iturbide of Mexico and Manuel Belgrano of Argentine.

Left wing, nationalist movements in Latin America directly impacted the liberation of Latin American countries from three hundred years of Spain influence. Simon Bolivar and other leaders battled for years until the countries of Latin America where free from Spain but not without loss of life of many people of Venezuela and Spaniards.

Post independence of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia was not without additional struggles. In 1921, oil reserves was discovered; many wealthy families became richer but did not benefit the common people. Today, the people of African, European and Indian roots living in Venezuela live under civilian democratic rule and the country is one of the largest OPEC oil producers.


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