Posted by jolono on Thu, 19 Mar 2015
My sons girlfriend is from Venezuela. She's over here for a few months and the other night we all went out for a few drinks. Her English is pretty good ( far better than my Spanish) and knowing that I'm a Londoner she asked me were she could see the statue of Simon Bolivar. My reaction was quite simple.
She repeated the name thinking that I hadn't heard her. I'd heard alright, just didn't have a bloody clue who he was. My face must have said a thousand words because my son started to laugh.
"Dad, he was a famous leader of his people. He single handedly drove the Spanish out of South America."
I nodded and smiled..
"That's great. But why would we have a statue of him somewhere in London?"
His girlfriend was eager to enlighten me.
"Because every major city in the world has some form of tribute to him. Even the Spanish, who he conquered."
So I googled it on my phone. Bloody hell she was right. Theres a statue of him in Belgrave Square, he's even got a Blue Plaque in Duke Street. I searched further. There are hundreds of statues of him around the world, New York, San Francisco, Miami, New Orleans, Ottowa, Paris, Sofia, Barcelona, even Tehran and Cairo!
Bolivia was named in his honour, the South American currency of the "Boliva" is named after him. Every City in South America has a Square named after him. There's even a bloody Orchestra named after him that's played at The Proms.
And guess what? Little old me had never heard of him.
She suggested I watched a film called The Liberator which came out last year. I watched it yesterday. loved it and now I realise why he is so reverred and loved by the people of South America.
If you get a chance to see it. Do so. It made me realise how little I know of other countries history.