Statues and busts of this man, known as The Liberator, adorn cities not only throughout the Americas but also, intriguingly, in Europe and the Middle East.
Likenesses of Simón Bolívar are part of the landscape in the six modern Latin American countries that revere him for leading their independence struggle against Spain in the 19th century. But he is also memorialized in bronze in the streets of New York; San Francisco; Cadiz, Spain; Bolivar, Missouri; Cairo; and Tehran, Iran, to name a few. The statue pictured here is one of two in Washington.
Not only was Bolívar motivated by a desire to throw off the yoke of Spanish imperialism, but he wanted to extend freedom to all humans. He freed slaves in South America 40 years before the U.S. Civil War and enacted laws to protect the environment, wildlife and native populations.
As his birthday, July 24, approaches, what The Liberator of South America stood for will be remembered on many continents.