miércoles, 3 de agosto de 2016

Liberator Simón Bolívar and diplomatic issue with the US in the figure of Juan Bautista Irvine.




 "Never conduct has been most infamous than the Americans with us: you see decided the fate of things and deals with protests and, who knows if false, we want lisonjear to intimidate the Spaniards and let them enter their interests"

 Letter of Bolivar to J.R. Revenga
May 1820.




In 1818, the US ambition to carve out a major gap between emerging independent nations was fast and steady. On July 12 of that year he arrived in Angostura American diplomatic agent Juan Bautista Irvine.

On paper, three were the tasks entrusted to Irvine by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams: 1. To express the sympathy of his country to the new republics that were born in South America. 2. Protest captured the two ships (Tigre and Freedom) by the patriotic forces in the Orinoco and 3. Clarifying the course they would take the relations between his country and Venezuela Future events would show another road map on priorities of the mission of the agent American.

American schooners Tigre and Freedom had been captured by the commanded by Admiral Brion when trying to run the blockade of the Orinoco to avoid providing the Spanish besieged in Angostura and in the Castles of Guayana La Vieja and had been hired Republican fleet the Spanish governor of Guayana, Lorenzo Fitzgerald.

The ships were seized at different times. Tiger left the Orinoco with the mission to bring weapons, ammunition and snuff that had been bought by the British merchant Lamson Fitzgerald. On March 17 he set sail in Salem, Massachusetts State port in the United States and entered port on the Orinoco April. Subsequently carrying other cargo would when he was captured on July 4, 1817. On the other hand, the Freedom schooner had left Martinique in June, carrying ammunition.Already on the river he met the patriots vessels blocked it and yet you were warned it was violating the blockade and gave orders returned, he tried to return furtively to trace the Orinoco, when he was captured by the squadron of Captain Navio Antonio Diaz.

Bolivar received Irvine amid great expectations about their mission. On July 13 he had written to General Paez announcing the arrival of American diplomatic agent and informing him that the next day would present his credentials with which you could begin to perform their functions.

Irvine wrote ten notes Bolivar between July 25 and October 8. The Liberator acknowledged and responded in many other occasions, the last of which was on 12 October. The wording of the first letter of reply realizes that the only subject of the letter of Irvine is the Tiger and Freedom, schooners that is one of the objectives of his mission to Venezuela.

The Supreme Chief Irvine told that the reply to your message of July 25, had to wait for the consultation process followed the boat owners. Also, with regard to your letter of 27 that month, she informed him that they would receive compensation in the case, provided it was accepted justice with which acted weapons of Venezuela. Repeats its view high worth about US mission in Venezuela, but warns that American ships "... forgetting what is due to the fraternity, friendship and the liberal principles that we have tried and executed circumvent the lock (...) to give weapons a executioners and to feed some three centuries tigers have shed most of the American blood ... "

On September 29, after a long epistolary debate in which the Liberator displayed his extraordinary gifts as a statesman, managing with skill and expertise the political, legal, economic and diplomacy areas, wrote a new note reiterating the 25 exposed evidence that month to Irvine, regretting it in his letter of 26 the rejected. For the umpteenth time, he exposes the reasons for Venezuela, but now says categorical that under the circumstances is forced "to resolve the question once."

This situation carries a letter from Irvine 1 October in which it has been concluded the debate on the issue of the schooners, judging that Venezuela acted illegally. Bolivar replied on 7 without miss the opportunity to tell you is going to shirk the penultimate paragraph of your letter, considering "on shocking and insulting the government of Venezuela end" and that to answer it would be necessary to use the same language Irvine "contrary modesty and decorum on my part that I have driven the issue ".
He says he will not force him to reciprocate insults, but even if it will not, will not allow Irvine, "outrage nor despise the government and the rights of Venezuela". Ends blunt: "The same goes for Spain to Venezuela fight against the whole world, if everyone offended."

However, all that is fired with the protocol uses his high investiture, respect, decency and high responsibility that has to rule the destiny of Venezuela and its representation on the international stage. Although Venezuela had not consolidated their independence and the government still had no authority over the entire territory of the republic, Bolivar acted as a seasoned head of state in terms of managing diplomacy with honor, dignity and firmness, understanding the value to establish -in that context- solid friendly relations with the United States, while safeguarding the sovereign interests of the nascent Republic, thereby sowing insoslayables parameters Republican, independent and sovereign behavior in the handling of foreign policy of the Nation.

Still, rewrites to Irvine on October 12 in response to a note of this 8 March. In it the diplomatic agent is surprised by the response of the Liberator 7 October. Bolivar tells him that this would have been, if Irvine had simply give closed the matter, but that the tenor of it forced him to respond to not take for certain none of the arguments in the letter and that are but the reiteration of the above, refuted one by one and at the time. Thus, the Supreme Head closed any possibility to leave open the possibility of being used against the Republic issues.

With this, Bolivar gives ended his communication with Irvine, does not receive or send any new correspondence to the representative of the US government. What had begun with great hopes omens and 4 months earlier, he had been a fiasco, to the neglect of Irvine to the friendly proposal and attached to the right of Bolivar and the subsequent escalation of aggressive speech, even threatening the US.

Juan Bautista Irvine did not immediately return to his country. He even participated as a special guest on the installation of the Congress of Angostura on 15 February 1819. Irvine reported its mission to Secretary of State John Adams, in which distilling hatred for his failed, calling Bolivar a dictator and tyrant, and naive and quixotic. On February 27, 1819, he left the city, frustrated by the ruin of their management. In his country he devoted himself to writing newspaper articles in which he labeled Bolivar " 'General charlatan and political truhán'".

A few months after the departure of Irvine, the US government sent Commodore Oliver H. Venezuela Perry who arrived in Angostura on 25 July 1819. Its mission was to give and receive explanations about the failure of the mission of Irvine.

Bolivar had left Angostura on May 23 towards the western plains where he would gather the most prominent leaders of the army in order to convince them of the need to transfer military operations to New Granada. The premiership had been assumed by Vice President Francisco Antonio Zea, who had an ill-advised management in handling government affairs. Perry managed Zea what Irvine could not get Bolivar: the return of Tiger and Freedom schooners what Manuel Alfredo Rodriguez believes the first defeat of the Venezuelan diplomacy. According to Francisco Pividal when the Liberator was aware of the fact, "he considered humiliating such action."

On May 25, 1820, in a letter to Jose Rafael Revenga, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Finance, the Liberator had told him forcefully their apprehensions regarding US policy. He says "never conduct has been most infamous than the Americans with us: you see decided the fate of things and with protests and offers, who knows if false, we want lisonjear to intimidate the Spaniards and let them enter their interests "and then adds" I do not know what I should think of this extraordinary frankness now Americans show: on the one hand I doubt it, otherwise I affirm the confidence that having reached our cause to its fullest, it's time to repair the old grievances (...)

Since its anti-neutrality North America has humiliated us so much, we exijámosle services to compensate for their humiliation and fratricide. Let us pray a lot and let us show to be worth more circumspect or assert ourselves. "Surely, he was thinking of his disastrous experience with Irvine two years ago.



José Rafael Otazo M.
---------------------
University Professor;
Member of the Society Bolivarian of Venezuela,
Member of the Society Disclosing Military History of Venezuela.

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