Venezuela was tired of Spanish rule, and held a national congress to declare independence. There, Bolivar gave his first speech.
"Let us lay the cornerstone of American freedom without fear. To hesitate is to perish."
The reasons Venezuela became the first colony to rebel from Spain were similar to the reasons for the American revolution, but with less taxes involved. Since Bolivar spoke out so strongly against the Spaniards, the commander of the Venezuelan forces made him an officer in their army.
The King tried to keep anyone who wasn't Spanish from having any power, treating the colonists like prisoners. Well, no more!
I, Francisco de Miranda, hereby declare you a Lieutenant Colonel.
Yes! That means I'm in charge now!
General Miranda betrayed us, sir!
Despite having no military experience, Bolivar made up his own tactics and led the rebels to defeat larger Spanish forces in many battles, but they were eventually nearly beaten.
Nobody he went to would help their cause, until Haiti agreed to provide Bolivar with the troops and supplies he needed to continue fighting the Spaniards.
We fought for our freedom from France, it would be wrong to see our neighbour oppressed by another empire.
Stories of his victories around the continent circulated, and he gained the support of the people. Eventually, the Spanish were forced to withdraw.
South America had been freed from the Empire of Spain, thanks to Simon Bolivar, who Lafayette called "The Washington of the South". In fact, a country, Bolivia, was even named after him. Although South America fell into disorder and fighting again, he would forever be known as "the liberator".