This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2017)
The Venezuelan Declaration of Independence (Spanish: Acta de la Declaración de Independencia de Venezuela) is a statement adopted by a congress of Venezuelan provinces on July 5, 1811, through which Venezuelans made the decision to separate from the Spanish Crown in order to establish a new nation based on the premises of equality of individuals, abolition of censorship and dedication to freedom of expression. These principles were enshrined as a constitutional principle for the new nation and were radically opposed to the political, cultural, and social practices that had existed during three hundred years of colonization.
Seven of the ten provinces belonging to the Captaincy General of Venezuela declared their independence and explained their reasons for this action, among them, that it was baneful that a small European nation ruled the great expanses of the New World, that Spanish America recovered its right to self-government after the abdications of Charles IV and Ferdinand VII at Bayonne, and that the political instability in Spain dictated that Venezuelans rule themselves, despite the brotherhood they shared with Spaniards. The seven provinces were Caracas Province, Cumaná Province, Barinas Province, Margarita Province, Barcelona Province, Mérida Province and Trujillo Province.
With this declaration, Venezuela became the first independent republic of Spanish America, and the fire of that declaration, fueled by external conflict, would spread the ideals of independence throughout all of the lands of Latin America.
On July 3, 1811, delegates from the first National Constituent Congress convened at the Santa Rosa de Lima Chapel in Caracas regarding the matter of independence. Two days later, the matter was resolved when Congress voted to officially declare independence 40-4. Then, with the permission of the secretary general, Francisco Isnardi, Mendoza and Roscio presented the document to Congress for discussion. Roscio and Isnardi then spoke following the reading of the declaration.
It was ratified by Congress on July 7, 1811 with 43 votes for and one vote against, and recorded in the Congress's Book of Minutes on August 17, 1811, in Caracas.
The document is kept at the museo de la Casa de las Primeras Letras Simón Rodríguez. The signature of president Hugo Chávez was added to an exhibited copy of the document on May 31, 2013, by the Maduro administration, as an homage to the former president. This resulted in outrage among various sectors opposing said administration.
- "Agregan la firma de Chávez al acta de Independencia de 1811" [The signature of Chávez is added to the 1811 declaration of independence] (in Spanish). Clarín. May 31, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013.