Message to the Congress of Angostura, 1819
|"We are not Europeans;
we are not Indians; we are but a mixed species of aborigines
and Spaniards. Americans by birth and Europeans by law, we
find ourselves engaged in a dual conflict: we are disputing
with the natives for titles of ownership, and at the same
time we are struggling to maintain ourselves in the country
that gave us birth against the opposition of the invaders.
Thus our position is most extraordinary and complicated. But
there is more. As our role has always been strictly passive
and political existence nil, we find that our quest for
liberty is now even more difficult of accomplishment; for
we, having been placed in a state lower than slavery, had
been robbed not only of our freedom but also of the right to
exercise an active domestic tyranny. . .We have been ruled
more by deceit than by force, and we have been degraded more
by vice than by superstition. Slavery is the daughter of
darkness: an ignorant people is a blind instrument of its
The country's largest, most exuberant
festival is Carnaval, which is made into a five day holiday
weekend by most people getting the Carnaval Monday and Tuesday preceding
Ash Wednesday off. Characterized by music, dancing, parades and
masquerades, the flavor of the event varies from region to region. Days
are full of papelillos, disguises, surprises and games. All around the
country, children, youths and adults enjoy the traditional music.
Venezuela is a country of striking natural
beauty and dramatic contrasts: the snowcapped peaks of the Andes in the
west, and steamy Amazonian jungles in the south; the hauntingly
beautiful Gran Sabana plateau, with its strange flat-topped mountains,
in the east, and 3000km (1860mi) of white-sand beaches fringed with
coconut palms line the Caribbean coast. South America's largest lake,
Lake Maracaibo, and third-longest river, the Orinoco, are also here, and
the country boasts the world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls. It is
also home to a wide variety of exotic plants and animals, including the
jaguar, ocelot, tapir, armadillo, anteater, and the longest snake in the
world, the anaconda.
Los Tambores de
Los Tambores de Bariovento, with its
large black population from the nearby centuries-old coffee and banana
plantations, is known for its African drums [Tambores] and other
percussion instruments that are mostly Afro-Caribbean.
The Drums of Bariovento are celebrated at the beginning of the rain
season in March, near Corpus Christi, in Bariovento, Miranda state.
Bariovento is comprised of the towns Curiepe, Higuerote, Caucagua, & Tacarigua.
Isla de Margarita Carnaval
|This carnaval sells out all the hotel rooms well in advance. Visit
|Carúpano, in the Sucre state, is famous throughout the country for its elaborately staged
Carnival. The Carnaval is over 125 years old and allows Carúpano to call itself the Carnaval capital of Venezuela. Carupano is a
port city at the center of two peninsulas on the Northeast coast and a
regular stop of the ferry to Isla de Margarita
Cumana was the first European city founded in
the Americas - in 1521 by Gonzalo de Ocampo. It's located in the Gulf of
Cariaco in the Oriente, the East of Venezuela. The capital of the
Sucre state, it has a rich colonial legate: forts, castles and churches.
The Sucre state is one of the wildest of all Venezuela and not known to
Venezuela Carnaval Inland
|In the interior of the country Venezuelans celebrate carnival with
dances such as La Burriquita, El Pajaro Guarandol, El Carite and the
theatre of La Quemada de Judas in which a symbolic Judas is thrown onto
a pyre and burnt.
|In Zulia, the
and the viejitos come out to perform in a traditional parade of
Discover the Doll of the Calenda, a mysterious dance with the most
diverse and curious of characters.
the capital of Zulia state in western Venezuela, and is the second
largest city in the country after Caracas. Maracaibo's La Chinita International
world66.com//maracaibo: MACZUL is South America's
largest contemporary art museum... Great night life with a diversity of
nightclubs and cafés which can be found on the main streets of 72th, Dr.
Portillo and Santa Rita Avenue, Visit Vereda del Lago park with
its magnificent lake view.
for the dates, carnestolendas, of the internationally famous Fair of
the Sun. This fair had its origin in the celebration in honor of the
Virgin of Immaculate Conception. This had been traditionally held
in the month of December, but for weather and other reasons the
celebration was moved to coincide with the Carnaval beginning in 1969.
A highlight is the
city parade of its comparsas, costumes and bands. During the nights,
streets fill with the festive air of people looking to party. Some go to
celebrations organized by clubs in special ballrooms, while others are
content to roam the city center.
In the Carabobo state, Tuesday of
Carnival vibrates with diversions such as the Donkey, Hamaca, the Cayman
and the Scorpion.
Devil Dancers of Corpus Christi in JUNE
|The dancing can be seen in several towns, all within a day's drive of
Caracas. Most are found along the coast, but the oldest and most famous
is at San Francisco de Paula de Yare (in Estado Miranda to the
south). Here the devils dress in red and yellow and sport ferocious
papier-mache masks. During the day before Corpus Christi, the devils hold
a night-time candlelit mass called the Velorio de los Diablos
Danzantes. The devils pay penance at their carnival, and the number of
horns that these devils wear show the number of sins for which they are
paying. Los Diablos de Yare encompasses several cities and states.
In Naiguatá, the devils sport
costumes decorated with circles, stripes and crosses and masks of
terrifying sea creatures. This is the one place where women dance with
the devils, who, uniquely, are not organized into a brotherhood. On the
Wednesday before Corpus Christi the devils are called by the ringing of
bells and three beats on a metal drum called a Caja. They descend
upon the town and run amok before falling upon their knees to pray in
front of the church.
On the day of Corpus Christi, the
devils dance in the streets while mass is being heard, and worshippers
renew their faith in this moment of heightened spirituality. After mass,
the devils visit houses and shops, purging them of evil and receiving
gifts in return. The people follow them to their destination, and a
great party begins
The devil dancers of Ocumare de la
Costa, Chuao and Turiamo also celebrate spectacularly.
Venezuelans are mad about
traveling to visit friends and family over Christmas, Carnival
(several days prior to Ash Wednesday) and Semana Santa (Holy
Week; the week before Easter Sunday). In these three periods,
you'll have to plan ahead and do a little more legwork before
you find a place to stay if you, like many Venezuelans, are
headed to the coast.
has lost its importance in the major cities, and is taken more
seriously in the coastal towns"
Traditional Venezuelan festivals at