Laude / José Antonio Ramos Sucre


     Venezuela owes the principal and most enduring of its credit to the bravery of those soldiers who surged impassioned and indocile in the 19th century. The healthy force of their nature didn’t degrade itself with timid modesty nor did it cede an inch to the hypocritical morality of societies in repose. Their north was never the renown of being shy and honorable, a lure for the gullible. They were all naive and violent men, of disproportionate and free lives.

     How they invoke the malice of the colorless and the vengeance of the wrinkled and dyspepsic erudite a poor philosophy, in which the divining enthusiasm of poets does not provide its impulse, breaks the silence of its sepulcher and disturbs the sleep of its ashes.

     Miserly criticism finds its most frequent occasion in the unruly and arrogant humor of the heroes. One does not discover the profound strength of lineage, the individual self-sufficiency, the confident gesture that made the Spanish grandfather the world’s consternation and nightmare.

     Their glory consists in not giving up the temerarious challenge to the metropolis, and when we recognize such a merit, that of their leader continues to remain elevated and intact. Justice grows with the distribution of the prize, and there is dishonesty in saying Bolívar’s fame coincides with the reduction of his lieutenants.

     From this prudish and bashful opinion is born docility as a reason for the credit of honors, the superficial examination of discord, the repeated sentence against the turbulent men who bloody and muddle the course of those years. It forgets that many entered into the matter in the same way; that they were separated by the most contrasted interest; that the events would have brought along with the test the aptitudes of the scale of hierarchy; that obstinate moods, finally submitted, credit the genius of Bolívar; that at the scene of mourning what was most off-putting, more than the amorous pastor, was the flock of peaceful beasts.

     For the tame the medal of good conduct; for our heroes the elevated monument and perennial statue. They have imposed upon the respect of strangers the series of our annals with an effort that belongs to an epic, with extraordinary acts that would have been taken up, to perpetuate them, by the popular muse of the romancero. Occasionally they didn’t follow Bolívar’s reasons because of the fatality that isolates genius in his century. He pulls them along finally, and with such a dignified entourage, as though brave condors, presides half the world from the highest and most snowy peak of the Andes.

La torre de Timón (1925)

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

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