Simon Bolivar, d. 1830

December 17, 1830: Simon Bolivar, the liberator of Venezuela and Columbia known as the “George Washington of South America” passed away. “Simon Bolivar found refuge and material support for his army in the homes of Jews from Curaçao. Jews such as Mordejai Ricardo and the brothers Ricardo and Abraham Meza offered hospitality to Bolivar as he fought against the Spanish, thus establishing brotherly relations between Jews and the newly independent Venezuelan republic. Several Jews even fought in the ranks of Bolivar’s army during the war.” “The Jews of Curacao became involved with Simon Bolivar and his fight for the independence of Venezuela and Colombia from their Spanish colonizers. Two Jewish men from Curacao distinguished themselves in Simon Bolivar’s army, while another supplied moral and material support to Bolivar, as well as refuge for him and his family.”  (Mitch Levin)

Venezuela’s post office has issued a plethora of stamps featuring portraits of Bolivar, like this 50-centimos example from 1915:




Colombia has a few stamps with portraits of Bolivar, but what I found more interesting was a department of Colombia named after the military hero which had issued an imperforate stamp in 1863:



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