Monday, 24 June 2013

Pedro Camejo: Black Venezuelan War Hero

Simón Bolívar's famous Lieutenant. Black Venezuelans played a decisive role in their country's War of Independence. South American liberator Simón Bolívar thoroughly understood the strategic importance of black soldiers and abolished slavery in 1812 and again in 1816. Bolívar being a slave master himself freed 1,000 of his own slaves, and recruited 5,000 slaves into his army. One of Bolivar's most famous lieutenants, Pedro Camejo, is known in Venezuela's history books as "El Negro Primero (The First Black)," because he was always the first to ride into battle. The only statue commemorating a black person in Venezuela is that of Pedro Camejo, better known as “El Negro Primero” (the First Black) one of Simón Bolívar's famous Lieutenants. A statue of El Negro Primero today stands in the Plaza Carabobo in Caracas—the only statue commemorating a Black person in all Venezuela.

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