Venezuela Independence Day – Hispanic Heritage Month!

Hi Deerfield, I’m Rosnel with the LASA, and today we’ll look at ways that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela obtained its independence from Spanish rule and how the country and its culture spreads its influence into the broader world!

The 5th of July 1811 is recognized in Venezuela as the independence day of the nation. Venezuela was the first Spanish colony to declare independence from Spain following the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence. Cristóbal Mendoza and Juan Germán Roscio were the lead representatives in Venezuela’s congress who pushed for a declaration of independence, reasoning that the instability of the small European Country (Spain) made it only logical that Venezuela be made a self-governing colony.

Venezuelan cuisine is probably one of the more amazing cultural contributions that have been brought to the United States and to the greater global community. Due to the Authoritarian Socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro, many Venezuelan citizens have had to flee the country in favor of neighboring countries such as Peru, Columbia, and in the most dire of situations they make the incredibly dangerous journey to the United States. This diaspora of the Venezuelan people has given rise to iconic dishes such as the Cachapa (my personal favorite), Venezuelan arepas, Hallaca, and much more. If you’re ever on the east coast, particularly in New York or New Jersey, I’d highly recommend checking out and supporting local Venezuelan restaurants. The food, the history, and the people are part of a larger tale of endurance against all odds, a story that has become inseparable to the Latin American experience.