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Guayaquil conference

The Guayaquil Conference was a meeting that took place on July 26, 1822, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, between Jose de San Martin and Simon Bolivar, to discuss the future of Peru (and South America in general).


San Martin had taken his army north from Chile into Peru to attempt and liberate the country from the Spanish Empire. While San Martin was securing independence in Chile and attempting to in Peru, Simon Bolivar had been doing similar acts of freedom and liberation in northern Latin America. Bolivar had freed Venezuela and Colombia from the Spanish and was now turning his eyes to the south towards Peru, the last real Spanish power on the South American continent. It was decided that both San Martin and Bolivar could not take Peru at the same time, there would have be a meeting between the two. As well as Peru, both men had also had their sights set on a port city in Ecuador, Guayaquil. Both men saw this city as valuable and were attempting to persuade the city to join either generals side. Eventually Bolivar gained the upper hand in the matter and was able to annex Guayaquil to Colombia. It is at this point that the two generals attempt to reach out to each other and arrange a meeting at Guayaquil, so as to avoid a humiliating scandal (San Martin's words) of a conflict between the two. San Martin arrived in Guayaquil on July 25, where he was enthusiastically greeted by Bolivar. However, the two men could not come to an agreement, despite their common goals and mutual respect, even when San Martin offered to serve under Bolivar. Both men had very different ideas about how to organize the governments of the countries that they had liberated. Bolivar was in favor of forming a series of republics in the newly independent nations, whereas San Martin preferred the European system of rule and wanted to put monarchies in place. San Martin was also in favor of placing a European prince in power as King of Peru when it was to be liberated. The conference, consequently, was a failure, at least for San Martin.

San Martin, after meeting with Bolivar for several hours on July 26, stayed for a banquet and ball given in his honor. Bolivar proposed a toast to the two greatest men in South America: the general San Martin and myself , whereas San Martin drank to the prompt conclusion of the war, the organization of the different Republics of the continent and the health of the Liberator of Colombia .

After the conference, San Martin abdicated his powers in Peru and returned to Argentina. Soon afterward, he left South America entirely and retired in France. San Martin knew that the Spanish forces left in Peru under the viceroy were still too powerful for either the single army of San Martin or Bolivar. It was for this reason that San Martin bowed out and ended his military career, leaving his army to Bolivar for the purpose of using it to liberate Peru from Spanish control. Bolivar completed the liberation of Peru with the help of San Martins forces several years later.

In fiction

The Guayaquil conference inspired a short story by Jorge Luis Borges, Guayaquil, in which he explores the possible psychological relation between San Martin and Bolivar.

See also

Spanish American wars of independence

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Guayaquil conference

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