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Antonio José de Sucre
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Antonio José de Sucre

Antonio José de Sucre (February 3,1795 - June 4, 1830) was a South American independence leader, and one of Simón Bolívar's closest friends, generals and statesmen.

Antonio José de Sucre was born in Cumaná, Venezuela, then part of the Spanish colony of Nueva Granada.

In 1811 he joined the battles for American independence from Spain. He proved himself an able military leader. In 1817 he was promoted to the rank of colonel. In 1819 he was given the rank of brigadier general. After the Battle of Boyacá, Sucre was made Bolivar's Chief of Staff . In 1821 Bolívar put him in charge of the campaign to liberate Quito. He won a decisive victory at the Battle of Pichincha on May 24, 1822.

Further victories followed over the Spanish forces in Peru, notably on August 6, 1824, then on December 9 at Ayacucho decisively capturing the bulk of the Spanish troops and command, including the Viceroy.

Sucre was elected president of the newly formed nation of Bolivia in 1826, but he became dissatisfied with local political conflicts, resigned two years later and moved to Quito. He initially intended to retire from politics.

In late 1828, on the urging of Bolívar, the Congress of Gran Colombia named him "President of Congress". It was also intended to name him president of the republic as Bolivar's would-be successor, but Sucre refused to accept further responsibilites.

In February 1829, Sucre was named member of a commission that would travel to Venezuela in order to quell political separatism among some of the local authorities. Difficulties related to this task added to Sucre's continuing dissatisfaction with Gran Colombia's political environment.

In early 1830, when Sucre learned that Bolivar had resigned and intended to leave the country, he decided to head to Quito in order to resume his personal life, but was assassinated en route in the mountainous region of Berruecos, near Pasto, in the south of Colombia, on June 4 1830.

The details of the murder remain unclear, as there are several different theories available. One of the older and more documented at the time would consider José María Obando as the person who ordered the assassination, and one of the alleged assassins was later executed for his apparent role. Later and less documented versions would implicate several different (or additional) individuals, such as Juan José Flores, Agustín Gamarra, Francisco de Paula Santander or Casimiro Olañeta, among others.

The city of Sucre in Bolivia was named after him, as well as the former Sucre (currency) of Ecuador.

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Preceded by:
Simón Bolívar
President of Bolivia
18261828
Succeeded by:
José Miguel de Velasco

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