Bolivarian National Armed Forces

National Bolivarian Armed Forces News The origin of an organized and professional armed forces in Venezuela dates to the Spanish troops quartered in the former Province of Venezuela in the 18th century. Politically and militarily until the creation of the Captaincy General of Venezuela in 1777, the Province of Venezuela depended on the Real Audiencia of Santo Domingo (in today’s Dominican Republic) or the Viceroyalty of New Granada (today, Colombia) for the defense of the area. In 1732 the Spanish crown created a Military Directorate and established a number of battalions, and had a few units from infantry regiments based in Spain arrive in the area. Reform of the military in the colonies began a few decades later. The first squadrons of cavalry arrived from Spain in 1751. The first batteries of Artillery were officially raised just two years later. Both Creole whites and blacks were allowed to enter the ranks of the artillery companies. That same year, a Fixed Caracas Battalion was established. Until the creation of this battalion, defense had been based on small colonial militia companies, which initially only accepted whites. Gradually, this racist policy yielded and the entry of mixed-race people was allowed in the militias. It was from these various units that the bulk of the officers who fought in the battles of the Venezuelan War of Independence emerged. Among them were Generalissimo Francisco de Miranda, Simón Bolívar (Bolívar’s own father had been Colonel of the Militia of Aragua), General in chief Santiago Mariño, Rafael Urdaneta, among many other heroes. With the establishment of an independent captaincy general in the latter half of the 18th century, the Spanish troops quartered in the province passed to the direct command of Caracas. The troops in the other provinces of the country, under the command of local governors, were overseen by the Captain General of Caracas, who served as commander in chief of the armed services. In this way a series of autonomous units was created for the peoples of the area and for defense duties, open to all fit males regardless of color. Aside from these the Spanish Navy also operated naval bases in the Captaincy General’s territorial coastline, open to both whites and blacks as well.