posted by Oscar José Márquez**
General Jose Antonio Páez El Centauro, Dibujo de 1973 por Angel Parra Dibujo
José Antonio Páez
(Esta reseña va acompañada por un video que pueden bajar de www.youtube.com, elaborado por el amigo José Francisco Romero)
(Esta reseña va acompañada por un video que pueden bajar de www.youtube.com, elaborado por el amigo José Francisco Romero)
Sus guerreros lo llamaban “El Taita”, porque para ellos era eso: un padre. Su arrojo y desempeño en los campos de batalla de Colombia y Venezuela le valió el título de Centauro de los Llanos. Sus padres lo bautizaron José Antonio Páez. El León de Payara, como también se llamó al catire Páez, nació en la población de Curpa, en lo que es hoy el estado Portuguesa. Páez ocupa un lugar destacadísimo en la historia de Venezuela, República a la cual gobernó como Presidente constitucional en tres ocasiones.
La figura de Páez encarna el carácter y el recio temple que identifica al genuino llanero venezolano, formado a pulso en las faenas del llano, enfrentando los rigores del medio y, en su caso, la severidad de Manuelote, el mayordomo del Hato La Calzada, de Manuel Pulido, donde trabajaba y terminó de curtirse como hombre llanero, conocedor de todos los rumbos de ese llano de leyendas.
Fue uno de los ideólogos de la consolidación del estado de Venezuela y su actuación en los campos de batalla durante la guerra de independencia despertaba admiración, incluso entre las filas realistas.
Las Queseras del Medio fue el mayor triunfo de la carrera militar del general Páez. En esta batalla El Centauro de los Llanos se enfrentó con solo 150 lanceros, mal vestidos, pies descalzos y sin muchos conocimientos de la guerra, armados solamente con lanzas, al mariscal Pablo Morillo, cuyo ejército tenía seis mil militares de escuela, bien comidos y bien vestidos, a quienes venció. Páez sólo perdió a dos de sus llaneros “pata en el suelo” en aquel campo de batalla ardiente, de sol reverberante que quemaba los pies.
Tras esa batalla, Simón Bolívar otorgó la medalla “Cruz de los Libertadores” a los 148 lanceros que regresaron triunfantes con su jefe Páez al frente. Esta hazaña militar de Páez y sus llaneros causó ira al rey Fernando VII, quien reclamó duramente a Pablo Morillo que hubiese perdido ante unos hombres que estaban en desventaja numérica, a lo cual el mariscal derrotado contestó por correo al monarca: “Dadme un José Antonio Páez, majestad, y mil lanceros del Apure, y pondré a Europa a vuestros pies”.
Reconocía así el militar español, sin pena alguna, la valentía, inteligencia, arrojo y astucia del gran guerrero nacido en Portuguesa y jefe militar indiscutible de los llanos venezolanos. Las Queseras del Medio, en Apure, fue la batalla de aquel famoso grito de “Vuelvan Caras”. En la batalla de Carabobo, el 24 de junio de 1821, perdió Páez a su más fiel y destacado soldado, Pedro Camejo, el Negro Primero, el más grande negro de la historia militar venezolana.
José Antonio Páez era epiléptico y cada vez que iba a entrar en batalla le daba el ataque, hecho que aumentaba la angustia de sus llaneros. De ese trance salía como impulsado por una fuerza extraordinaria y se mostraba invencible ante los realistas. A pesar de esta dolencia, el llamado Libertador del Apure salió vencedor en todas las batallas que libró solo con sus llaneros. En toda su carrera militar solamente perdió una, en la que se enfrentó junto con Simón Bolívar a los realistas.
Cuando ingresó a las filas patriotas, Páez era casi analfabeta, pues en Guama apenas aprendió con la maestra de este pueblo portugueseño a garabatear palotes, como narra él mismo en su autobiografía. Pero, con constancia y tenacidad se instruyó él sólo y con el roce social, especialmente en Valencia, junto a su amante Barbarita Nieves, adquirió una gran cultura y un gran refinamiento, lo cual le sirvió para codearse más tarde con los más famosos personajes en las cortes europeas.
Compositor, coplero y bailador
El “León de Payara” fue compositor y hasta cantó ópera cuando anduvo por Europa y en altas esferas sociales en el nuevo mundo. Durante la guerra emancipadora cantó y bailó. Sus biógrafos le recuerdan organizando fandangos, es decir, el joropo de nuestros días, junto con su guardia de honor. Siendo presidente de Venezuela fue uno de los fundadores, en 1831, de la Sociedad Filarmónica, en los muchos conciertos que se hacían en su residencia, en compañía de su amante Barbarita Nieves.
Durante su destierro en Buenos Aires compuso cinco títulos en homenaje a unos niños vecinos suyos. Estas composiciones se conservan en el Museo Histórico bonaerense, se lee en textos que narran pasajes de la vida del gran centauro llanero.
Los compositores venezolanos, especialmente los nativos de Apure y el resto de los estados llaneros se inspiraron en la gesta de Páez, anécdotas y vivencias del general José Antonio Páez, conocidos a través de sus padres o leídas en los libros que cuentan su historia, incluida su autobiografía, para narrar musicalmente las vivencias guerreras y cotidianas del Centauro de Los Llanos.
Entre algunas de las composiciones en las cuales los cantantes de música criolla cuentan la trayectoria de Páez están:
CATORCE CARGAS POR LA LIBERTAD (NELSON MORALES) arpa Omar Moreno.
CATORCE CARGAS POR LA LIBERTAD (NELSON MORALES) arpa Omar Moreno.
LAS QUESERAS DEL MEDIO (AUTOR E INTERPRETE ENEAS PERDOMO
AL GENERAL PAEZ (Autor: José Romero Bello/cantan José Romero B. y Carrao de Palmarito. Arpa Joseíto Romero)
LA MARCHA DE PÁEZ Autor e Intérprete ENEAS PERDOMO/ Arpa Eugenio Bandres
La música que acompaña a esta reseña la pueden oir y ver en el video (youtube) elaborado por José Francisco Romero,a partir de la melodía de José Romero Bello, donde canta con Juan de Los Santos Contreras: AL GENERAL PAEZ (de mi discoteca). El acompañamiento musical es de JOSEITO ROMERO y su conjunto. Bello marco musical para una pieza de colección. DISFRUTENLO AL GENERAL PAEZ
*Tomado, con autorización, de los blog:
Jose Antonio Páez and hard exile
El General Jose Antonio Páez, Litografia de 1858 realizada por Francois D´Avignon 0,52 x 0,405
History has noted, described, drawn through studies such as Jose Antonio Paez untamed plains which expired with his spear went beyond all the difficulties and obstacles, so we understand when you start your passage through life from 13 domestic June 1790, CURP along the river near the town of Acarigua, because of a personal problem reaches the Hato La Calzada in Apure state, owned by Don Manuel Pulido, who shelters him as a pawn on the orders of the foreman called Manuelote . That was an exile far from home, and then at the end of his life he will play other harder.
In this herd learns that life’s rudeness ranger tasks and to describe the craft of sale and purchase of livestock, which will serve later.
To be the beginning of the struggle for independence, the owner of the herd as a cavalry squadron and Paez, barely 20 years old he enlisted in him and begins to provide services to the fatherland, that mother is going to be intangible from the time the reason for their existence, to achieve independence.
Since then the indomitable cloudscape catire Paez, begins to furrow the sky with the force of the burrowing shower and with the grace of the rainbow, leaving a trail pair go fruitful accomplished facts, which are oriented towards the major destinations of Venezuela.
With the capture of the castle of Puerto Cabello in 1823, the last Spanish stronghold in Venezuela, a new administration begins to occupy the foreground in the conduct of the highest destiny of the country, not the head of his spear as he did in The Yagual The Middle Queseras, Mucuritas or Carabobo, but deploying the administrative action that will make way for the statesman, the man who is growing and gaining the office of the magistrate to drive and build with their efforts and those around him, the new republic.
The first stones on the road
In forming the Great Colombia from 1821, acting for the Civil and Military Chief of the Department of Venezuela, receives orders from the Vice President of it, Gen. Francisco de Paula Santander, in the year 1825, before a possible attack by government Spanish to regain their overseas provinces, to organize a body of militia in Venezuela, which is why it is necessary to order the enlistment of citizens available to integrate them.
Before this order, General Paez calls on all Venezuelans in a position to integrate military and as such they do not respond to the call, proceeded to make a public recruitment. This is seen by some as an act of force, is reported to the executive by the mayor to Venezuela, General Juan Escalona, who seeks to defend the rights of citizens, just as the city of Caracas, presented to the Congress of Colombia an indictment of General Paez, taking as a pretext to declare the country in assembly, as noted by the same Paez, during the revolutionary movement in Petare occurred in 1824 and which had been contained and dissolved by the same centaur.
This fact appears to be the first clash of General Paez with management and legal order of the republic, but this is assumed to manifest solidarity of the citizens of Caracas, they’re going to find his house and take him to the chapter of the capital municipality and reinstate him in command according to the letter that it sends to the Liberator Simon Bolivar, on May 1, 1826.
Restored to service as civil and military chief of Venezuela, issued a new proclamation to the inhabitants of the Department of Venezuela, on 19 May of that year, by which guaranteed peace and public health.
From that moment he began to speak of reforms to the Constitution and to request the convening of the Great Convention of Colombia, which should assist the representatives of Venezuela. They began to talk of federalism as a way of solving the problems of the country after August 1826, the Federation proclaims Puerto Cabello and Maracaibo are pronounced, Aragua, Cumana, and in Ecuador, Quito and Guayaquil.
The seed of the disruptive element against Grancolombiano ideas began to germinate. The Cosiata, known as the movement to break up the unity forged by Simon Bolivar, was beginning to set.
Was it because of an action of Paez, who received orders from Vice President Santander, or was not the allegations of the centaur reasoned defense of his proposal for conscription or enlistment of citizens to form the militia. The question in our view, led to a rush of General Santander, who listened to the wrong person, General Juan Escalona, who wanted to succeed Paez in the direction of the department of Venezuela, and there begins the disintegration of the seed against unit.This was a bad time of General Paez to the story as it was charged as an abettor. But if we review his action or enforcement, which deprived him understand the order and poor decisions, hurt their pride and their followers not to accept the low given the general and responded with patriotic pride to return to his seat at the general , and before the amendment of the chairman of the Great Colombia, the culture medium began to pierce the groove of the unit.
Despite this dissonance, General Paez had an attitude attached to his principles and constitutional rule and that is seen when the Liberator comes to his homeland in 1827 and recognizes the General Paez, the highest authority in the department of Venezuela, and it also recognizes the authority of liberating genius as the driver of the Great Colombia. But the damage had been done, so we could say then that this fling is the first setback in the political life of the centaur.
Then in 1848, while acting as president of Venezuela, General Jose Tadeo Monagas, the same who had taken up arms against the republic in 1831, 1833 and 1835 with the so-called revolution of reform, which deposed the presidential throne to the wise Jose Maria Vargas, there is the sad fact of murder in the Congress Hon Santos Michelena, Jan. 24, a circumstance that is caused by trying to ignore the parliamentary law by President Monagas, to which most members parliament, with conflicting criteria for the president decided to move its meetings to the city of Puerto Cabello, which is not accepted by the executive and ordered the deployment of troops to the congress.
This action will produce the final break between the two leaders and allows us to see a scolding Paez Monagas tumultuous this attitude, demanding that he act with decorum and poise of the magistrate driver of the country. Here we note that the general Monagas, despite having been proposed and supported by Paez in his candidacy for the presidency, still acting as resentful of his late presidential choice to the throne and assume that not forgive Paez, the delay.
Lucubrations us then, knowing Paez performance virtues and actions of those who were the protagonists of the liberation struggle and their ideas, support their legitimate aspirations to Jose Maria Vargas, the wise transformer civilian college and proponent development of the nation by The Economic Society of Friends of the Country and the free and compulsory education and military virtue and guarantor of legality, General Carlos Soublette.
And he kept the centaur in their claims to guide the path of democracy, but was not heard by Monagas, who turned his passion for political opponents of the centaur and a confrontation ensued in which our biography was offended, who from that time suffered the most cruel outrages and taunts by the president, who is acting without attachment to respect for the institutional and investment and honor, Paez sent to the dungeons of the castle of San Antonio for his eminence in Cumana.
This was a tough test for the centaur, who was mocked his confidence and began to feel firsthand the collapse of republican institutions.
Out hard again in 1850 to exile and has to face loneliness in disgrace, but the pride of being one of the builders of the country, keep you upright and through the exchange of letters kept alive the flame of the country’s institutional catering, continues to write to their friends, civil and military, the need to recover the path of order and progress that had been established from 1830 to 1847, when it occurred governments acting under the aegis of the constitution of 1830. In contrast, in those times could be seen as the personal ambition of a family project, complemented by some incendiary demagogues like Antonio Leocadio Guzman and Ezequiel Zamora, who among others, tore the constitutional scaffolding built with such effort.
In these circumstances we venture to extract a quote from the manifesto written by Paez August 1, 1848, before his imprisonment, which states among many things, the following:
“The legal order that has been in Venezuela, has happened an order of violence and oppression, a change with so fatal a history that can predict the imminent risk of threat to society, career independence and freedom, not excused sacrifices (…) The judge to whom my unhappy country in charge of their destinies in the past year has become its bitterest enemy. General Jose Tadeo Monagas has resumed the exercise of arbitrary power and hold, has aroused the fiercest passions of a part of society against another, and called her about the men identified by their crimes or complicity in the various conspiracies that have convulsed Venezuela. ” (1)
This testimony show us that despite the good will of many of the children of the fatherland, who always lined sheepskin puts his ambition against the right to achieve their personal ends, causing a serious blow to progress and the established order.
This blow is going to feel the general Paez, it will haunt the rest of his life, and will suffer in the flesh in exile, destitute, of friends, your family, in solitude without the helping hand unknown and act in good faith, but the untamed plains, such as horse race course, tempered by the hard labor of the field, heralded a new dawn and ate with the hope to continue doing their experience and desire of the great nation, and after a long exile returns to his long to try to rebuild the broken and before the insurgency of the so-called federal, incidentally assumes the leadership of the country in 1860 until 1863, when signing the treaty of Coche and is Venezuela under the leadership of John
1.-Jose Antonio Paez, Documentary code. P. 55.
Crisostomo Falcon, who by adopting the constitution of 1864 will create the department in honor Vargas guayre~no wise, recognizing the talent and Pro Builder policies of development.
With the signing of the car means the General Paez, who despite his effort, love, detachment, by restoring the normal path of constitutional, must give the spaces, times change, new actors insurgents different projects, adequate new paradigms and ways of acting which was used to, and start a new journey by land that sheltered him from the Caribbean to New York, with a short transit to Buenos Aires.
Another exile for not returning
These new times overwhelm their concern, the family unit is not going to rebuild, the homing instinct stimulated by the reminiscences and longing for loved ones fed the feeling of fatherhood and fuels the desire to be with his family, and as can not be physically with them, through exchange of letters is more continuous, more demanding and takes advantage of all travelers to send the message, as well as distressed by the demands of daily life and the lack of economic resources, use all arguments so that their salaries will be restored to pay for their stay in foreign lands in New York, as seen below in a letter to Federico Hellmund:
“Everything is very expensive, the war gives hope for completion and there is no way to win or maintenance, that’s why I’m thinking of St. Thomas where if I can not do much, but I’ll be closer to my family who, if not I can see some part of it may come to me and accompany me in case of disease “(2).
2 .- Jose Antonio Paez, Documentary code. P. 65.
But faint and continues in his plea, claiming their demands at all levels as we appreciate it in another letter to his friend Federico Hellmund, responsible for processing their claims against the Venezuelan government:
“I enclose a letter to General Falcon (…) that I say it as you see, to understand with you about ways to pay me my salary, I think the best way is that you arrange with the government, demanding him a warrant for the house here Boulton me the appropriate amount and deliver me than you and that Boulton is paid for the rights to be displayed by their introductions in La Guaira and get it I want you to speak Falcon person “(3).
In 1864 will have a financial hardship relief in his efforts since that achieves Guzman payment of their salaries, but this is not enough and was thinking of starting a business based on the sale of coffee and brown sugar to make their livelihoods, such as expressed in one of his letters to Hellmund in 1865:
“I’m doing a test here with sweet brown sugar, which I think can be a productive speculation, and for that reason I want to know if you could get beyond four or five thousand newsprint while the same quality as those mentioned was” … ( 4)
That desire entrepreneur puts his ability to trade other items such as coffee and even medications, and ask for more referrals Creole products for sale.
All this indicates that when a person acts based on its principles and values, attached to their customs righteousness does not cease to procure a decent life and will continue to operate the centaur in a strange land, earning the appreciation, esteem and solidifying the pedestal built up throughout his life, at the expense of effort and perseverance.
3 .- Jose Antonio Paez. Documentary repertoire. P. 66.
4 .- Jose Antonio Paez. Ob. Cit. P. 69.
That is the example to follow, the man who in spite of the vicissitudes experienced was unwavering in its aspirations and principles, and although he had to taste the bitter cup of exile, far from their loved ones and friends, never ranted its country, but kept her pride and appreciation of the planting done for the benefit of others.
Well acted and lived the centaur of the plains, known as the Taita Paez, or as the man who took advantage of the times lived and solace to cultivate and write his autobiography which is a work of reference for the study of the War of Independence, and as also to meet the initial years in the construction of the Venezuelan Republic, but also took time to time to study the theory and notation and delight at various stages of the world running with piano master keys to get rhythm and harmony.
Ladies and gentlemen, friends, friends, thank you very much.
Remarks on June 13, 2009, in ASOPREDI in Catia La Mar, Municipio Vargas, on the occasion of 219 anniversary of the birth of General Jose Antonio Paez.