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Manuela Saenz
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    (December 27, 1797-November 23, 1856)
    Born in Quito, Viceroyalty of New Granada (now Ecuador)
    Dona Manuela Saenz y Aizpuru
    Revolutionary heroine of South America
    Credited with using her social position in the aristocracy to aid the wars for independence in Latin America
    Prevented an assassination attempt against Simon Bolivar and facilitated his escape (1828)
    Famous for her eight-year collaboration and love affair with General Bolivar, later detailed in private letters between the two
    Figures prominently as a character in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's acclaimed historical novel ‘The General in His Labyrinth’ (1989)
    Her home is now a museum.
    She sold tobacco in her final years.
    She was in an arranged marriage to a wealthy Englishman twice her age.
    For years, historians exclusively identified her as ‘Bolivar’s Mistress.’
    On the other end of the spectrum, she has been adopted by radical feminists in Latin America as a Joan of Arc figure (which also is probably a stretch).
    She was born illegitimately to a disinherited Ecuadorian noblewoman and a Spanish nobleman.
    Simon Bolivar dubbed her ‘liberator of the liberator.’
    She supported the revolutionary cause by gathering information, distributing leaflets, and protesting for women's rights.
    She received the Order of the Sun (or 'Dame of the Sun'), honoring her services in the revolution.
    She was sent into exile after Bolivar’s death, spending the rest of her life impoverished in Northern Peru after her own husband’s mysterious death.
    Her role in the revolutions of Latin America was overlooked until the end of the 20th-century.
    She was granted a proper state funeral by the Venezuelan government, with her symbolic ‘remains’ transported through Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador before being officially interred in the National Pantheon of Venezuela (2010).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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