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Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre to be opened this year

Published:Tuesday | February 24, 2015 | 2:00 AM
The Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre in downtown Kingston.

The Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre will be opened this year, and the government has set aside $34.5 million in the 2014-2015 Estimates of Expenditure for its operations.

The Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre was built in honour of the Venezuelan liberator and national hero and is located at North parade in downtown Kingston.

Jamaica's relationship with Venezuela did not escape the notice of Governor General Sir Patrick Allen. In delivering the Throne Speech at Gordon House on Thursday, Allen said this year marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the PetroCaribe Agreement with Venezuela and the 200th anniversary of the historic Jamaican Letter written from Kingston by the great liberator, Simon Bolivar.

"In celebrating the anniversary, Jamaica will host the PetroCaribe Council Meeting and open the Simon Bolivar Centre in downtown Kingston," Allen said.

Request made

The Simon Bolivar Centre evolved from the request of the Venezuelan Government to the Jamaica Government in 2002 to establish a facility in downtown Kingston to commemorate Venezuelan liberator Simon Bolivar's link to Jamaica.

Venezuelan national hero Simon Jose Antonio de la Santisima - Simon Bolivar - resided in Jamaica in 1815 at 33 Princess Street in downtown Kingston. It was from here that he penned what is reputed to be his greatest written work, the 'Letter from Jamaica'.

The letter, it is believed, was Bolivar's views on the independence movement in Venezuela and the form of government, which he deemed to be right for that country, and, was in part, his response to an invitation by the then English Governor of Jamaica to expound on the matter.