On Sunday, Venezuelans remembered the 209th anniversary of the Battle of La Victoria, one of the best-known triumphs of the republican forces in the independence war over Spain.
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Under the leadership of General Jose Ribas, around 2,500 republican soldiers, most of whom were young students from Caracas University, took La Victoria city, through which they could undertake offensive maneuvers over Caracas.
"On this journey that will be memorable, we cannot even choose between winning or dying: it is necessary to win! Long live the Republic!,” Ribas said. The battle began on Feb.12, 1814, at approximately 7 am and lasted for much of the day without a definitive result.
As the enemy offensive intensified in the afternoon, about 220 cavalry soldiers led by Gen. Vicente Campo joined Ribas’ troops. This action was decisive for the combined patriotic forces to triumph in battle.
When liberator Simon Bolivar knew about the victory, he granted Ribas the title of "Victor of the Tyrants". In 1947, the Constituent Assembly also decided to decree February 12 as "The Youth Day" in honor of the young people who participated in this battle.
To celebrate the 209th anniversary of this feat, young Venezuelans marched from Plaza Venezuela in Caracas to the Miraflores Palace on Sunday.
"I am happy to welcome the youth of the Homeland and vanguard of revolutionary struggle on such a special day," President Nicolas Maduro stated.
"I was listening to these young people's ideas. The determination and courage of Ribas are present in them,” he said and convened a National Youth Congress for March 11 and 12.