NOVEMBER 10, 1817.
At Angostura, Bolivar opened the session of the Council of State.
'When the Venezuelan nation for the first time broke with Spain, her first care was to establish a constitution and a federal republic.
'The fortune of war was against us and the constitution was destroyed by the enemy. We were then so preoccupied with military matters, going from one province to another and never ceasing to fight, that no time was left us to reconsider Constitutions. The disorder was so great that a dictatorship was necessary. I suffered more than any one from the anarchy and the obligation for unrelenting rigour, but I was watching for a moment of stability in which to give you laws. There may have been a head of the Government, but on the other hand there were neither judges nor deputies.
'It is wise to watch for a chance to reëstablish them.
'The Council of State will have legislative powers and will be consulted before any execution of Government orders.
'The High Court of Justice will, if necessary, protect innocent citizens against the supreme ruler.