THE first republic to fall a prey to grave dissensions was Venezuela.
Returning to Bogotá, Bolivar concentrated troops there, for the situation threatened to grow worse; he proclaimed a state of siege in several departments and took the field, desirous to avoid bloodshed as much as possible, but also desirous to reëstablish order.
From Coro, Bolivar wrote to General Paez, who was among the most dangerous malcontents at Caracas:
'I have read with satisfaction your proclamation to Valencia. Would to Heaven that your hopes could be realized! My one desire is the welfare of Venezuela and at the same time of all America. I can assure you that I am weary of the life which I lead, and that I shall not be happy until my resignation is accepted by the great Convention. Then my true feelings will be known to the world.
'I fear a descent from the heights to which the fate of my country has raised my fame. I have never wished for power; it is toilsome to me, odious, and I will do nothing to retain it. I have even come to hope for death, which when it comes will deliver me from these complications. But Colombia fills my mind: I see our work destroyed and the curses of generations falling upon us, as those responsible for the chaos.