Miranda, Francisco

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Miranda, Francisco


Born Mar. 28, 1750, in Caracas; died July 14, 1816, in Cadiz. Venezuelan patriot, one of the leaders in the struggle for the independence of the Spanish colonies in America.

Miranda was of a wealthy Creole family, and while an officer in the Spanish Army maintained ties with patriotically minded Creole circles in Cuba and Venezuela. In 1783, persecuted by the Spanish authorities, he fled to North America, where he negotiated with political figures in the United States over the recruitment and arming of volunteers to aid the Creole patriots in the Spanish colonies.

In search of support from the other major powers in the struggle against Spain, Miranda traveled to Europe. In 1786–87 he visited Russia, in 1790 England, and in 1792 France, where he was attracted to the Girondins and joined the French Army. In London in 1798 he renewed negotiations with the English government, but failing to receive aid from that source, he traveled again to the United States.

In 1806, Miranda organized an expeditionary force and twice landed on the coast of Venezuela with the aim of liberating the country. Defeated, he continued to gather forces for a new attempt. Returning to Venezuela in 1810, Miranda assumed leadership of the independence struggle. In early 1812, the Venezuelan congress appointed him generalissimo and gave him dictatorial powers. But in July the republican army was forced to capitulate. According to the terms reached between Miranda and the Spanish command on July 26, 1812, those who had fought for independence would be allowed to leave the colony. Just before Miranda’s own departure, the Spanish authorities seized him and transported him to Spain, where he died in prison.


Miroshevskii, V. M. Osvoboditel’nye dvizheniia v amerikanskikh koloniiakh Ispanii… . Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Lavretskii, I. R. Miranda. Moscow, 1965.
Briceno Perozo, M. Mirandonianas. Caracas [1968].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.