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Manuela Saenz
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    (December 27, 1795-October 23, 1856)
    Born in Quito, Ecuador
    Died in Paita, Peru
    Mistress to Simon Bolivar
    Revolutionary and spy during the Spanish American Wars of Independence
    Her birth year was also listed as 1797.
    She was the bastard child of a Spanish military officer and Creole woman.
    While attending convent school, nuns kicked her out due to an affair with Spanish Army man Fausto D'Elhuyar.
    She called her arranged marriage to a much older wealthy Englishman 'supremely ridiculous.'
    She left her husband for Simon Bolivar, a noted womanizer.
    She employed gossip to retain information in conspiring against the Spanish crown.
    Celebrated for her stunning beauty, she went after and obtained what (and who) she wanted.
    Standing on a balcony while hosting a victory celebration for Bolivar, she threw a floral decoration in his lap, with him later quipping, 'If all my soldiers had your aim, I would have won all the battles.'
    During an attempt on Bolivar's life, she assisted in his escape, with him praising her as 'Libertadora del Libertador'--'The Liberator's Liberator.'
    Because of her fight for women's rights and conveying crucial information to the Revolutionary cause, she was awarded the Caballeresa del Sol (Order of the Sun).
    Banished from Ecuador by the viceroy she tried to usurp, living out her final days impoverished in a Peruvian fishing village, succumbing to diphtheria at 60.
    In 2010, her 'symbolic remains' traveled through Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru, with a final burial in Venezuela--nations she assisted in their gaining independence--next to her beloved Simon.

Credit: Black Chic

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