This article analyzes the construction and circulation of historical memories of the Coro slave rebellion in Venezuela between 1795 and 2014. We show how historical interpreters have inscribed divergent representations of this rebellion in documents, landscapes, historiographies, monuments, and music. In a political climate defined by ethnoracial and political tensions, colonial elites saw in the rebellion the republican ideology and racial violence of the Haitian Revolution. Fearing the persistence of social divisions and political resentment, nineteenth-century republican leaders all but effaced the rebellion from the nation’s historical memory. This episode was finally recovered by historians at the beginning of the twentieth century, and since the 1950s teachers, guerrilla members, and social activists have linked the rebellion to political discourses of ethnoracial struggle, cultural syncretism, bodily suffering, and social exclusion. Recently, communal organizations in the region have begun to connect it to contemporary anti-imperialist and socialist projects. We argue that historical memories have mobilized political identities at different times and imagined regional genealogies of struggle against imperialism and political oppression.

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