Chronography of South & Central America (inc. Atlantic Islands
Page last modified 25/7/2022
See also Belize
See also Argentina
See also Brazil
See also Chile
See also Colombia
See also Cuba
See also Ecuador
See also El Salvador
See also Falklands Islands
See also Guatemala
See also Haiti
See also Honduras
See also Mexico
See also Nicaragua
See also Panama
See also Paraguay
See also Peru
See also Venezuela
Antigua and Barbuda � see Appendix -2 below
Aruba � see Appendix -1 below
Bahamas � see Sppendix -1a below
Barbados � see Appendix -1b below
Bermuda -� see Appendix 1 below
Bolivia � see Appendix 2 below
Costa Rica� - see Appendix 3 below
Dominica � see Appendix 4 below
Dominican Republic � see Appendix 5 below
Grenada � see Appendix 7 below
Guyana � see Appendix 9 below
Jamaica � see Appendix 10 below
Martinique � see Appendic 10a below
Montserrat � see Appendix 10b below
Netherlands Antilles � see Appendix 11 below
St Kitts Nevis � see Appendix 13 below
St Lucia � see Appendix 14b below
St Vincent � see Appendix 14c below
Suriname � see Appemdix 14d below
Trinidad and Tobago � see Appendix 15 below
Uruguay � see Appendix 16 below
1/1/2012, The Caribbean island of Saint Barthelemy seceded from Guadeloupe; thereby leaving the European Union.
10/10/2010, The Netherlands Antilles was dissolved; each island was given a new constitutional status.
9/12/2004, The 12 countries of South America established the South American Community of Nations. Eventually, a single market and common currency was envisaged.
1/1/1995, Mercosur, comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, came into existence.
31/7/1990, �In Trinidad, Muslim rebels released Prime Minister A R Robinson but held other hostages in Port Of Spain television station.
7/8/1987, The leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua signed a peace plan in Guatemala City to end the 10-year conflict in the region.
1/8/1973, The Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) was inaugurated.
30/5/1969, Rioting over low wages and unemployment broke out in Curacao. Shops were looted and burnt. From 1955 the oil refineries had begun to replace labour with automation, and began to contract out services such as cleaning and construction, and contractors paid lower wages than the refinery had done.
19/3/1969. British forces landed on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. The rebel government set up self-appointed President Ronald Webster offered no resistance. Many of the 6,000 islanders welcomed the British invasion force, whose arrival had already been announced by the BBC.
18/2/1960, Seven South American countries established the Latin American Free Trade Association.
1/8/1957, The West Indies Federation was formed.
7/2/1956, A conference was held in London on establishing the British Caribbean Federation; this was set up on 1/8/1957.
29/12/1954, The Netherlands enacted a �Statute of the Realm�, giving their remaining possessions in South America and the Caribbean autonomy in domestic affairs.
3/6/1954, The Dutch West Indies were given independence.
26/12/1938, The Lima Declaration was issued.� A Pan-American conference in Peru issued a declaration of solidarity and adherence to democratic ideals, in the face of rising totalitarianism and tension in Europe and Asia.
19/1/1921, A treaty to merge El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica into a single republic, the Provincias Unidas de Centroam�rica, was signed in San Jos�, Costa Rica. The attempt to recreate the Federal Republic of Central America, that had existed from 1823 to 1841 before breaking into five nations, did not include Nicaragua and would not go further than the selection of a provisional council of delegates from each state; none of the signatories ever ratified the treaty.
11/9/1908, Everhardus Jacobus van Romondt, Netherlands Antilles Government Mminister, was born in Willemstad, Cura�ao (died 1960)
11/6/1971, Isabel Gonzalez, Puerto Rican political activist, died aged 89.
30/10/1950, Nationalist uprising in Puerto Rico.
14/5/1937, The Governor of Puerto Rico, Blanton Winship, signed a bill providing for sterilization of the insane and the establishment of a eugenics board.
17/7/1859, Luis Munoz Rivera was born. He made great efforts in securing autonomy for Puerto Rico, first from Spain and then from the USA.
31/3/1917, The USA purchased the Virgin Islands from Denmark for US$25 million, to prevent their occupation by Germany and to guard the Panama Canal.
14/12/1916, A referendum in Denmark agreed by 64.3% for to 35.7% against to agree to the sale of the Danish West Indies to the US, for the sum of US$ 25 million. These islands became the US Virgin Islands; they were of strategic importance to the US now that the Panama Canal had opened. The islands were formally handed over on 1/4/1917, just before the US declared war on Germany.
3/2/1852, Argentina abandoned plans to annex Uruguay after De Rosas, Argentine dictator,� was defeated by a force of Brazilians and Uruguayans at the Battle of Caseros. De Rosas fled to Britain.
1843, Earthquake hit Guadeloupe.
17/12/1830 . Simon Bolivar died of tuberculosis.
4/6/1830, De Sucre, aged 35, was assassinated near Pasto, Colombia, as he tried to maintain the unity of Gran Colombia.
23/1/1823. The USA recognised the independent states of Argentina and Chile.
15/9/1821. El Salvador proclaimed its independence and became a member of the United Provinces of Central America.
7/8/1819, At the Battle of Boyaca, Simon Bolivar�s forces won decisively over the Spanish. As a result of this battle, New Granada (Colombia) gained independence from Spain, and eventually Bolivar was able to create the state of Gran Colombia (Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador).
22/7/1795, The Second Treaty of Basle. Spain ceded the Dominican Republic to France.
3/5/1790, Port Louis in Tobago was destroyed by fire.
3/2/1781. Having declared war on the Dutch (see 20/11/1780), the British captured from the Dutch the island of St Eustatius.
9/3/1741, British Admiral Edward Vernon began an assault on the Spanish city of Cartagena, in modern-day Colombia.
4/4/1720, In return for a loan of �7 million to finance war against France, the House of Lords passed the South Sea Bill, granting the South Sea Company a monopoly on trade with South America.
5/5/1659, Saint Helena was occupied by Captain John Dutton of the East India Company.
1624, First English settlement on St Christopher.
31/1/1616, The Dutch navigator Willem Schouten completed the first voyage around Cape Horn. He named it Cape Hoorn after his birthplace in the Netherlands.
28/2/1574, The Spanish Inquisition burnt at the stake two Englishmen and an Irishman for �Lutheran heresy�. These were the first European victims of the Inquisition in the New World; previously only native Indians had been burnt, for �Aztec paganism�. A further 68 Englishmen were publically lashed and given long terms as galley-slaves. These men were from a fleet headed by Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake that had brought slaves from Africa to sell in the Caribbean, in defiance of a Spanish ban; Drake and Hawkins escaped but had to abandon two ships and crew.
1547, Hernan Cortez died in poverty in Spain.
24/8/1542, Spanish explorers from Quito, Peru, pushed on over the Andes and explored the river they called the Amazon, after the women warriors they met there. However this territory was claimed by Portugal under the Treaty of Tordesillas.
26/6/1541, Francisco Pizarro, Conquistador, was assassinated in Lima, by followers of a rival explorer, Almagro. The two had disputed over the area each was to control.
26/4/1538, At the Battle of Los Salinas, Almagro was defeated by Francisco Pizarro, who then seized Cuzco.
15/8/1537, Asunci�n was founded by Juan de Salazar y Espinoza
15/11/1533, Pizarro entered Cuzco.
29/8/1533, The end of the Inca Empire. Francisco Pizarro has arranged for Atahualpa to be tried on charges of murder, sedition and idolatry. King Atahualpa, last King of the Incas (1527-33) was at times overconfident; at times over-apprehensive of the Spanish, his vacillation allowed the Spanish to gain control of his empire. Found guilty this day, Atahualpa was executed by strangulation. See also Peru
16/11/1532, Atuahalpa met Pizarro at his mountain fortress of Cajamarca. The Spanish handed Atahualpa a Bible and demanded that he convert to Christianity. Atahualpa refused, and was taken hostage by the Spanish. The Inca offered the Soanish a �roomful of gold� to release Atahualpa; the ransiom was paid, but Pizarro did not keep his side of the bargain. Instead he had Atahualpa garrotted in tbe main square in July 1533.
27/12/1530, Spanish ships under Pizarro set sail from Panama into the Pacific to capture the gold and silver of the Inca Empire.
1527, Sebastian Cabot explored the Plate Estuary, and the Paraguay and Parana Rivers.
15/10/1522, Spanish Emperor Charles V promoted Herman Cortes to Governor-General of the new colony of Mexico, founded in 1521.
13/8/1522, Emperor Cuauhtemotzin surrendered Mexico City to the Spanish under Cortez.
31/8/1521, The major city of Tenochtitlan in Central America was conquered by Cortez after an 85-day battle.
10/7/1520, In Mexico, Cortez was driven out of Tenochtitlan by the Aztec leader, Cuauhtemoc. Cortez retreated to Tlaxcala.
30/6/1520. Montezuma II, the last Aztec ruler, was killed by his own people in Mexico City during the Spanish conquest of Mexico under Cortez.
8/11/1519, Hern�n Cort�s entered Tenochtitlan and the court of Aztec ruler Moctezuma.
15/8/1519, Panama City was founded.
24/4/1519, Montezuma II, the Aztec Emperor, sent envoys to attend the first Easter Mass to be celebrated in the Americas.
25/9/1513. The Spaniard Vasco Nunez de Balboa became the first European to see the Pacific from the Americas. Leaving his base near Darien he headed west across the Isthmus of Panama in a gruelling 25 day trek across 45 miles of almost impenetrable jungle. Hostile natives were an added hazard.
8/8/1508, Juan Ponce de Le�n, a lieutenant under Columbus, founded the first Spanish settlement on Puerto Rico, Caparra, on August 8, 1508.
29/2/1504,� A total eclipse of the Moon. Christopher Columbus was stranded in Jamaica and needed provisions but the locals were reluctant to help him. Columbus knew the eclipse was due and warned the tribal leaders that his God would turn the Moon blood-red if they did not help him. The locals did not comply but when the Moon turned red as Columbus had foretold they did give him necessary provisions.
10/5/1503, Christopher Columbus discovered the Cayman Islands, he called them Las Tortugas, after the numerous sea turtles there.
10/5/1501. Amerigo Vespucci set sail for what is now called South America.� On 1/1/1502 his fleet entered the bay of Guanabara, where Rio de Janeiro now stands.
25/3/1501, Ascension Island was first sighted by the Portuguese navigator, Joao de Nova Gallego. He named it Ilha de Nossa Senhora de Conceicoa in honour of the Annunciation. It was rediscovered by Alfonso D�Albuquerque on Ascension Day 1503, and thereby acquired its present name.
31/7/1498, Christopher Columbus arrived at an island he called Trinidad.
7/6/1494, The Treaty of Tordesillas was signed. In 1493, Pope Alexander VI had set a line at 100 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands from north to south Pole; Spain had the rights to colonise west of this line, Portugal to the east. The 1494 Treaty moved this line a further 270 leagues to the west. This resulted in Portugal having possession of both Brazil and Africa; in turn this greatly facilitated the expansion of the slave trade, providing cheap labour for the sugar plantations.
4/5/1494. Christopher Columbus landed on an island he called Santa Gloria, now known as Jamaica.
3/1/1494, Christopher Columbus established the first European colony in the Americas. It was called Isabella, in Hispaniola.
19/11/1493, Christopher Columbus discovered Puerto Rico, and claimed it for Spain.
3/11/1493, Christopher Columbus, on his second expedition, sighted the island now known as Dominica.
4/1/1493. Christopher Columbus left America on the return voyage to Spain in the Nina.
5/12/1492, Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Santo Domingo.
3/8/1492. Christopher Columbus left Palos de la Frontera, Andalusia, south-west Spain, on his first voyage to search for a passage to the Far East via the Atlantic. He actually found the Americas.� He sailed in the Santa Maria, accompanied by the Nina and the Pinta. Columbus had delayed his sailing until after 2/8/1492 as that was the deadline for Jews to leave Spain; therefore Columbus was now departing from a �cleansed� Spain.
1485, Hernan Cortez was born.
1475, Francisco Pizarro was born.
1432, The Azores, then uninhabited, were discovered by the Portuguese.
2800 BCE, Earliest known fishing villages in the Amazon.
3750 BCE, Earliest fishing villages in Peru.
5400 BCE, Llamas and alpacas were domesticated in the Andes.
5500 BCE, Corn, squash, avocado and chilis were being grown in Central America.
6000 BCE, Estimated date of start of sedentary agriculture in the Andes. Corn cultivation in Ecuador.
9500 BCE, Estimated date of human settlement reaching the tip of South America.
Appemdix -2 � Antigua and Barbuda
2004, The United Progressive Party won elections for the first time.
1999, New elections; Lester Bird remained as Prime Minister.
1995, Protests at tax rises.
1994, Lester Bird succeeded his father as Prime Minister.
1983, Antigue supported the US invasion of Grenada.
11/11/1981, Antigua and Barbuda joined the United Nations.
1/11/1981. Antigua and Barbuda became independent from Britain.
1951, Universal adult suffrage began.
1860, Barbuda, hitherto owned by the Codrington family, was formally incorporated into the colony of Antigua.
1667, The Frency briefly occupied Antigua, but it was returned to Britain under the Treaty of Breda.
1632, English settlements founded on Antigua. Sir Thomas Warrener was the Governor.
Appendix -1 � Aruba
1990, Plans for Aruban independence from The Netherlands were cancelled due to concerns over security and economic viability.
1636, The Dutch gained possession of Aruba, but did little with it. Apart from a few garrisons, it was left to the indigenous Arawaks.
1499, Spain became the first European power to claim Aruba.
Appendix -1a � Bahamas
10/7/1973. The Bahamas became independent from Britain and joined the Commonwealth.� They had been� British colony since 1783.
1920, As Prohibition began in the US, the Bahamas became a lucrative bootlegging centre fior alcohol.
4/11/1903, Henry Milton Taylor, 3rd Governor-General of the Bahamas was born (died 1994)
1783, Britain recaptured the Bahamas from Spain.
1781, Spain seized the Bahamas from Britain.
1717, Britain took over direct control of the Bahamas.
1690, Britain granted the Bahamas to the owners of Carolina.
1647, William Sayle, former Governor of Bermuda, started a British colony on the island of Eeluthera, Bahamas. He named the island Eleuthera, from the Greek �eleutheros� meaning �free�, because the new colonists would be able to carry on freely with their Puritan style of worship. The British colonists of 1647 found the Bahamas uninhabvited, because the Spanish, during the 1500s, after Columbus�s visit, had systematically rounded up all the indigenous Amerindians from the Caribbean islands to work in the Mexican silver mines.
1629, Britain laid claim to the Bahamas; they became a formal UK Crown colony in 1717.
12/10/1492. Christopher Columbus first saw land; it was not Asia but the continent of America. He called it San Salvador.� Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas.
Appendix -1b � Barbados
1994, The Barbados Labour Party won the first of thrtee successive elections.
1983, Barbados provided bases for US troops invading Grenada.
30/11/1966, Barbados proclaimed full independence.
1951, Barbados introduced universal adult suffrage.
1834, The abolition of slavery in Barbados caused a major economic recession.
1800, Barbados was developing a lucrative sugar export industry, based on the labour of moe than 80,000 slaves.
1637, Commercial sugar plantations began on Barbados. This industry rapidly supplanted the former tobacco and indigo industries.
1627, First English settlement on Barbados.
Appendix 1 � Bermuda
1995, Bermudans rejected independence from Britain in a referendum.
10/3/1973, Following a period of political tension in Bermuda, the Governor, Sir Richard Sharples, was assassinated.
8/6/1968, Bermuda achieved internal self-government.
1677, The Bermuda topsoil was exhausted (see 1618), and the colonists turned to the sea freight industry, also some piracy.
1618, The Bermuda tobacco industry was booming, with 70,000 lbs a year being shipped to London, where it sold for 2s 6d a lb. See 1677.
12/3/1609, The Bermuda Islands became a British colony.
1511?, Bermuda was discovered by the Spanish explorer Juan de Bermudez.
Appendix 2 � Bolivia
2006, Evo Mortales Aima became Bolivia�s first ever indogenous Presaident, for the Movement Towards Socialism Party. Gas was nationalised, and more rights given to indigenous peoples.
2/2000, 100,000 Bolivians protested against the government decision to privatise the water supply. The Government�s eradication of coca plantations also caused dissent.
1990, 16,000 square kilometres of Bolivian rainforest were recogtnised as Amerindian territory.
1989, The Movement For The Revolutionary Left took power after a close-run election.
1986, The world tin price collapsed, and 21,000 miners in Bolivia became unemployed.
1985, The Nationalist Revolutionary Movement won elections. Austerity measures were imposed, bringing inflation down to 20%.
1982, Return to civilian rule under the Leftist president Siles Zuazo. Bolivian inflation was running at 24,000%,
1979, A brief period of civilian rule in Bolivia, followed by a further military coup in 1980.
19/8/1971, Unrest in Bolivia was triggered by the arrest of 30 leaders of a Right-wing demonstration in Santa Cruz. Leftist Bolivian President Juan Jose Torres was supported by peasants, students, miners and the air force, but opposed by the army and the conservative middle and upper classes. Then the air force defected to the Rightist rebels, and they captured the capital, La Paz. President Torres fled to Peru and then on to Chile, where he gained asylum. A military-civilian coalition government took control of Bolivia, led by Colonel Hugo Banzer Suarez.
9/1969, General Alfredo Ovando Candia deposed President Siles and became dictator. A decade of military rule, becoming increasingly harsh, ensued until 1979.
9/10/1967. The revolutionary Marxist leader Che Guevara was captured in Bolivia and shot. Bolivian troops killed Ernesto �Che� Guevara and six other guerrillas they had cornered in the village of La Higuera near Vallegrande. The Argentine born hero of Latin American revolutionaries, Guevara was a prominent figure in Fidel Castro�s successful Cuban Revolution of the 1950s and 60s. Guevara then decided to join other struggles of �liberation�. Guevara came from a middle class family and his travels convinced him that only violent revolution would solve the economic, political, and poverty problems facing many Latin American countries. The French philosopher Jean Paul Satre described him as �the most complete human being of our age�.
1964, Economic collapse in Bolivia; the military seized power.
1960, Paz Estenssoro regained the Presidency.
1956, Hernan Siles, Nationalist Revolutionary Movement, won the Presidential elections.
9/4/1952, Protests in Bolivia, led by Trotskyist unionised miners, against the military junta who had seized power in 1951. The miners were well organised and armed, and mounted blockade in La Paz to prevent te military from entering to regain power. Three days of fighting followed, after which the demoralised army gave up and Estenssoro became President. He fulfilled his political promises, granting universal suffrage, nationalising the tin industry, raising wages, and redistributing land to Bolivian peasants and the indigenous peoples.
1951, Presidential elections were won by Victor Paz Estenssoro, for the middle-class progressive National Revolutionary Movenent (NRM). However a military junta then seized power to prevent him taking government. This led to popular protests, see 9/4/1952.
1923, Miners revolt in Bolivia.
1920, Amerindian rebellion in Bolivia.
1914, The Republican Party was founded.
1903, Bolivia ceded Acre Province,rich in rubber production, to Brazil. The provoince had been disputed between the two nations.
1880, Bolivia enjoyed a period of stable government, lasting until 1930, with mninerals exports creating prosperity.
1879, The War of the Pacific. Bolivia was defeated by Chile, losing its coastline and the nitrate rich province of Attacama. The War ended in 1884. For more details see Chile
1864, The dioctatorship of Matiano Melgarejo began, lasting until 1871. Three Amerindian revolts over the seizure ofnancestral lands were crushed.
1836, Bolivia formed a short-lived unuion with Peru, which failed in 1839, leading to internal unrest.
1826, Chuquisaca was renamed Sucre, after the General who liberated it from the Spanish.
6/8/1825, Bolivia proclaimed itself a Republic, independent from Spain, after nearly 300 years of Spanish rule.� Antonio Sacre was the first President.
17/12/1819, Simon Bolivar, who had already secured the independence of Venezuela, became the President of the newly independent Bolivia.
1809, Anti-Spanish uprising inspired by Simon Bolivar took place in Chuquisaca (Sucre), La Paz and Cochabamba. They all failed.
1776, Upper Peru was assigned by the Spanish to the ViceRoyalty of Rio de la Plata, centred on Buenos Aires.
1545, Cerro Rico, the �Silver Mountain�, was discovered at Potosi. Wiuthin 3 decades Potosi grew to 120,000 people, the biggets city in the Americas.
30/11/1538, Sucre, Bolivia, was founded under the name of Ciudad de la Plata de la Nueva Toledo.
1532, The Bolivia area was conquered by the Spanish. The last indoigenous resistence was finally supressed in 1538. The region was governed as part of �Upper Peru�.
Appendix 3 � Costa Rica
1990, Rafael Calderon (PUSC)was elected President.
1986, Oscar Arias Sanchez was elected President on a neutralist platform.
1983, Costa Rica affirmed its policy of neutrality.
1982, Luis Alberto Monge, PLN, elected President. He implemented a severe austerity policy to restart the economy.
1978, Rodrigo Carazo, Conservative, was elected President. The economy deteriorated.
1974, PLN administration, return to socialist policies.
11/1/1955, A small force of Calderon supporters landed in Costa Rica and seized the northern border town of Villa Quesada. Figueres appealed to the Organisation of American states to investigate and it was discovered that Nicaragua was supplying the rebels. Nicaragua then halted its support for the rebels; meanwhile the US had sold four fighter planes to Costa Rica. The rebels were driven north into Nicaragua. In 1956 Costa Rica and Nicaragua agreed to co-operate on border security.
1953, Jose Figueres Ferrer was elected President of Costa Rica, as a moderate Socialist. Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza now claimed that Costa Rica had supported a plan to assassinate him and began to give support again to supporters of Calderon.
8/11/1949, Costa Rica abolished its army, under the rule of President Figueres Ferrer, an associate of Fidel Castro. It also gave women and people of African descent the vote. The Communist party was outlawed,m and banks were nationalised. Ulate became President.
10/12/1948, A force of Calderon supporters attempted an invasion of Costa Rica but were repulsed.
8/5/1948, Figueres formed a ruling military junta which held power for 18 months.
28/4/1948, After some 6 weeks of civil war in Costa Rica, Figueres triumphed and entered the capital, San Jose.
24/4/1948, National Liberation forces captured the Costa Rican capital.
1/3/1948, The Costa Rican Presidential election was won by Otilio Ulate (1895-1973) but on this day the results were annulled by Congress. Civil war immediately began between Ulate�s supporters, led by Colonel Jose Figueres Ferrer (1906-60) and those who supported the defeated Presidential candidate, Rafael Calderon Guardia (1900-70). Calderon�s forces were supported by Communist forces from President Anastasio Somoza (1896-1956)� of Nicaragua and President Tiburcio Carias Andino (1876-1969) of Honduras.
5/3/1921, The US warned Costa Rica and Panama to settle their boundary dispute peacefully via arbitration.
1920, Orderly democratic government was restored in Costa Rica under the newly-elected President Julio Acosta Garcia (1872-1954).
6/1919, US Marines landed in Costa Rica, to safeguard American interests there.
5/1919, Threatened by US intervemntion, Tinoco resigned.
27/1/1917, In Costa Rica, General Fredderico Tinoco Granados (1870-1931) overthrew President Flores, objecting to his democratic reforms. Tinoco set up a military dictatorship. The US refused to grant recognition to� Tinoco�s regime, which was threatened by insurrections.
1913, President Alfredo Gonzalez Flores, Democrat, was elected.
10/3/1907, Francisco Orlich Bolmarcich, Costa Rican President 1962 to 1966, was born.
15/9/1900, Arbitration by the French president settled a boundary dispute between Costa Rica and Panama (then a province of Colombia).
1897, Costa Rica briefly joined a union of Honduras, Nicaracgua and El Salvador (established 1895), but this union broke up in 1898.
1839, Costa Rica became an independent Republic.
1824, Costa Rica became part of the United Provinces of Central Americsa, but this union broke up in 1839.
15/9/1821. Costa Rica became independent from Spain, and initially joined the Mexican Empire under Iturbide. However upon the establishment of the Mexican Republic in 1823, there was conflict in Costa Rica between the Conservatives who wishes to maintain the union with Mexico and the Liberals who desired independence for Costa Rica. After a battle near the Ochomogo Pass, the Liberal republicans were victorious. The Costa Rican capital was transferred from Cartago to San Jose, the Liberal headquarters.
18/9/1502, Christopher Columbus landed at Costa Rica.
Appendix 4 � Dominica
1995, The UWP (United Workers Party) won elections. Edison James became Prime Minister.
1980, Dominica elected the Caribbean�s fisrt female President, Eugenia Charles. She represented the Dominica Freedom Party.
3/11/1978. The Caribbean island of Dominica became an independent member of the Commonwealth.
1975, The Morne Trois Pitons National Park was established.
1967, Dominica achieved internal autonomy.
1951, Dominica introduced universal adult suffrage.
1805, Dominica formally became a British Crown Colony.
1759, Britain established control over Dominica. The island had been contested by the Brisish and French, with strong indigenous Carib resistance also. Sugar cane was produced with slave labour, then cotton and coffee.
1493, Columbus landed on Dominica.
Appendix 5 � Dominican Republic
2004, Lionel Fernandez was re-elected, and introduced austerity measures to reduce inflation.
2000, Hipolito Mejia, of the centre-left Domincan Revolutionary Party, became President. His popularity was soon diminished by high inflation, electricity shortages and major bank collapses.
1998, Hurricane did severe damage to the Dominican Republic.
1996, Lionel Fernandez, of the moderate Dominican Liberation Party,� succeeded Balaguer as President.
1985, Blanco introduced austerity measures.
6/1966, In the Dominican Republic, Bosch was defeated in Presidential elections by former President Balaguer. Under Balaguer, the Dominican Republic received much aid from the US to repair the damage done in the 1965 civil war; unemployment, however, remained high. Balaguer was re-elected in 1970 but amidst charges of election fraud; Bosch supporters boycotted the election.
5/5/1965, Truce in the Dominican Republic between the Leftist and Rightist warring factions.
28/4/1965, US forces invaded the Dominican Republic. This country had been in political turmoil since the death of the longstanding dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1961. Free elections in December 1962 brought the mildly left-wing Juan Bosch to power, but he was quickly deposed in a military coup. This right-wing military junta was itself deposed in a further coup led by Colonel Francisco Caama, and Bosch was invited to return from exile and restore democracy. However the US was extremely wary, after Cuba, of any more leftist regimes being established in the Caribbean. On 28/4 US troops occupied the western half of the capital, Santo Domingo, whilst in the east right-wing generals took over the San Isidro air base, which was then opened to US military flights. However the US did not want to undertake a permanent occupation of the Dominican Republic; US troops were replaced by a Pan-American force under Brazilian command, and free elections organised in 1966, won by President Joaquin Balaguer.
25/4/1965, The military regime in the Dominican republic that took power in 9/1963 was overthrown by pro-Bosch military officers.
25/9/1963, The Bosch administration in the Dominican Republic was overthrown in a bloodless coup by the military, who alleged that Bosch was too pro-Communist.
27/2/1963, Juan Bosch, Dominican Revolutionary Party, winner of the elections of the elections of December 1962 (first free elections there for over 30 years), was inaugurated as President.
30/5/1961, Rafael Trujillo, corrupt and dictatorial President of the Dominican Republic, was assassinated. He had been ruler since he overthrew the benevolent but inefficient rule of President Horacio Velasquez, who acceded in July 1924. After the assassination a brief period of democratic rule under President Juan Bosch from December 1962 to September 1963 was succeeded by a military junta.
2/10/1937, President Trujillo of the Dominican Republic ordered a massacre of Haitians living in the north-west of the Dominican Republic. This was the so-called� �Parsley Massacre�. Over 20,000 people were killed for failing to pronounce the word for parsley (perejil) correctly). The massacre was aimed at Haitian migrants who, not being native Spanish speakers, struggled to roll the letter �r�.
1930, General Rafael Trujillo became President.
21/10/1922, Juan Bautista Vicini Burgos became the provisional president of the Dominican Republic as the U.S. administration of the country formally ended.
1916, The Dominican Republic was occupied by US troops,until 1924; the US retained custoims control until 1940.
1865, The Dominican Republic became independent again, but governance was unstable.
1861, Spanish colonial control was re-established at the request of President Pedro Santana, to ward off Haitian attempts to retake the Dominican Republic.
27/2/1844, The Dominican Republic seceded from Haiti.
1822, Haiti invaded the Domican Republic. See Haiti.
30/11/1821, The Dominican Republic (eastern half of Hispaniola, west = Haiti) became independent from Spain.
1806, Spain re-established colonial control over eastern Hispaniola (Domincan Repubic), see Haiti, instability, 1806.
1795, By treaty with Spain, France acquired sovereignty over the whole island (Hispaniola).
1697, Hispaniola was divided between Spain and France.
1511, The Dominican Republic (eastern half of Hispaniola, west = Haiti) became a Spanish colony.
1492, Columbus first visited the island of Hispaniola.
Appendix 7 � Grenada
2004, Hurricane Ivan devastated Grenada.
1995, Keith Mitchell became Prime Minister.
4/11/1983, The Governor of Grenada declared a State of Emergency.
25/10/1983. 2,000 US Marines invaded Grenada to restore order after, on 19/10/1983, Grenada�s army had murdered the Prime Minister (Maurice Bishop) and taken power. Britain opposed the US invasion. The US said it had saved Grenada from becoming a Soviet-Cuban colony.
19/10/1983, Left-wing coup in Grenada. Prime Minister Maurice Bishop was killed.
13/3/1979, Sir Eric Gairy, Prime Minister of Grenada, was ousted in a coup by 33-year-old Marxist, Maurice Bishop, whilst Gairy was away in New York. Bishop began to forge closer links with Cuba.
7/2/1974, Grenada, in the Windward Islands, became an independent state within the Commonwealth, with Eric Gairy as its first Prime Minister. It had been a British colony since 1783.
1967, Grenada achieved internal self-government,
1951, Grenada introduced universal adult suffrage.
1877, East Indian labour was brought in to Grenada to replace former slave labour.
1837, Slaves on Gremada were freed.
1795, Rebellion on Grenada against British rule, assisted by the French; the British under Sir Ralph Abercromby regained control in 1796.
6/7/1779, French forces captured the British-held island of Grenada in the Caribbean.
1762, The British took over Grenada (formally ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Paris 1763), and continued with slave labour, producing cocoa, cotton and nutmeg. The French briefly regained the island, 1779-83. It was restored to British rule by the Treaty of Versailles, 1783.
1674, The French West India Company was dissolved, and Grenada became a possession of the French Crown. French forces overcame indigenous resistsnce, and began to establish sugar mills, based on slave labour.
1665, Grenada was acquired by the French West India Company.
1650, French forces from Martinique occupied Grenada, after its purchase by the Governor of Martinique, du Parquet. The indigenous Caribs welcomed the French; however the French subsequently exterminated the Caribs with much cruelty.
1627, Britain obtained sovereignty over Grenada. However it had been settled neither by Britain or by Spain to this dayte.
1498, Columbus visited the island, which he called Conception.
Appendix 9 � Guyana,
22/12/2002, Desmond Hoyte, leqader of the People�s National Congress, died. This eased political tensions in Guyana.
2001,Political violence broke out when Bharrat Jagdeo, People�s Progressive Party, won the Presidential elections,
1997, Cheddi Jagan, People�s Progressive Party, died in office. His widow,Janet, was elected President, which the People�s National Congress initially refused to accept; it did so later.
5/10/1992, In Guyana, general elections produced a narrow victory for the People�s Progressive Party, ending the 28-year rule of the People�s National Congress.
29/11/1978, In Jonestown, Guyana, 914 bodies, including 276 children, were found, all believed to have committed suicide, at the premises of the People�s Temple sect. Jonestown was a communal village built by a cult leader, the Reverend Jim Jones (formerly a Methodist Minister). Jones persuaded most of his followers to drink cyanide in an act of �revolutionary suicide�. However not all the 1,100 persons there did so, and there were reports that some had been forced to drink the poison.
1973, The Progressive People�s Party boycotted elections,accusing the People�s National Congress of electoral fraud.
23/2/1970, The colony of Guyana, South America, became a Republic. The first President of the Republic of Guyana was Arthur Chung.
2/1/2969, Gunmen form Brazil invaded the border region of Guyana amd occupied the towns of Lethem and Annai. The invasion was sponsored by US interests who owned cattle ranches in southern Guyana and were pertiurbed at the Lefitst policies of President Burnham. The aim of the invasion was to establish a separate State in southern Guyana.
26/5/1966. Guyana became independent, under President Burnham (1923-85). It was formerly known as British Guiana.
14/12/1964, In elections in British Guiana, Cheddi Jagan�s Progressive People�s Party lost its majority. Forbes Burnham of the People�s National Congress became the new Prime Minister.
26/7/1964, Sugar workers strike in British Guiana was called off.
22/5/1964, UK troops flown to British Guiana as a state of emergency was proclaimed as unrest grew.
25/3/1964, Unrest in British Guiana as a strike by sugar workers continued (strike ended 26/7/1964).
9/5/1963, A state of emergency was proclaimed in British Guiana but her governor, at the request of Prime Minister Cheddi Jagan.
22/4/1963, A general strike began in British Guiana (Guyana), with rioting and terrorism. The strike lasted until 8/7/1963.
12/8/1957, Following Britain�s decision to restore self-government to British Guiana (Guyana), an election for the 14 seats on the Legislative Council gave Cheddi Jagan�s People�s Progressive Party 9 seats. On 15/8/1957 Jagan formed a new Government.
12/4/1954, In British Guiana (Guyana) Dr Cheddi Jagan, leader of the People�s Progressive Party, was jailed for 6 months for violating an order restricting his� movements.
27/10/1953, British gunboats foiled a left-wing coup in British Guyana.
6/10/1953, Britain, fearing the establishment of a Communist regime in British� Guiana by the People�s Progressive Party, sent troops to the country. On 9/10/1953 the Constitution was suspended and the country governed under a State of Emergency. Party leaders were arrested.
30/4/1953, In British Guiana (Guyana), elections were won by the left-wing People�s Progressive Party under Cheddi Jagan. The PPP won 18n of the 24 seats in Parliament.
22/10/1950, Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana 2011�2015, was born in Caria-Caria, British Guiana
22/3/1918, Cheddi Jagan, President of Guyana, was born.
3/12/1905, British troops quelled a riot at Georgetown, British Guyana.
1879, Gold was discovered in Guyana, which caused increased English migratiuon and expansion. A boundary dispute with Venezuela ensued. This was settled in 1904, but Venezuela continues its claim on western Guyanese territory.
1850s, The British imported labourers from India, to augment the freed former slave workforce, in Guiana.
1814, Britain regained its colonies from the Dutch, which in 1831 were united and renamed British Guiana.
1667, The Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch all the English colonies in Guyana.
1684, Under the Treaty of Munster, Spain recognised Berbice and Essequibo,including Demerara, as Dutch colonies.
1604, The French occupied Guayana.
1602, The Dutch colonised Guiana.
1499, Alonso de Ojeda explored the Guyana coastline, on Columbus�s third voyage. The Spanish searched for the fabled El Dorado in the Oorinico and Amazon river basins.
Appendix 10 � Jamaica
Click here for maps of Kingston, Jamaica, 1917 and 1970
2006, Portia Simpson-Miller became Jamaica�s first female Prime Minister.
1999, Violent protests over fuel tax increases.
1993, The People�s National Party won a landslide election victory.
1992, Manley resigned, succeeded by PJ Patterson.
10/2/1989, The People�s National Party was elected, under Michael Manley. Austerity measure continued.
1988, Hurricane Gilbert caused considerable damage in Jamaica.
1983, The Jamaica Labour Party won elections.
1980, The IMF imposed unpopular mesasures, leading to electoral victory by the Jamaica Labour Party under Edward Seaga.
1972, The People�s National Party was elected, led by Michael Manley, son of its founder. �Reforms fsailed, and there was rioting.
10/1968, The so-called Rodney Riots broke out when Prime Minister Hugh Shearer banned Black activist Guyanese university lecturer Dr Walter Rodney from returining to his teaching position. Several people were killed and millions of US$ of damage was done.
4/1967, Hugh Shearer, aged 44, became Prime Minister of Jamaica (Jamaica Labour Party).
6/8/1962. Jamaica became independent, after being a colony of Britain for over 300 years.
11/4/1962, In Jamaica, Alexander Bustamante, Labour, formed a government.,
19/9/1961, Jamaica left the West Indies Federation.
11/11/1957. Jamaica achieved internal self-government.
1942, Bauxite was discovered in Jamaica. The bauxite industry grew to replace sugar as the main economic activity.
1938, Norman Manley formed the People�s National Party.
28/5/1929, Edward Seaga, Jamaican Prime Minister, was born.
14/10/1907, Severe earthquake hit Kingston, Jamaica.
11/10/1865, Race riots at Morant Bay, Jamaica, as Black people attacked White people.
1860, Annual Jamaican sugar production was down to 20-25 thousand tonnes per year, from 70,000 tonnes in 1821, largely due to the end of slavery.
1/8/1834, Slavery was abolished in all British colonies. �20 million was paid as compensation to former slave owners.� This was a victory for the Anti-Slavery League, formed in 1823, and their Parliamentary leader, Thomas Fowell Buxton. It also completed the work of William Wilberforce; his anti-slavery Bill, to abolish the slave trade, incepted in 1789, was passed in 1807. This move gave impetus to the anti-slavery campaign in the USA.
In South Africa, 35,000 slaves were freed as slavery ended throughout the British Empire. In Barbados the slaves continued to work for their former masters but now as hired servants.
In Jamaica, slave owners were compensated at �19 per slave. However the market rate for a slave then was �35 (�2,000 at 2000 prices). Most of this money in fact went to the plantation creditors, as the plantations were in debt, heavily mortgaged, and in places declining in fertility through overwork. Additionally the UK Government now moved from a Protectionist to a Free Trade stance,eliminiating heavy duties against non-UK-colonial sugar,and sugar prices fell by half.
1825, Jamaica was now one of the world�s leading sugar producing nations.
1693, Kingston, Jamaica, was founded.
7/6/1692, Earthquake in Jamaica. 3,000 killed, as Port Royal subsided into the sea.
1670, Spain formally ceded Jamaica to England,
10/5/1655. The English, under Admiral Penn, �captured Jamaica from the Spanish. Christopher Columbus had arrived in Jamaica in 1494, and claimed the island in the name of the King and Queen of Spain. However Europeans did not occupy the island until 1509. 146 years later the English forces arrived at Passage Fort in Kingston harbour. Commanded by Admiral Penn and General Venables they marched on Spanish Town. They had been sent by Oliver Cromwell to capture Hispaniola but failed so went to Jamaica instead. After surrendering, the Spanish were given a few days to leave Jamaica. Most went to Cuba, but a few secretly went to the north side of Jamaica. The English established a slave-labour economy producing cotton, sugar, and cattle.
1510, The Spanis, led by Columbus�s son Diego Colon, founded the first European settlement on Jamaica. Within 50 years the Arawaks had died out, killed off by disease, overwork inflicted by the Spanish and suicide. The Spanish replaced their labour with slaves from Africa.
1494, Christopher Columbus made his first visit to Jamaica, anchoring in St Ann�s Bay.
750 AD, Arawak Indians, originating from the Amazon Basin, reached Jamaica.
Appendix 10a � Martinique
8/5/1902. Mount Pelee on Martinique erupted, destroying the city of St Pierre and killing 30,000 people in just three minutes.
25/4/1902, A heavy fall of ash from Mont Pelee, Martinique, occurred.� This was a prelude to the major eruption of 8/5/1902.
1860, Slavery was abolished on Martinique.
1723, Coffee cultivation began on Martinique.
1654, The colony of Martinique gave sanctuary to 300 Jews who had been expelled from Brazil.
1650, Sugar plantations began on Martinique.
25/6/1635, The French Compagnie des Iles d�Amerique took possession of Martinique. St Pierre (destroyed by volcanic eruption in 1902) was founded this year. A colony established by Pierre Belain, Sieur d�Esnambuc, grew to 700 inhabitants by 1637.
Appendix 10b Montserrat
1784, The English regained Montserrat.
1782, The French captured Montserrat.
1668, The English regained Montserrat.
1664, The French captured Montserrat.
1632, English settlements founded on Montserrat.
1493, Christopher Columbus discovered Montserrat. He named it after Montserrado, a mountain in Spain.
Appendix 11 � Netherlands Antilles
2005, Curacao voted for autonomy
2004, Bonaire, Saba, and the Kingdom Islands voted to continue under Dutch rule, as did St Eustatius in 2005.
2004, Sint Maartin voted for autonomy.
1854, The Netherlands Antilles were created as a political unit.
Appendix 13 � St Kitts Nevis
2004, In St Kitts, Roosevelt Skerrit became, aged 31, the world�s youngest serving Prime Minister.
1998, Nevis held a referendum on secession from St Kitts but the move was defeated.
1995, The main opposition party defeated Eugenia Charles in elections,and she retired after 27 years in politics.
1989, Prime Minister Simmonds won a third term.
18/9/1983, St Kitts and Nevis became independent.
1980, Eugenia Charles, first female Prime Minister in the Caribbean,was elected in St Kitts.
1980, Anguilla formally separated from St Kitts Nevis.
1967, St Kitts Nevis achieved internal self-government.
1932, The pro-independence St Kitts Nevis Anguilla Labour Party was founded.
1783, St Kitts Nevis became a British colony.
13/2/1782, France captured St Kitts from Britain.
1628, First English settlement on Nevis.
1623, First English settlement on St Kitts.
Appendix 14b � St Lucia
2000, The OECD blacklisted St Lucia because of its status as a tax haven.
22/2/1979. St Lucia, formerlyba British colony, became an independent member of the Commonwealth.
1964, Sugar cane production ceased on St Lucia.
8/6/1946, Pearlette Louisy, Governor-General of Saint Lucia from 1997 to 2017, was born in Laborie
1814, Britain secured ownership of St Lucia, after a long dispute for it with France.
Appendix 14c � St Vincent
2001, The Unity Labour Party won a landslide election victory. Ralph Gonsalves became Prime Minister.
1984, The New Democratic Party, founded by James Mitchell in 1975, won the foirst of four governmental terms. Mitchell resigned in 2002.
27/10/1979. St Vincent and the Grenadines achieved independence.
1969, St Vincent achieved internal self-government.
1951, St Vincent adopted universal suffrage.
18/6/1779, French forces captured the British-held island of St Vincent in the Caribbean.
1773, The Carib inhabitants of St Vincent recognised British sovereignty. However there was a brief anti-British rebellion, 1795-7,aided by the French.
1627, British and French settlers colonised St Vincent.
Appendix 14d � Suriname
2007, A large section of the population, 250,000, lived abroad and sent remittances home. 90% of the home population of 450,000 lived near the coast; the remainder in scattered village sinland.
2005, Ronald Venetiaan was elected President.
2004, Suriname replaced the Dutch Guilder with the Suriname Guilder. The banana industry, a major export earner, was restructured. The UN mediated in a border dispute between Suriname and Guyana.
2000, The Coalition New Front for Democracy won elections under Ronald Venetiaan.
1996, Jules Wildenbosch, of the opposition National Democratic Party, and an ally of Bouterse, won elections. He refused to extradite Bouterse to The Netherlands where he was wanted omn drugs charges.
1992, Bouterse resigned as Head of the Army. This eased political tensions.
1991, The Coalition New Front for Democracy Government was formed under Ronald Venetiaan of the Suriname National Party, representing Creoles, South Asiand and Javanese.
1990, A further military coup deposed the civilian government,
25/1/1988, Ramsewak Shankar was inaugurated as President of Surinam, ending 8 years of military rule.
1986, Rebellion began by the Maroon Rebels of the Duriname Liberation Army. This revolt lasted until 1992.
1982, Poilitical opponents were executed; The Netherlands suspended aid to the country for 6 years.
1980, Military coup; Lieutenant Colonel Desi Bouterse seized power. A National Military Council was established to run the country. There were further coup attempts in 1981 and 1982.
25/11/1975, Surinam became independent from The Netherlands.� It was formerly known as Dutch Guiana.
20/1/1950, The first autonomous government of the South American territory of Dutch Guiana, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as the �States of Surinam�, convened its first session.
1667, Dutch rule began after the Treaty of Breda awarded trhe colony to the Netherlands.
Appendix 15 � Trindad and Tobago
1995, Basdeo Panday became the island�s first Asian-origin prime Minister,holdoing power until 2002.
27/7/1990, Jaamat al Muslimeen, a Muslim organisation, attempted a coup in Trinidad and Tobago. The island�s population was divided between its Indo-Caribbean and its Afro-Caribbean inhabitants, with the Afro-Caribbeans being poorer. The incumbent NAR (Nation Alliance for Reconstruction) Government had, with its neo-liberal policies, preside over a rise in unemployment and poverty. Yasin Abu Bakre, former policeman and now leader of Jaamat al Muslimeen, led 42 insurgents into the Red House (the Parliament Building) and took Prime Minister ANR Robinson captive, along with most of his Cabinet. Simultaneously, 72 other insurgents took over the offices of Trinidad and Tobago Television. Bakr appeared on TV to announce the overthrow of the Goverment. However the Trinidad Army recaptured the TV offices that same evening, and laid siege to Parliament. After 6 days of negotiations the insurgents were allowed to leave without prosecution, although 40 had died and millions of dollars damage been done. The NAR Government suffered heavily at elections in 1991, winning just two seats.
1980, Tobago geained its own House of Assembly, and was granted internal autonomy in 1987.
1/8/1976, Trinidad and Tobago became a Republic
31/8/1962. Trinidad and Tobago became independent.� It had been a British colony since 1802.
1956, Eric Williams founded the People�s National Movement, and won the election with support from the Afro-Caribbean population. The minority Asian population supported the Opposition.
1908, Oil production began on Trinidad.
1888, Trinidad and Tobago were united as one British colony.
1814, France ceded control of Tobago to Britain.
18/2/1797, The British captured the island of Trinidad from Spain. Spain had been forced to ally with France by Napoleon, making her at war with Britain. The British fleet blocked the Spanish fleet of Don Apodaca in the harbour of Port of Spain; the Spanish decided to scuttle (burn) their ships rather than� face annihilation and capture by the British.
1781, France captured Trinidad.
1498, Columbus visited Trinidad and Tobago, claiming both islands for Spain.
Appendix 16 � Uruguay
1/11/2004, In Uruguay the Left wing alliance Frente Amplio won the general elections, defeating the Colorados and the Blancos, who between them had formerly run Uruguay for the previous 170 years.
1/3/1985. Uruguay returned to civilian rule under President Sanguinetti after 12 years of military dictatorship under which inflation had risen to 66% and foreign debt rose to US$ 3 billion.
1/1/1975, In Uruguay, all Marxist Parties were permanently outlawed. In practice the military control was by then so heavy-handed that such Parties could not have existed anyway.
12/2/1973, In Uruguay, President Juan Maria Bordaberry (born 1928) agreed to a military dictatorship of the country. The army used harsh repression methods against the Tupumaros, including mass arrest and torture; some Tupumaros fled to Argentina.
4/1972, Uruguay declared a �state of internal war; as the military tried to curb the Tupumaros Leftist guerrillas, the police having failed to achieve this.
9/1/1971, Uruguayan President Jorge Pacheco Areco demanded emergency powers for 90 days due to kidnappings. He received them the next day.
9/9/1970, The British Ambassador to Uruguay, Geoffrey Jackson, kidnapped on 8/1/1970, was released.
1962, The Tupumaros guerrilla group was founded.
31/3/1933, Uruguay's civilian elected President, Gabriel Terra, established himself as the nation's dictator, ruling until his overthrow in 1938.
29/11/1925, Parliamentary elections were held in Uruguay. The National Party won the most seats but various factions of the Colorado Party formed a majority.
1919, Uruguay adopted a new progressive Constitution, which provided the right for workers to strike and instituted free compulsory education.
1890s, Violent strikes by immigrant workers against the landed gentry, who had been enriched by European investment in ranching,
3/2/1851, Argentina�s planned annexation of Uruguay was abandoned following the defeat of Argentine dicatator Juan Manuel de Rosas this day at the Battle of Caseros. Uruguayan insurgent Justo de Urquiza, aged 51, was backed by Brazil, and Rosas fled to England.
18/7/1830, Uruguay�s constitution came into force.
27/8/1828, Brazil formally recognised the independence of Uruguay.
20/2/1827, With Argentine help, Uruguay defeated the Brazilians at Ituzaingo.
25/8/1825, Uruguay gained independence from Spain, under Jose Artigas. Brazil,fearing that the socialist principles of Artigas would influence their country, attacked Uruguay.
3/2/1807, British forces captured Montevideo, Uruguay.
1726, The Spanish founded Montevideo.
1624, The Spanish founded their first permanent settlement at Soriano in south-west Uruguay.