South & Central America (inc. Atlantic Islands): key historical events
Page last modified 27/8/2020
See also Belize
See also Argentina
See also Brazil
See also Chile
See also Colombia
See also Cuba
See also Ecuador
See also Falklands Islands
See also Haiti
See also Honduras
See also Mexico
See also Paraguay
See also Peru
See also Venezuela
European exploration and colonisation
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
El Salvador – see Appendix 7 below
Grenada – see Appendix 7a below
Guatemala – see Appendix 8 below
Guyana – see Appendix 9 below
Jamaica – see Appendix 10 below
Netherlands Antilles – see Appendix 11 below
Nicaragua – see Appendix 11a below
Panama – see Appendix 12 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.
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.
30/10/1950, Nationalist uprising in Puerto Rico.
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.
8/5/1902. Mount Pelee on Martinique erupted, destroying the city of St Pierre and killing 30,000 people in just three minutes.
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.
9/12/1824, The Battle of Ayacucho. Jose de Sucre defeated a Spanish army twice the size of his own.
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.
28/7/1821, San Martin and his forces liberated Peru, and proclaimed its independence from Spain.
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.
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.
1632, English settlements founded on Montserrat.
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, Asunción 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, Hernán Cortés 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 León, 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.
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.
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.
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.
1932, The Chaco War with Paraguay, lasting until 1935. Bolivia lost thre quarters of the Chaco region.
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.
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
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.
1948, Disputed epections gave rise to civil war. This ended when the Social Democratic Party (later, the National Liberation Party) formed a provisional military government led by Jose Figueros Ferrer.
5/3/1921, The US warned Costa Rica and Panama to settle their boundary dispute peacefully via arbitration.
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
1980, Dominica elected the caribbean’s fisrt female President, Eugenia Charles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 – El Salvador
2006, parliamentary elections; Arena took 34 seats, the National Liberation Movement took 323 seats, out of total 84. Minor Parties won the remaining 18 seats.
2004, Arena retained the Presidency, which was won by Elias Antonio Saca, a former sports correspondent.
13/1/2001, A magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit El Salvador.
2000, The National Liberation Movement won Assembly elections, retaining power until 2003.
1999, Francisco Flores, Arena Party, beat the National Liberation Movement into a poor second. Flores promised to redistribute income and reduce poverty.
1997, The Left did well in elections, securing the Mayorality of San Salvador and half the State capitals.
15/12/1992. El Salvador’s 12-year civil war, which had killed 75,000, officially ended.
1/2/1992. UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar brokered a peace deal in El Salvador between the Government and the National Liberation Movement.
1989, The Right-Wing Arena (Nationalist Republican Alliance) Party won Presidential elections in El Salvador
11/1989, An El Salvadorean Right-wing death squad burst into the rooms of six Jesuit priests who taught at the Catholic University and shot them, along with a cook and her daughter. The ckergy were regarded as ‘Communist’ by the landowning elite.
13/2/1989, The Salvadoran Army attacked Encuentros Hospital, and raped its patients.
1981, Civil war began in El Salvador as Left-winger Farbundo Marti launched the National Liberation Movement.
30/10/1980, Honduras and El Salvador formally settled their boundary dispute.
30/3/1980, Twenty were killed as the funeral of the murdered Salvadorean rebel Archbishop Oscar Romero became a bloodbath.
24/3/1980, In El Salvador the Human Rights activist, Archbishop Oscar Romero, was assassinated by gunmen whilst saying Mass. The death squad was led by Roberto D’Aubuisson, a henchman for wealthy landowners.
1980, El Salvador was a very unequal country with just 14 ‘families’ or clans controlling most of the land, agriculture and economy,
1979, Reformist officers overthrew National Conciliation Party rule.
28/2/1977, In El Salvador, Government troops fired on protestors in San Salvador led by Claramount, the opposition candidate in the 20/2/1977 elections.
20/2/1977, Former Defence Minister Carlos Romero rigged the Presidential elections in El Salvador, stuffing ballot boxes to ensure his victory.
14/7/1969, Outbreak of the ‘Football War’ between El Salvador and Honduras; hostilities lasted until 18/7/1969, and a ceasefire was negotiated on 20/7/1969 by the Organisation of American States. In 1969 wealthy landowners controlled most of the land in El Salvador, which resulted in the migration of many poor El Salvadoran labourers into Honduras, causing social tensions there. In 1969 Honduras decided to distribute land to its own poor, thereby evicting the Salvadoran migrants. El Salvador became concerned that the returning peasants would spark demands for land reform there too, Tensions between the two countries rose during the qualifying matches for the 1970 FIFA World Cup, Salvadoran troops attacked into Honduras. The troops were withdrawn in early August 1969, but a full peace treaty was not signed between the two combatants until 30/10.1980. The border essentially remained where it had been before the war. Both sides suffered around 2,000 casualties each.
1944-79, A period of Army rule through the National Conciliation Party.
1932, A popular insurrection led by Farabundi Marti was crushed by the Army.
1841, Guatemala became independent from the United Provinces of Central America.
1821, El Salvador became indeoendent from Spain as part of the United Provinces of Central America.
1525, San Salvador was founded by Diego de Alvarado; it was transferred top its current location in 1528.
1522, The Spanish first entered what is now El Salvador, landing in the Gulf of Fonseca and naming the territory Cuscatlan,
Appendix 7a – 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.
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 8 – Guatemala
2003, Oscar Berger was elected President, for the Grand National Alliance Party. However tyrnoiuty was well under 50%
1999, The Truth Commission blamed the Army and paramilitary orfganisations for masny human rights abuses during the civil war.
1998, Bishop Juan Gerardi, Human Rights campaigner, was murdered.
29/12/1996, The Guatemalan Civil War ended after 36 years.The Government and the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Union signed a peace deal.
14/1/1993. Ramiro de Leon Carpio was sworn in as President of Guatemala.
1991, Jorge Antonio Serrano was elected President; however he later fled the country.
1986, Civilian rule restored to Guatemala. Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arevalo was elected President,
7/1/1983. The US sent arms to Guatemala.
23/3/1982, Military coup in Guatemala.
31/3/1970, Guatemalan guerrillas kidnapped West German Ambassador, Count von Spreti.
1966, The Guatemalan Army bgegan a ‘pacification’ campaign against the indigenous Amerindians in the Highlands, 200,000 Amerindians died beteween now and 1984.
7/1957, Colonel Castillo, who had failed to bring prosperity to Guatemala, was assassinated. Guerillas began to operate across the country, opposed by a succession of brutal military regimes. These regimes killed an estimated 200,000 Guatemalans, mostly indigenous Mayan peasants, and razed thousands of villages in a scorched earth policy. Some Guatemalans looked back with nostalgia to the ‘quiet days’ before 1944. Many of these Mayans, some 70,000, were murdered under the regime of General Efrain Rios Montt, 1982-3.
7/1954, A succesful US-nbacked coup against President Arbenz, when the Guatemalan Army failed to support him. Colonel Castillo took over leadership.
3/1951, Nationalist leader Jacobo Arben Guzman won Guatemalan elections. At that time 2.2% of landowners owned 70% of the land, of which 70% was left uncultivated; the average annual agricultural labourer’s wage was US$87. Most of the economy was foreign-owned, largely by the USA, and the United Fruit Company was the largest landowner, but with 85% of its land left fallow. Arbenz proceeded, in 1952, to nationalise land holdings, limit the power of foreign corporations, and supported strikes against foreign businesses. The US feared a Communist takeover of Guatemala.
11/1950, Colonel Carlos Castillo, of the Guatemalan Army, attempted to overthrow the civilian goverment. On failing, he fled into exile.
1945, Liberal reformer Juan Jose Arevalo won the 1945 elections.
1944, Revolution against the dictatorial leader Jorge Ubico Castaneda. Civilian government was restored.
1885, The President of Guatemala, JR Barrios, attempted to restore the United Provinces of Central America, but his efforts came to nothing.
1859, Britain agreed with Guatemala to build a highway connecting Guatemala City to the Caribbean coast, in exchange for Guatemala recognising the integrity of Belizean territory. Guatemala has had a long-standing claim on the southern 53% of Belize. Belize came into existence as a British colony when Spain agreed to let Britain cut mahogany in what is now northern Belize; however British cutters gradually moved southwards too. When Spain retreated from Latin America in the 1800s, Britain claimed the entire territory, naming it British Honduras. In the event, Britain never built the promised road, and Guatemala claims to have inherited the southern half of modern Belize from Spain.
1/7/1823, An assembly at Guatemala City declared the independence of the United Provinces of Central America.
17/4/1839, The Republic of Guatemala was established.
1823, Guatemala, became part of the United Provinces of Central America.
1821, Guatemala proclaimed its imndependence from Spain.
1524, First Spanish penetration into what is now Guatemala.
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.
26/5/1966. Guyana became independent, under President Burnham. 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.
22/3/1918, 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.
1989, The People’s National Party was elected, under Michael Manley. Austeroty measure continued.
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, asnd 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.
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.
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 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 11a – Nicaragua,
1996, Daniel Ortega won the Presidential elections.
1996, Arnoldo Aleman of the Constitutionaal Liberal Party defeated Ortega and the Sandinistas, who also lost the election of 2001.
10/7/1992. Ex-President Noriega of Nicaragua, forcibly brought into the USA, was sentenced to 40 years on drugs charges.
25/2/1990. Sandinistas (Daniel Ortega) defeated in Nicaraguan elections. They were won by Violetta Chamorro, widow of a Somozas opponent assassinated in 1978; he had headed an anti- Somozas coalition.
7/5/1989, In Panama, General Noriega was defeated in elections. However he ignored the result and remained in power.
10/1988, Hurricane Mitch did severe damage to Nicaragua.
23/3/1988, In Nicaragua, Contra commanders and Government officials signed a 60-day ceasefire agreement.
17/1/1988, The Nicaraguan Sandinista leader, Daniel Ortega, offered a ceasefire to the Contras.
1986, Nicaragua won a case at the Internati0nal Court of Justice where it accused the USA of violating its sovereignty.
5/11/1984. Daniel Ortega was elected President of Nicaragua.
1981, President Reagan of the USA halted all aid to Nicaragua, after the Sandinistas had sought aid from the Eastern Bloc (as well as from western European States). The US began funding trhe rebel Contra guerrillas fighting the Sandinista government.
17/9/1980, Anastasio Somoza, 54-year-old former dictator of Nicaragua, was machine gunned to death in Asunscion, Paraguay.
20/7/1979, Sandinista rebels entered Managua, Nicaragua, and set up a 5-man junta. They began to redistribute land to landless peasants.
17/7/1979, Anastasio Somoza, dictator of Nicaragua, fled to the USA, taking with him an estimated US$ 100 – 400 million.
9/7/1979, General Somoza, whose family had ruled Nicaragua for 47 years, was overthrown by the Sandinistas. General Somoza had lost the support of conservative businessmen and the USA.
6/1979, The Nicaraguan National Guard arrested ABC newsman Bill Stewart, and forced him to kneel whereupon they executed him on the spot. The scene was reproduced across US TV screens. Then, Carter was forced to halt arms shipmemts to Nicaragua and the Somozas were doomed.
12/2/1978, In Nicaragua, the Sandinistas prepared for civil war.
1977, Jimmy Carter became President of the USA. His emphasis on human rights meant the Somozas could no longer rely on bailouts from the US, although arms shipments continued from there. See 6/1979.
1/9/1974, General Somoza was elected as President of Nicaragua. However the Somozas now had powerful enemies, including the middle classes and the Catholic Church. The Sandinista offensive intensified, becoming full-scale civil war in 1978.
1967, Somoza’s son, Anastasio, became President,
1962, The Sandinista National Liberation Front was founded.
1956, Somoza was assassinated. His son, Luis, took over.
11/11/1945, Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua, was born.
2/6/1936, General Somoza, in Nicaragua, led a coup that deposed President Sacasa. The Somoza family were to rule Nicaragua for 43 years.
22/2/1934, General Augusto Sandino of Nicaragua was executed by rival USA-backed leader General Anastazio Somoza. Sandino’s guerrilla forces had opposed a US occupation of Nicaragua from 1912; the US withdrew in 1933 after Sandino agreed a ceasefire.
21/2/1934, Cesar Sandino, Nicaraguan revolutionary, died aged 40.
18/10/1929, Violeta Chamorro, President of Nicaragua, was born.
4/11/1928, The Nicaraguan general election was held; José María Moncada was elected president.
2/5/1926, In Nicaragua, a revolt against the new President, Emiliano Chamorro, was underway. This day US troops landed in Nicaragua to protect US personnel and property interests there.
16/12/1909, US marines forced the resignation of President Jose Zelaya of Nicaragua. They installed Juan Estrada as president, who then signed pacts effectively making Nicaragua a US protectorate.
1905, Nicaragua signed the Altamirano-Harrison Treaty woth the UK, recognising full Nicaraguan sovereignty over its Atlantic coast; the UK had run a protectorate there until 1894.
1856, US adventurer William Walker proclaimed himself President of Nicaragua. He intended to run a slave-owning Republic there.
1856, After several years of conflict between the Conservatives based in Granada and the Liberals based in Leon, the neutral Managua was chosen as capital city.
19/4/1850, The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty between the USA and UK was signed. It was an agreement on the terms for building a canal across Nicaragua; under this treaty, neither party would exercise exclusive control over such a canal or fortify it. The US and the UK each had territorial interests in Central America, and were suspicious of each other’s activities in the region. Ultimately this Treaty was superseded by a similar neutralisation policy regarding the Panama Canal under the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1902.
1838, The United Provinces of Central America broke up, and Nicaragua became a Republic.
1821, Nicaragua declared independence from Spain, as part of the United Provinces of Central America.
1544, Nicaragua became part of the Captaincy-General of Guatemala.
Appendix 12 – Panama
29/5/2017, Manuel Noriega, former ruler of Panama, died aged 83.
2006, In a national referendum, Panama approved plans to widen the Canal.
2005, Martin Torrijos began his social security reforms by raising pension contributions and increasing the retirement age. There were street protests.
2004, Martin Tirrijos, Democratic Revolutionary Party, became President, He promised to fight corruption and unemployment and improve the bsocial security system.
1999, Mireya Moscoso was elected the first woman President of Panama. She wanted to redistribute money to the poor, but was hampered by her lack of a legislative majority.
1999, All US troops left Panana as the Canal Zone was handed back (see 1977).
1994, The Democratic Revolutionary Party, once led by Noriega but now pro-USA, won Presidential and Legislative elections.
1990, Noriega surrendered to US forces and was arrested and taken tio the USA o drugs charges.
1989, The US invaded Panama with 23,000 troops and installed the apparent winner of the 1989 elections, Guillermo Endara, as President, Noreiga was accused of drug-related activities.
1/9/1989, The US broke off diplomatic relations with Panama.
1989, New Presidential elections were held; however three days later Manuel Noriega annulled the results. He remained as President,
1987, Panama declared a State of Emergency after proetsts following alleged rigging of the 1984 elections, ostensiobly won by General Manuel Noriega.
1977, Torrijos and the USA (President Carter) signed a treaty transferring control of the Canal to Panama on 31/12/1999.
1968, Brigadier General Omar Torrijos Herrera came to power in a coup.
2/1/1931, President of Panama Florencio Harmodio Arosemena was overthrown and imprisoned by a military junta.
15/8/1914, The 40-mile long Panama Canal opened; construction work had begun on 4/7/1914. The first ship to pass through the canal, this day, was the SS Ancon. Ships passed through three locks 30 metres wide and 300 metres long, rising to 85 feet above sea level at Lake Gatun, which had been created by damming a river, before descending through more locks. Since 1914 over one million ships have used the Canal, saving 3,000 miles and eight days of travel around Cape Horn. In 2013 12,036 vessels, carrying 319 million tonnes of cargo, transitted the Canal, paying US$ 1,800 million in tolls. 86.7 million tons of this cargo originated from the USA, and 49.8 million tons was destined for the USA. In 2013 some 3% of world maritime cargo, worth US$ 270 billion (UK£ 160 million at 2014 exchange rates). However many 21st century cargo ships are too big for the Canal, and in 2006 the Panama Canal Authority announced expansion plans, costed at US$ 3,200 million, due for completion in 2016.
23/4/1904, The US acquired the assets of the French Panama Canal Company.
18/11/1903, Panama granted the canal strip to US, by treaty ratified on 26/2/1904.
3/11/1903, Panama revolted (with US backing) and declared itself independent from Colombia. At precisely 6pm the rebels bribed the Colombian garrison to surrender, the USS Nashville steamed into Panama harbour, and Panama proclaimed its independence. On 6/11/1903 the US recognised Panamanian independence. On 12/8/1903 the Colombian Senate had rejected US plans for a canal at Panama. On 18/11/1903 the US and Panama signed a treaty to build the Canal. See 22/1/1903. On 2/11/1903 the US sent three warships to Panama.
18/10/1903, Panamanian revolutionaries in New York purchased fabric from Macey’s to create the new Panamanian flag. Mr Bunau-Varilla, a French engineer who had worked on the now-bankrupt French Panama canal construction
company, was named as the first Panamanian ambassador to the US, despite not being a resident of Panama.
15/9/1900, Arbitration by the French president settled a boundary dispute between Costa Rica and Panama (then a province of Colombia).
1889, The French attempted to dig a canal at Panama, but the venture failed with 22,000 workers dead.
1830, Gran Colombia broke up, but retained sovereignty over Panama.
1821, Panama became independent from Spain as part of Gran Colombia.
14/7/1698, The first settlers left Scotland for an ill-fated scheme to colonise Panama; the Darien scheme. 1,200 Scottish colonists set out to create the city of New Edinburgh, in mosquito-infested rainforest. Within a year all but 300 had died, and the project had cost a quarter of Dcotland’s national wealth. This loss allegedly persuaded Scotland to agree to the Act of Union with England in 1707.
26/7/1527, The (Spanish) Council of the Indies granted Francisco Pizarro, 54, the right to conquer and take riches from the Panama area. The Panamian indigenous inhabitants were not consulted.
2/11/1503, Columbus discovered Panama. He also observed the inhabitants playing with a heavy black bouncing ball, made of a substance new to him, rubber.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
1/3/1985. 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.
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.
1890s, Violent strikes by immigrant workers against the landed gentry, who had been enriched by European investment in ranching,
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.