Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chapter 5. Latin America and the Caribbean – from European invasion, genocide and slavery to US hegemony

Chapter 5. Latin America and the Caribbean – from European invasion, genocide and slavery to US hegemony

“As for the newly born, they died early because their mothers, overworked and famished, had no milk to nurse them with, and for this reason, while I was in Cuba, 7,000 children died in three months.”

Bartolomé de las Casas on Spanish enslavement of Indians in Cuba 1

“The bodies of these Indians and of the slaves who died in the mines produced such a stench that it caused a pestilence … the flocks of birds and crows that came to feed on the corpses were so numerous that they darkened the sun, so that many villages along the road and in the district were deserted.”

Fray Toribio de Benavente (Motolinia) on Indian slaves of the Spanish 2

“This is a dark picture, but how much more shocking is the undeniable fact that all the women who appear above twenty years old are massacred in cold blood! When I exclaimed that this appeared rather inhuman, he answered “Why what can be done? They breed so!”

Charles Darwin recounting a Spanish commander’s view of genocide in Argentina 3

“When Darwin published The Descent of Man in 1871, the hunting down of Indians was still going on in Argentina, financed by a bond loan. When the land was cleared of Indians, it was shared among the bondholders, each bond giving a right to twenty-five hundred hectares.”

Sven Lindqvist 4

“I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps … And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism …I helped make Honduras “right” for American fruit companies in 1903…I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street … Looking back on it I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

Major General Smedley Butler (1888-1940), one of America’s greatest generals 5

5.1 Overview

Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean in 1492 and the decimation of indigenous peoples commenced. The general pattern in the Caribbean involved Spanish invasion, enslavement of Carib and residual Arawak Indians and importation of African slaves to work sugar and cotton plantations after Indian populations crashed due to disease and violence. 6 British, French, Dutch and Danish colonial involvements were followed by major US interventions in the 19th century. Haiti and the Dominican Republic achieved independence in the 19th century but US hegemony was reinforced by post-WW2 military invasions. Similarly, Cuba achieved independence from Spain but was immediately seized, together with Puerto Rico, by the US. Since the 1960s Cuban independence has been associated with sustained US economic blockade and threat. Most of the very small Caribbean islands variously gained independence in the post-1950 era with continuing neo-colonial arrangements and general US hegemony involving commercial domination, threat and invasion in the case of Grenada.

In Central America the pre-colonial Aztec and Maya civilizations were remarkable for their social organization and public architecture. Spanish invasion in the 16th century led immediately to decimation of indigenous populations by disease and colonial violence. The subsequent Spanish colonies achieved independence in the early 19th century with politics involving liberal/conservative and military/civilian dichotomies. However there was major repeated commercial and military intervention by Britain, France and the US in the 19th century. Thus the US successively removed huge swathes of Mexican territory and excised Panama from Colombia, the British excised Belize and the French installed an Emperor in Mexico. US hegemony expanded further in the 20th century with direct and indirect military involvements and long-term physical occupation in the case of Panama. Honduras-based US military backing of rightists against the left was variously associated with prolonged civil wars and huge civilian deaths in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador in the post-1950 era. 7

Papal intervention determined general Portuguese confinement (with minor perturbations) to Brazil with Spanish conquest of the rest of South America. Portuguese invasion was associated with decimation of indigenous populations and the consequent need for African slaves to work sugar, cotton and coffee plantations. Decimation of indigenous Arawak, Chibcha and Carib peoples through disease and violence led to African slavery in the Atlantic countries of the Caribbean islands, Colombia, Venezuela and French, Dutch and British Guiana. Spanish exploration of the Amazon caused utter devastation of a sophisticated Amazon basin agrarian civilization. Spanish conquest of Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Chile destroyed the sophisticated Inca civilization through disease and enslavement. Indigenous societies in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay were variously destroyed by disease, dispossession, war and ultimately by explicit, merciless genocide in the 19th century. Brazil achieved independence associated with Anglo-French war in Europe. Revolution against Spanish rule variously succeeded under Simon Bolivar in the early 19th century. Subsequent social development in the Spanish and Portuguese countries involved liberal/conservative and civilian/military political tensions, European immigration and malignant external intervention (primarily from the US, Britain and France). In the 20th century, US hegemony was reinforced by explicit military invasions, commercial dominance, backing of military régimes against socialists and malignant interference, most clearly seen in the US-backed overthrow of democracy and associated mass murder in Chile.

5.2 Latin American and Caribbean histories

The following succinct historical summaries deal with pre-colonial times up to the present and conclude with a summary of pre- and post-1950 foreign occupation, post-1950 foreign military presence, post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population and post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population (in millions, m) and expressed as percentages (%). These histories summarize major foreign occupation events and major mortality catastrophes and provide background information relating to foreign hegemony or occupation as significant contributors to post-1950 excess mortality.

American Virgin Islands: Pre-colonial Arawak and Carib people; 1493, Columbus arrived; 16th-17th century, Spanish extermination of indigenous Indians; 18th century Danish settlement, sugar plantations, cotton and African slaves; 1848, abolition of slavery; 1917, Denmark sold its Virgin Islands possessions to the US but retained Greenland.

Foreign occupation: Spain, US (pre-1950); US (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.003m/0.113m = 2.4%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.002m/0.113m = 1.5%.

Argentina: Pre-colonial Patagonian and Andean people; 16th century, Spanish exploration; 17th-18th century, Araucans fled Spanish Chile; 1536, initial settlement of Buenos Aires; mid-18th century, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia ruled from Buenos Aires; 1806-1807, British invaders expelled; 1816, independence from Spain; 1829, conflict with Britain and France under De Rosas; 1833, Britain occupied Malvinas (Falkland Islands) with US backing; 1839-1852, Great War in Uruguay involving Britain, France, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil; 1865-1870, War of the Triple Alliance (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay) against Paraguay killed 1 million Paraguayan Indians; 19th century, outright genocide of Patagonia and Chaco Indians; 1919, workers machine-gunned; 1929, impact of depression in Britain-connected economy; 1946, Peron leader; 1955, US-backed military coup followed by further coups, right/left violence and urban guerrilla warfare; 1973, Peron restored followed by wife Isobel; 1976, Isobel Peron removed by military coup; further military coups and era of 30,000 “missing persons”; 1981, Galtieri accession; 1982, war with Britain over Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas); 1983, democracy restored; major, continuing economic difficulties.

Foreign occupation: Spain, (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: none; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 1.310m/39.311m = 3.3%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 1.501m/39.311m = 3.8%.

Bahamas: Pre-colonial Arawak people; 1492, Columbus landed on San Salvador; 16th-18th century, Indian depopulation through slavery and disease; base for pirates; 1647, British settlement; 1783, British colony; 1873, British sovereignty established by Treaty of Madrid; 1973, independence; post-independence income from tourism, banking and tax haven status; involvement in drug and people smuggling into the US.

Foreign occupation: Spain, Britain (pre-1950); UK (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: UK; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.007m/0.321m = 2.3%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.011m/0.321m = 3.4%.

Barbados: Pre-colonial Arawak people; 16th century, Spanish arrival and subsequent depopulation through slavery and disease; 1627, British settlement of the now-uninhabited islands; tobacco, cotton and thence sugar cane plantations worked by African slaves; 1816, slave revolt; 1834, slavery formally abolished but there was a captive labour market; 1958-1962, member of British West Indies Federation; 1961, internal autonomy; 1966, independence with democracy; 1981, Barbados associated with US invasion of Grenada; stable democracy economically dependent on sugar, tourism and manufacturing.

Foreign occupation: Spain, Britain (pre-1950); UK (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: UK; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.015m/0.272m = 5.5%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.016m/0.272m = 5.9%.

Belize: Pre-colonial history as part of Mayan empire 1500BC-1200AD; 1502, Columbus sailed along coast; 16th century, indigenous opposition repelled Spanish; 1638, British settlement by shipwrecked sailors; 17th-19th century, British exploitation of lumber with slaves; 18th century, Spanish attempts to seize territory; 1798, British defeated the Spanish; 1859, borders defined with independent Guatemala; 1964, internal autonomy; 1981, independence and Guatemalan hostility requiring British military presence; 1991, Guatemala recognized Belize while retaining claims; current high unemployment, dependence on tourism and increased drug trade involvement.

Foreign occupation: Spain, Britain (pre-1950); UK (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: UK; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.014m/0.266m = 5.3%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.020m/0.266m = 7.5%.

Bermuda: 1503, sighted by Spaniard Bermudez (uninhabited); 1609, colonized by shipwrecked British (first British colony); 1612, given to Virginia Company; about 1684, reverted to the Crown; first parliament in the Americas, second parliament in the World; 17th-19th century, plantations and African slaves; current tax-haven and tourism economy; 1995, referendum for independence defeated.

Foreign occupation: Britain (pre-1950); UK (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: Canada, UK, US.

Bolivia: Pre-colonial agriculture 2000BC; 9th-16th century, Inca empire; 16th century, Spanish arrival and conquest; silver mines with Indian slave labour; 18th century, continued Indian resistance; 1825, independence and named Bolivia after “The Liberator” Simon Bolivar; 1879-1884, Pacific War against Chile, lost sea outlet; 1903, rubber-rich region ceded to Brazil; 1932-1935, lost huge territory in Chaco War against Paraguay; post-WW2 coups, right-left violence and US-backed military dictatorships; 1967, revolutionary guerrilla Che Guevara captured and killed by US-trained military; 1982, restoration of civilian rule; continuing poverty, mining, illegal cocaine trade and corruption; 2005, socialist Evo Morales became Bolivia’s first indigenous Indian president.

Foreign occupation: Spanish (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony and military involvement) ; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 3.004m/9.138m = 32.9%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 1.880m/9.138m = 20.6%.

Brazil: Pre-colonial: Tupi, Guarani, Carib and Arawak people; major agrarian Amazon civilization (destroyed by disease after exposure to Spanish explorers from the West); 1494, Tordesilla Treaty assigned the Brazil region to Portugal; 1500, Portuguese arrival; 1532, Portuguese colonization commenced; 16th-19th century, huge slave trade from Africa for Brazilian plantations; 1822, independence from Portugal under Pedro I; 1888, abolition of slavery; 1889, republic under military dictatorship; 19th -20th century, major immigration from Europe; 1930s-1950s, Vargas dominated political life; 1964, US-backed military coup, subsequent military régimes and repression; 1985, restoration of democracy; huge population and resources, huge inequalities, destruction of the Amazon rainforest for agriculture, ethanol from sugar cane for fuel, set to be a major world economic power; 2002, leftist Lula da Silva elected president.

Foreign occupation: Portugal (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony, militarization and military involvement); post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 13.114m/182.798m = 7.2%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 19.407m/182.798m = 10.6 %.

British Virgin Islands: Pre-colonial Arawak and Carib people; 1493, Columbus arrived; 16th century, Spanish exterminated indigenous Indians; 1648, Dutch settlement; 1672, British annexation; 17th-19th century, British control, cotton, indigo and sugar plantations, African slaves; 1967, first elections; 1977, self-rule under British control; economically closely linked to adjacent US Virgin Islands.

Foreign occupation: Spain, Britain (pre-1950); UK (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: UK.

Chile: Pre-colonial, Inca empire in northern Chile, Araucanos in south; 16th-19th century, Spanish conquest; 1514, Valdivio founded Santiago; 1810, declared independence from Spain; 1818, independence from Spain under O’Higgins and San Martin; 1879-1884, British-backed war against Peru and Bolivia; 1925, constitution followed by removal of the military from politics; 1970, socialist Allende elected; 1973, US-backed Pinochet military coup against Allende, tens of thousands murdered including Allende; 1990, restoration of democracy (1973-1990 excess mortality 0.3 million); Pinochet subsequently lost immunity from prosecution; currently, increasing prosperity under democratic government; 2004, free trade agreement with the US.

Foreign occupation: Spain (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony, militarization and military coup involvement); post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 1.427m/16.185m = 8.8%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 1.135m/16.185m = 7.0%.

Colombia: Pre-colonial Chibcha (Muisca) people; 16th-17th century, Spanish conquest, plantations, decimation of indigenous people by disease and violence, African slavery for plantations; 1510, Darien first European settlement on mainland; 1538, New Granada established; 1819, Simon Bolivar defeated the Spanish and founded the Republic of Greater Colombia (including Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela); 1830, Colombia separated from Gran Colombia; 19th century, repeated wars and coups; 1861, United States of New Granada; 1863, United States of Colombia; 1899-1902, civil war; 1903, US-engineered Panama independence with subsequent US invasion and occupation of the Canal Zone; 20th century, violent politics, civil war, military juntas and elected governments, left/right dichotomies; 1964-present, guerrilla war by FARC opposed by US-backed régimes involving US Special Forces and anti-insurgent paramilitary forces seeking control of the major cocaine trade.

Foreign occupation: Spanish, US (Panama) (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony, militarization and military involvement); post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 3.722m/45.600m = 8.2%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 3.367m/45.600m = 7.4%.

Costa Rica: Pre-colonial Chibcha people; 1502, Columbus landed; 16th century, Spanish conquest, settlement and extermination of Indians; 1553, Spanish conquest; initial Indian population 400,000; Indians largely exterminated; 1821-1840, part of independent United Provinces of Central America; 2 years as part of Iturbide’s Mexican empire; 1848, formed independent state; defeated US banditry; 1870-1882, Guardia military dictatorship followed by over a century of peaceful, civilian rule; mid-19th-20th century, peaceful society; 1948, brief civil war prompted by rigged elections; post-1950 era, peaceful, conservative, democratic society; famously without an army but pro-US and permitted US-backed anti-Nicaragua incursions; agriculture, tourism and technology sectors; National Biodiversity Institute deals for commercial exploitation of rain forest plant-derived bioactive compounds.

Foreign occupation: Spanish (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony, Contra support); post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.259m/4.327m = 6.0%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.199m/4.327m = 4.6%.

Cuba: Pre-colonial Arawak, Taino and Ciboney people; 1492, Columbus arrived; 16th century, indigenous people decimated by disease, violence and slavery; 16th-19th century, sugar plantations worked by African slaves; 1511, settlements founded by Velasquez; 1876-1886, Ten Years War led to abolition of slavery in 1886; 1895-1898, war of independence against Spain; 1898, defeat of Spanish forces by Cubans followed by US declaration of war against Spain and invasion; 1899-1902, US occupied Cuba and subsequently retained Guantanamo Bay; 1902-1920, repeated US military intervention; 1933, military coup; 1940-1958, Batista dictatorship; 1958, Batista overthrown by Guevara and Castro; 1961, US Bay of Pigs invasion defeated; 1962, Cuban missile crisis involving US and USSR; 1964, (continuing) US economic blockade against Cuba and its Communist régime; post-1950 era Cuban involvement in Latin America, Ethiopia and Angola; Cuban refugees to the US; 21st century, continued excellent medical outcomes; Cuban medical personnel aid to Venezuela (and also offered to post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans) – it can be calculated that possession of Cuban-style medical-related systems would have saved 36 million under-5 infant lives in “free” Latin America and the Caribbean.

Foreign occupation: Spanish, US (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (unsuccessful invasion, Guantanamo Bay), USSR (advisers, missiles); post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.469m/11.353m = 4.1%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.349m/11.353m = 3.1%.

Dominica: Pre-colonial Carib people; 15th century, Spanish conquest, decimation of indigenous people through disease and exploitation, introduction of African slaves to work plantations; 17th century, French takeover, coffee and cotton plantations; 18th century, British/French conflict; 1763, ceded to Britain; 1805, British colony; 1967, internal autonomy with free association with other British West Indian Associated States; 1978, independence; 1980-1995, Mary Charles Prime Minister; 1981, coup plot; currently, still a remnant 3,000 Carib Indian population.

Foreign occupation: Spain, France, Britain (pre-1950); UK (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: UK.

Dominican Republic: Pre-colonial Carib people; 1492, Columbus arrived; 1496 Santo Domingo oldest New World European settlement; subsequent enslavement and decimation of Caribs; 16th -18th century, African slavery to replace exterminated Caribs; sugar plantations and cattle; 1697, French occupied Haiti portion and thence all of Hispaniola; 1795, ceded to France; 1801, L’Ouvertue revolt; 1808, revolution; 1814, Dominican portion returned to Spanish rule; 1822, Haitian Afro-American régime seized the whole island; 1844, Haitians expelled; 1861, return to the Spanish Empire; 1863, revolt against Spain; 1865, final independence; 1907, major US hegemony commenced with a protectorate arrangement; 1916-1934, US invasion and occupation; 1924, US-backed Trujillo regime; 1961, US-complicit assassination of Trujillo; 1962, democratic election; 1963, US-backed military coup and popular resistance; 1965, US invasion and eventual restoration of US-compatible “democracy”; 1966, Balaguer elected; 1996, Balaguer stepped down due protests about flawed elections; continued poverty, flawed democracy, corruption and centre-left/conservative political dichotomy; 2003, military support for US occupation of Iraq.

Foreign occupation: Spain, France, US (pre-1950); US (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony, militarization, invasion and occupation); post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.806m/8.998m = 9.0%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.974m/8.998m = 10.8%.

Ecuador: Pre-colonial sophisticated Inca empire; 1532, invasion by Spanish conquistador Pizarro; 1594, conquests by Spanish conquistador Benalcazar; 16th – 18th century, brutal enslavement and decimation of Indians; 1822, Spain defeated and Ecuador became part of Bolivar’s Greater Colombia; 1830, Ecuador seceded and became an independent entity; 1895, liberal revolution; 1944, further revolution; 1941, 1981 and 1995 border wars with Peru; 1950s and 1960s, increasing US-backed repression and malignant US involvement (hegemony, militarization, “running” leaders, secretly bombing churches to excite anti-communist sentiment); 1970s, oil industry commenced with subsequent massive environmental and social damage; 1981, 1995 Ecuador-Peru wars; 1999, Ecuador-Peru peace; 2000, military coup involving Guiterrez; democracy restored; 2003, Guiterrez elected (6th president in 10 years).

Foreign occupation: Spain (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony and military training); post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 1.404m/13.379m = 10.5%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 1.426m/13.379m = 10.7%.

El Salvador: Pre-colonial Pipil, Chibcha and Maya people; 1525, Spanish invasion under Alvarado; 1532, conquest by Spanish under conquistador Pizarro; 1821, independence from Spain as part of Central American federation; 1839, the Central American Federation collapsed associated with British interference and British naval blockade; late 19th century, increasing US interference; 1880, Liberal Revolution and expansion of estates at the expense of peasant farmers; 1932, popular rebellion crushed with 30,000 victims by General Martinez to be followed by a half century of military dictatorships; 1969, Honduras-El Salvador “football war”; 1970s-1992, civil war with the US backing the rightists;1972, electoral fraud established US-backed rightist Duarte regime and prompted insurgency; 1979, US-backed military coup; 1979-1981, 30,000 killed by US-backed death squads;1980, assassination of Archbishop Romero; 1980s-1990s, bloody civil war; 1992, end of civil war (75,000 killed; 1972-1992 excess mortality, 0.4 million); elections; 2003, military support for US occupation of Iraq.

Foreign occupation: Spain (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony, militarization and military training); post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.936m/6.709m = 14.0%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.942m/6.709m = 14.0%.

French Guiana: Pre-colonial Arawak people displaced by Caribs; about 1500, Spanish arrival and Carib resistance; 1604, French arrival in addition to Spanish, English, Dutch and Portuguese involvements; 1676, French rule; famous for Devil’s Island prison in which, notably, Dreyfus was imprisoned (19th century); 1946, became a French Overseas Department; 1951, penal settlements ceased; Kourou site of French space launches for the European Space Agency.

Foreign occupation: Spain, France (pre-1950); France (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: France; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.010m/0.187m = 5.3%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.004m/0.187m = 2.3%.

Grenada: Pre-colonial Carib people; 1498, Columbus arrived; 1674, French rule; 17th-18th century, French overcame Carib resistance, indigenous people exterminated by violence and disease, African slaves imported to work plantations; late18th century, British takeover; 1958-1962, joined Federation of British West Indies; 1967, associate state of the British Antilles; 1974, independence under Gairy with anti-independence violence; 1981, Bishop revolt; 1983, US invasion together with 300 police from 6 pro-US Caribbean countries; 1984, new elections.

Foreign occupation: France, UK (pre-1950); UK, US (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: UK, US.

Guadeloupe: Pre-colonial Carib people; 1493, Spanish arrived; 16th–17th century, French sugar plantations with African slaves, extermination of the Caribs by disease and violence; 1635, French possession; 1815, abolition of the slave trade; 1946, Overseas Department of France; 1980s onwards, increasing inter-racial tension and pro-independence activism

Foreign occupation: France (pre-1950); France (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: France; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.025m/0.446m = 5.6%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.022m/0.446m = 4.9%.

Guatemala: Pre-colonial sophisticated Mayan civilization (great pyramids, high societal organization); 1524, Spanish invasion under Alvaredo; 1821, independence from Spain in Federation of Central American States; 1831, British Honduras (Belize) ceded to Britain for lumber; 1839, Federation dissolved under British pressure; mid-19th century-20th century, liberal-conservative political dichotomy, German immigration, increasing US corporate involvement; 1944, popular revolution leading to election of reformist Arévalo; 1951, leftist Arbenz Guzmán elected, expropriated estates, angered the United Fruit Company and the US; 1954, US-backed invasion from Honduras resulting in military rule, repression and guerrilla insurgency; 1960-1996, extreme repression, guerrilla resistance, 0.1 million killed, 1.0 million refugees (1960-1996 excess mortality 1.9 million); 1996, reconciliation; 1999, presidential elections; subsequent irregularities; 2002, draft settlement with Belize; 2004, end of UN supervision of the peace process.

Foreign occupation: Spain, Britain (Belize) (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony and military training); post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 2.757m/12.978m = 21.2%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 1.878m/12.978m = 14.5%.

Guyana: Pre-colonial Arawak people displaced by Caribs; late 15th century, Spanish exploration; 1616, Dutch fort built; 17th-18th century, British settlement, plantations with African slaves; 1815, British possession; 1763, British brutally suppressed slave revolt led by Cuffy; 1796, formal British rule; 19th century, abolition of slavery and indentured labour introduced from India, China and the East Indies; 1966, independence under conservative left Burnham; post-independence, US hostility to Guyana social democracy, Guyana-Venezuela territorial dispute; 1992-1997, Cheddi Jagan; 1997-1999, widow Janet Jagan president. 2001, Bharrat Jagdeo re-elected president.

Foreign occupation: Netherlands, Britain (pre-1950); UK (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: none; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.086m/0.768m = 11.2%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.121m/0.768m = 15.8%.

Haiti: Pre-colonial Arawak people; 1492, Spanish discovery by Columbus followed by brutal invasion and decimation of indigenous people; 1697, French acquisition of Haiti Western half from Spain; 18th century, huge African slave importation for coffee and sugar plantations; 1789, French revolution led to African revolt; 1793, British invasion; 1795, Spain ceded Eastern half to France; 1801, Toussaint L’Ouverture conquered the whole island; 1804, French defeated and a black African republic proclaimed; 19th - 20th century, increasing US interference and repeated invasion and occupation; 1915-1934, US invasion and occupation; subsequent US-compliant, surrogate oligarchic administrations; 1960s-1980s, “Papa Doc” Duvalier and thence “Baby Doc” Duvalier dictatorships with Tonton Macoute state terror; 1986, uprising, “Baby Doc” evacuated by US military, followed by successive coups; 1991, restoration of democracy, Aristide elected; 2004, military revolt, Aristide “kidnapped” and removed to Africa by US, US invasion and US-French military presence with Canadians and Chileans; 2004, UN peace keeping force led by Brazil began replacing US and other forces.

Foreign occupation: Spain, France, US (pre-1950); US (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US, France; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 4.098m/8.549m = 47.9%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 2.142m/8.549m = 25.1%.

Honduras: Pre-colonial Chibcha, Lenca and Maya people; 1498, Florentine in Spanish service, Amerigo Vespucci, landed (hence “America”); 16th century, Alvarado conquered region; 1821, independence as part of Central American federation; 19th century, major interference by British (excision of British Honduras) and US (notably by the United Fruit Company); 1924, US invaded; 1933-1949, US-backed rightist dictatorship followed by various military juntas; continuing major base of US economic, political and military hegemony in Central America; 1954, US-backed invasion of Guatemala from Honduras; 1969 “Soccer War” with El Salvador; 1980s, major US military presence and involvement with US-backed Nicaragua Contras; Honduran assistance to rightist El Salvador government in the civil war; 1982, “democratic” US-backed government elected; continued elections; 2003, military support for US occupation of Iraq.

Foreign occupation: Spain, US (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony and military training); post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.822m/7.257m = 11.3%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.845m/7.257m = 11.6%.

Jamaica: Pre-colonial Arawak people; 1494, Columbus arrived; 1509, Spanish invaded Jamaica; 16th century, Spanish settlement; Arawaks exterminated by 1545 from a pre-colonial population of 60,000; plantations, African slaves, sugar, cotton and cattle; 1655, British finally displaced the Spanish; 1760, 1795 successive slave rebellions put down ferociously; 1833-1838, slavery abolished; 1865, revolt by freedmen suppressed by the British; late 19th century, Indian indentured labour; 1938, African riots; 1942, bauxite exploitation commenced and increased US interest; 1962, independence; 1974, Marley elected; 1980, US-backed rightist elected; 1983, Jamaica sent forces to support US invasion of Grenada; 1989, leftist return under Manley; 1992, leftist Patterson replaced Manley and was subsequently re-elected in 1997 and 2002.

Foreign occupation: Spain, Britain (pre-1950); UK (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US hegemony; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.245m/2.701m = 9.1%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.153m/2.701m = 5.7%.

Martinique: Pre-colonial Carib people; 1635, French invasion; Caribs were promised half the island but were eventually exterminated; 17th-19th century, sugar plantations worked by African slaves; 19th century, repeated slave rebellions; 1848, slavery abolished; 1902, Mount Pelée eruption destroyed St. Pierre; 1943, US displacement of Vichy authority; 1948, made an Overseas Department of France; post-war, increased pro-independence activism.

Foreign occupation: France (pre-1950); France (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: France; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.022m/0.397m = 5.5%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.022m/0.397m = 5.5%.

Mexico: Pre-colonial Olmeca, Teotihuaca, Maya, Mexica and Aztec people; successive Olmec (1200-400BC), Maya (300-900AD), Toltec (900-1200) and Aztec (1200-1519) civilizations; 1519, Spanish invasion under Cortes; 1521, Aztecs under Montezuma defeated by Spanish conquistador Cortes associated with decimation of Indian population by disease; 16th-17th century, extensive Spanish settlement; 1810, independence movement commenced; 1821, General Iturbide as Emperor; 1823, republic set up by Santa Anna and Gudalupe Victoria; 19th century, major Spanish, French, British and US aggression; liberal versus conservative political dichotomies; 1836, US settled eastern Texas; 1846-1848, US invaded and annexed California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and the rest of Texas; 1861, liberal electoral victory followed by clerical and conservative reaction and the Reform War; Spanish, French and British invasion; French-imposed monarchy; 1867, republican restoration under Juarez; 1876-1911, Diaz dictatorship; 1910, Mexican Revolution launched; 1911, Madero president; 1913, US-backed opposition and assassination of Madero followed by armed struggle under Zapata and Villa; 1917, new constitution under Caranza; 1929, National Revolutionary Party under Calles, thence rule under same group (renamed Institutional Revolutionary Party in 1946) until 2000 with the Fox electoral victory; 1994, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Mexico, US and Canada, exploitation of Mexican labour, violence against women workers and major immigration to the US; 2006, disputed Conservative electoral victory.

Foreign occupation: Spain, France, Britain, US (massive annexation of territory) (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US hegemony; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 8.850m/106.385m = 8.3%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 9.095m/106.385m = 8.5%.

Monserrat: Pre-colonial Carib people; 1493, Columbus visited; 16th–19th century, Caribs exterminated, British/French conflict over possession, African slaves for sugar plantations, major Irish Catholic settlement (1632); post-war membership of various British Caribbean federations; still a British colony.

Foreign occupation: France, Britain (pre-1950); UK (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: UK.

Netherlands Antilles: Pre-colonial Caiqueti, Carib and Arawak people; 1499, Spanish removed inhabitants to Hispaniola; 16th century, Dutch salt mining and formation of West Indies Company; 1634, Dutch occupied Curacao; 1648, further islands added by the Dutch; 17th-19th century, Dutch plantations, African slaves and violently suppressed slave rebellions; intermittent British occupation during the Napoleonic era; 1863, slavery abolished; 20th century, major oil industry; post-war, increased independence activism; 1986, Aruba was separated administratively.

Foreign occupation: Spain, Netherlands, Britain (pre-1950); Netherlands (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: Netherlands; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.009m/0.224m = 3.9%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.010m/0.224m = 4.5%.

Nicaragua: Pre-colonial Chibcha and Maya people with Caribbean coastal Miskito Indians; 1502, Columbus arrived; 16th-18th century, Spanish conquest and settlement; 1821, independence from Spain, briefly part of Iturbide’s Mexican Empire and then a member of the Central American Federation; 1839, independence; 1850, US-British accord over their interests; 1851, trans-isthmus route for California gold-rush participants; 1856, US-backed adventurer Walker invaded but was defeated in 1857; 1875 and 1895, ports occupied by British and German forces; 1912-1915, US invaded and occupied; 1925, US re-invasion resisted by Sandino for 6 years; 1933, US Marines left; 1936, US-backed dictator Somoza installed; 1956, Somoza was killed and was successively replaced by his sons; 1960s, Sandanista insurgency against US-backed Somoza dictatorship; 1979, Somoza overthrown by Sandanistas; extensive social reform; US hostility 1982, Pastora led US-backed Contras from Costa Rica and US-dominated Honduras; 1984, US mined Nicaraguan ports; 1990, US-backed civil war (with the illegal Irangate funding of the Contras) ended with elections (1979-1992 excess mortality 0.2 million); conservative Chamorro defeated Sandanista Ortega; 2003, military support for US occupation of Iraq.

Foreign occupation: Spain, Britain (ports), Germany (ports), US (pre-1950); US (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony, military training and civil war) ; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.934m/5.727m = 16.3%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.725m/5.727m = 12.7%.

Panama: Pre-colonial Chibcha people; 1502, Columbus; 1508, Spanish invasion; 1513, Balboa saw the Pacific; 16th century, Spanish colonization, destruction of Indian population by disease and violence, British piracy; 17th century, Scottish Darién settlement scheme failed; 1821, independence from Spain as part of New Granada; 1831, Panama seceded from New Granada and then re-incorporated; 1848-1855, US-built railway; 1855, Panama a state in the Federation of New Granada; 1864, treaty with the US; late 19th century-1914, French and finally US construction of Panama Canal; 1903, US-backed Panama independence from Colombia followed by US invasion and treaty giving the US the Canal Zone; 1908, 1912, 1918, US military invasions; 1940, Arias was elected, subsequently removed by the US, seized power (1949) but was ousted (1951); 1977, treaty for eventual Panamanian control of the Canal Zone; 1983, Noriega elected in manipulated elections but failed to sufficiently please his US masters; US sanctions imposed; 1989, US invaded, up to 10,000 Panamanians killed; Noriega tried and imprisoned in the US.

Foreign occupation: Spain, US (pre-1950); US (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony, military training, invasion and occupation) ; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.172m/3.235m = 5.3%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.162m/3.235m = 5.0%.

Paraguay: Pre-colonial agrarian central Guarani people and nomadic Guaycuru and Payagua people in the southern Chaco region; 16th –18th century, Spanish conquest, settlement and cattle; Jesuits formed Paraguayan communes; 1767, Jesuits expelled and Paraguayans enslaved; 1811, Spanish rule defeated; subsequent rule by a succession of military dictators; 1865-1870, British-backed Triple Alliance of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay invaded and 1 million Paraguayans died (about half the population); 1932-1935, Chaco War with Bolivia and 50,000 Paraguayan war dead; 20th century, political instability and numerous coups and juntas; 1954-1989, US-backed General Stroessner dictatorship with rigged elections; 1989, coup and turbulent democracy restored.

Foreign occupation: Spain, [Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia invasions] (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony and militarization) ; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.577m/6.160m = 9.4%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.339m/6.160m = 5.5%.

Peru: Pre-colonial Inca civilization; 1524, Spanish invasion led by conquistador Pizarro; 1532-1533, Inca Empire conquered, Inca Emperor Atahualpa tricked and murdered; 16th-18th century, indigenous resistance and huge population decline from disease, dispossession and violence; 1780-1783, defeat of Tupac Amaru rebellion; 1818-1824, San Martin and Bolivar fought and eventually defeated the Spanish; 1827, war with Colombia; 1835, unification with Brazil unsuccessful; 1845-1862, abolition of slavery and institution of constitutional rule under Castilla; 1866, final defeat of Spanish fleet; 1879, British-backed Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia (War of the Pacific); 19th-20th century, silver, guano and thence copper mining; horrendous brutality towards Amazonian Indian rubber collectors; 1960s, successive military coups; 1980, elections but declining economic circumstances stimulated Shining Light insurgency; 1990, Fujimori elected but was subsequently defeated after corrupt administration and fled to Japan (2000); currently democratic; ongoing corruption; massive environmental damage from US oil industry.

Foreign occupation: Spain [Chile invasion] (pre-1950); US (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony and military training) ; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 4.094m/27.968m = 14.6%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 4.132m/27.968m = 14.8%.

Puerto Rico: Pre-colonial Arawak Taino people; 1493, Columbus; 1508, Spanish invasion under Ponce de Léon; 16th-18th century, plantations, extermination of indigenous people, African slaves (first introduced in 1513), piracy and naval activity by English, French and Dutch; 1820s, some rebellions; 1873, slavery abolished; 1868-1898, armed struggle for independence; 1897, some autonomy granted by Spain; 1898, Spanish-American war and the US invaded and occupied; 1900, direct US military rule ceased; 1917, Puerto Ricans could be US citizens; 1946, local autonomy; 1959, Commonwealth association with US; post-WW2, massive Puerto Rican emigration to US;1967-1998, repeated plebiscites confirming continued commonwealth association with the US.

Foreign occupation: Spain, US (pre-1950); US (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.039m/3.915m = 1.0%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.080m/3.915m = 2.0%.

Saint Kitts: Pre-colonial Carib people; 1493, Columbus arrived; 1623, Walker set up the first English settlement in the Caribbean; 17th-19th century, extermination of Caribs; sugar plantations and African slaves; 1983, independence within the British Commonwealth.

Foreign occupation: Britain (pre-1950); UK (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: UK.

Saint Lucia: Pre-colonial Arawaks, superseded by Caribs; 1502, Columbus arrived; 1660, French treaty with the indigenous Caribs; 17th-19th century British and French conflict with Caribs and Anglo-French conflict; sugar plantations and African slaves; 1803, final British control; 1814, Treaty of Paris and formal British possession; 20th century, bananas; 1959-1962, British West Indies Federation membership; 1967, one of 6 members of the West Indies Associated States; 1978, independence; 1979, together with Jamaica, Guyana and Grenada denounced US militarism in the region; 1982-1996, conservative rule; 1997, Labor government.

Foreign occupation: France, Britain (pre-1950); UK (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (regional hegemony) ; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.012m/0.152m = 7.9%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.009m/0.152m = 6.1%.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Pre-colonial Arawaks superseded by Carib people; 1498, Columbus arrived; 16th -18th century, conflict between indigenous Caribs, escaped slaves and Europeans; 1783, British colony; 1795-1796, brutal suppression of rebellion by the Black Caribs (deriving from African slave and Carib unions); 5,000 Black Caribs removed to Roatan Island off Honduras;16th-20th century, sugar, cotton, cocoa, cotton; 1834, slavery abolished followed by Portuguese immigrants (1840s) and Indian indentured labour (1860s); 1902, La Soufriere volcanic eruption; 1979, last of Windward Islands to achieve independence.

Foreign occupation: Spain, Britain (pre-1950); UK (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (regional hegemony) ; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.018m/0.121m = 14.9%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.009m/0.121m = 7.2%.

Suriname: Pre-colonial Arawak and thence Carib people; 1630, British colony failed; 1651, British Willoughbyland; 1667, Dutch invaded; British ceded Suriname in exchange for New Amsterdam (New York); 17th century, settled by Dutch expelled from Brazil; plantations and African slaves; 1799-1816, British rule (Napoleonic Wars); 1816, resumption of Dutch rule; Maroons (Bush Negroes), escaped slaves in the interior; 1863, slavery abolished; Indian and East Indies (Javanese) indentured labour; post-WW2, independence activism; bauxite; 1975, independence; 1980, Bouterse military coup followed by flawed restored democracy, military murder of opposition politicians (1982), elections and a further coup; Dutch and US opposition; 1986, rightist Maroon rebellion and mercenary terrorism from French Guyana; 1992, peace settlement with Maroon rebels; 1991-2005, substantial electoral support for Venetiaan’s Coalition

Foreign occupation: Netherlands (pre-1950); Netherlands (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US regional hegemony; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.039m/0.442m = 8.8%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.043m/0.442m = 9.7%.

Trinidad and Tobago: Pre-colonial Arawak and Carib people; 1498, Columbus arrived; 15th century, Spanish territory; 16th-18th century, Spanish, Dutch, English, French and Courlander (Baltic German) involvements, sugar plantations and African slaves; 1802, Trinidad British colony; 1814, Tobago British colony; 1834, abolition of slavery and importation of Indian, Chinese. Portuguese and African indentured labour; 20th century, oil industry and increased political activism; 1950, internal autonomy; 1958-1962, part of British West Indies Federation; 1962, independence; 1976, republic; 1983, opposed US Grenada invasion; US hostility; 1990, coup attempt; liberal democracy; prosperity from agriculture, tourism and oil.

Foreign occupation: Spain, Britain (pre-1950); UK (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US regional hegemony; post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.052m/1.311m = 4.0%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.071m/1.311m = 5.4%.

Turks and Caicos: Pre-colonial Arawak people; 1492, the first place Columbus landed in the New World; 1512, Spaniard Ponce de Léon; population of the archipelago subsequently completely destroyed by disease and slavery; 1678, British settlement; salt; 17th century, French, Spanish and British involvements; 1764, French displaced British settlers; 1787, British colonization, cotton plantations, African slaves; 1874, annexed to Jamaica; WW2, US airstrip; 1951, US naval base; 1962, crown colony; 1970s, pro-independence left versus pro-US right politics; 1988, self-government; tourism and Canadian links.

Foreign occupation: Spain, France, Britain (pre-1950); UK (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: UK, US.

Uruguay: Pre-colonial nomadic Charrua and agrarian Chanae and Guarani people; 1502, Spanish under Italian Amerigo Vespucci landed (hence “America”); 1527, Spanish settlement; 1611, cattle introduced; 17th-19th century, displacement and genocidal extermination of indigenous Indians; 1860, Portuguese settlement of Colonia; 1724, Spanish fort at Montevideo; 1816, Portuguese invasion followed by conflict involving Argentina, Brazil and Portugal; 1828, independence established via Argentina, Brazil and Britain; 1830 Constitution with subsequent Red and White parties; 1831, massacre of the last Charrua Indians by General Fructuoso Rivera (first President); 1833, some surviving Charrua Indians “exhibited” in Paris; late 19th century, fencing of territory (and hence final Indian dispossession) completed; Spanish and Italian immigration; 1904, brief civil war followed by liberal democracy; 1960s, 1970s, increasing economic problems, rise of Tupamaros guerrillas with corresponding government repression; 1973, military coup; 1984, restoration of “democracy”.

Foreign occupation: Spain, Portugal (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony and military training); post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 0.138m/3.463m = 4.0%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 0.125m/3.463m = 3.6%.

Venezuela: Pre-colonial Arawak, Chibcha and Carib people; 1498, Columbus arrived; 16th-18th century, Spanish settlement, Venezuela a Captaincy General of New Granada; 1810, revolt against Spain; 1811, independence leader Miranda defeated by Spanish; 1813, Bolivar captured Caracas; 1814, Bolivar defeated by Spanish; 1819, Bolivar defeated Spanish and established Gran Colombia (Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela); 1830, Paez succeeded Bolivar; Venezuela independent of Gran Colombia; 19th-20th century, succession of military dictatorships notably that of Gomez in the period 1908-1935; 1930s, oil industry started; 1947, elections followed by coup; 1948-1958, Jimenez dictatorship; post-WW2, major oil industry, left-right political dichotomy, US involvement; 1958, restoration of democracy; 1998, leftist Chavez elected with subsequent constitutional change; 2000, Chavez re-elected; massive US interference and threat; 2001, massive US-backed, right-wing opposition strikes and demonstrations; 2002, massive opposition demonstration and killing by shooting of 18 demonstrators by the military; 2004, the opposition obtained 2 million signatures for a referendum on Chavez’s continuance; Chavez won the referendum with 60% of the internationally-inspected vote; medical support from Cuba; continued threat from the US.

Foreign occupation: Spain (pre-1950); none (post-1950); post-1950 foreign military presence: US (hegemony, militarization and acute threat); post-1950 excess mortality/2005 population = 1.132m/26.640m = 4.2%; post-1950 under-5 infant mortality/2005 population = 1.099m/26.640m = 4.1%.

5.3 Summary

Human settlement of the Americas dates back to about 15,000BC. Populous civilizations along the Mississippi and the Amazon and in Mexico, Central America and Peru were destroyed by European invasion in the 15th-16th centuries that was accompanied by disease and brutal slavery. African slavery was introduced to man plantations because of the decimation of indigenous people. Papal interventions delineated Brazil (Portuguese) and Spanish-dominated Latin America. British, Dutch, Danish, French and Courland (Baltic German) colonialism, largely in and around the Caribbean. The 19th century saw independence from Spanish and Portuguese rule, followed by increasing Anglo-American interference and horrendous “commercial” genocide of Indians in Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. The Spanish-American War at the end of the 19th century established US hegemony in Latin America and the Caribbean that was repeatedly backed up with egregious force. Repeated violent US invasions and interventions and US backing of violent military dictatorships and right-wing terrorism has dominated the latter half of the 20th century. The 21st century sees very general democratization but with increasing competition for finite global resources Latin America is under serious threat from a violent, powerful and unilateralist US Empire. However current massive electoral support for leftists Chavez (Venezuela), Lula da Silva (Brazil) and Morales (Bolivia) suggests that the US administration has compromised “traditional” US Western Hemisphere hegemony through its obsession with violent “democratic imperialism” in the Middle East and Central Asia.

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