Czechoslovakia Key Dates

4th C. AD    Moravia settled by Germans and Celts.
6th C.    Slavs (ancestors of the present occupants) settle in Bohemia.
late 8th C.    Slavs arrive in Moravia.
mid 9th C.    Great Moravian Empire established, including Bohemia and parts of Poland and Hungary. Broken up in 906.
10th C.    Kingdom of Bohemia expands to include Moravia and part of Poland.
11th C.    Slovakia falls under Hungarian domination.
1200-1400    Many German miners and artisans settle in Sudeten region of Bohemia and Moravia.
14th C.    Kingdom of Bohemia incorporated into Holy Roman Empire.
1355    Prague becomes imperial capital under Charles IV (Charles I of Bohemia).
15th C.    Religious wars between Roman Catholics and Hussites.
1526    Bohemia and Moravia fall under the control of the Austrian Hapsburg monarchy.
1620    Czech revolt against Austria harshly put down. Defeat at the Battle of the White Mountain results in Bohemia and Moravia becoming provinces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
1742    Industrialisation of Bohemia and Slovakia accelerated.
1848    European revolutions inspire Czechoslovak nationalists.
19th C.    Bohemia and Moravia become the arsenal of the Hapsburg Empire.
Jan 1916    Czechoslovak National Council (CNC) formed for the creation of an independent nation from the provinces of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia.
28 Oct 1918    CNC declares itself the government of Czech lands, with the imminent defeat of Austro-Hungary in WW1 looming.
14 Nov 1918    Union with Slovakia formed.
1919    National assembly established.
1919-1920    Military dispute with Poland.
29 Feb 1920    New constitution adopted.
June 1920    Ruthenia added to Czechoslovakia from Hungary (Treaty of Trianon).
Sept 1920    Treaty of St Germain – Allied powers and Austria recognise Republic of Czechoslovakia.
1929-32    Severe recession sparks Sudeten German separatist movement and Slovak resentment of Czech-dominated government.
1935    Edvard Benes becomes President.
30 Sept 1938    Munich Agreement – Sudetenland ceded to Nazi Germany.
5 Oct 1938    Benes resigns as President.
Oct 1938    Teschen (Cesky Tesin) ceded to Poland.
Nov 1938    Autonomy given to Slovakia – Czechoslovakia reorganised as Federated Republic of Czecho-Slovakia.
Mar 1939    Germany invades Czechoslovakia without resistance. Bohemia & Moravia becomes a German Protectorate, while Slovakia becomes an independent fascist state.
Mar 1939    Part of Slovakia (Ruthenia, renamed Carpatho-Ukraine) ceded to Hungary.
1940    Benes establishes government in exile in London.
May 1942    Savage reprisals follow assassination of ‘Protector’ Heydrich.
1944    Soviet troops liberate Slovakia.
5 May 1945    National uprising against German occupation starts in Prague.
9 May 1945    Soviet troops enter Prague, while US forces liberate much of Bohemia.
May 1945    Czechoslovakia reconstituted from liberated lands.
May 1945    Anti-fascist ‘Popular Front’ government appointed by Edvard Benes.
July 1945    Carpathian Ruthenia (Zakarpatska) incorporated into the Soviet Union.
Oct 1945    Benes restored as President. Orders the expulsion of more than 2.5 million Sudeten Germans and over 500,000 ethnic Hungarians.
1945-46    Two thirds of industry, banking and public utilities pass into state ownership, through the expropriation of ‘collaborators’, ‘profiteers’ and expelled Germans and Hungarians.
early 1946    Soviet and US troops withdraw from Czechoslovakia.
May 1946    National elections result in communist-socialist coalition government. A communist becomes Prime Minister.
Feb 1948    Communist party seizes power in advance of scheduled elections.
March 1948    Fraudulent elections see communists secured in power. Harsh Stalinist regime imposed.
7 June 1948    Benes resigns as President. Replaced by a communist.
9 May 1948    New constitution establishes People’s Democratic Republic of Czechoslovakia.
1952    Leading communists executed after show trials.
1953    Repression of workers protests in Plzen and Ostrava.
1955    Czechoslovakia joins the Warsaw Pact.
1960    Czechoslovakia becomes Czechoslovak Socialist Republic under new constitution.
Jan 1968    Alexander Dubcek becomes communist party leader, and launches a programme of reforms known as the Prague Spring.
20 August 1968    Soviet-led Warsaw Pact forces invade Czechoslovakia. Dubcek taken to Moscow and forced to end reforms. Censorship imposed. Liberal leaders ousted.
1968    Federal constitution introduces Czech Socialist Republic and Slovak Socialist Republic.
17 April 1969    Dubcek replaced as communist party leader. One third of communist party members expelled.
1977    Charter 77 human rights group founded, including playwright Vaclav Havel.
April 1987    Mikhail Gorbachev visits Czechoslovakia, raising hopes of imminent reforms.
Aug 1988    Mass demonstrations mark 20th anniversary of 1968 invasion.
early 1989    Police disperse numerous mass protests against human and civil rights violations. Police brutality sparks further protests.
Oct 1989    Fall of East German communist regime.
17 Nov 1989    Peaceful student protest in Prague violently put down by Police. Widespread mass protests and strikes in favour of free elections follow.
19 Nov 1989    Civil Forum anti-government coalition formed, calling for resignation of communist party leader and introduction of democracy.
24 Nov 1989    New government includes some non-communists.
25-27 Nov 1989    Mass demonstrations and general strike.
29 Nov 1989    Communist constitutional hold on political power abolished.
10 Dec 1989    ‘Government of National Unity’ takes power. Interim government without a communist majority.
29 Dec 1989    Vaclav Havel elected interim President. ‘Velvet Revolution’ completed.
April 1990    Country renamed Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (CSFR).
June 1990    First free parliamentary elections since 1946, won by Civic Forum and its allies.
July 1990    Vaclav Havel publicly elected President.
Feb 1991    Civic Forum disbanded. Privatisation of state-owned enterprises begun.
June 1991    Soviet forces (present since 1968) complete their withdrawal.
June 1992    Slovak separatists gain strong support in elections.
23 July 1992    Agreement reached on separating Czech and Slovak lands.
Nov 1992    Legislation adopted to allow federation to be disbanded.
1 Jan 1993    Czechoslovakia splits into two separate countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. ‘Velvet Divorce’

Venezuela Key Dates

1 August 1498    Christopher Columbus was the first European to set foot on the South American mainland.
1567    Santiago de León de Caracas was established.
5 July 1811    A congress convoked by the junta declared Venezuelan independence from Spain.
21 December 1811    A constitution marked the official beginning of Venezuela’s First Republic
25 July 1812    Miranda surrendered with his troops to the Spanish commander, General Domingo Monteverde.
1819    The Congress at Angostura established the Third Republic and named Simón Bolívar as its first president
August 1821    Delegates from Venezuela and Colombia met at the border town of Cúcuta to formally sign the Constitution of the Republic of Gran Colombia, with its capital in Bogotá and Bolívar was named president.
1829    Gerneral Páez led Venezuela in its separation from Gran Colombia.
1858 – 1863    Local caudillos engaged in a power struggle known as the Federal War.
1918    The foreign exploitation of Venezuela’s petroleum reserves began.
1940s    Many political partys were formed.
18 October 1945    The AD in conjunction with junior military officers suddenly overthrew Medina.
15 February 1948    Rómulo Gallegos became president.
1 January 1958    Air force planes dropped bombs on the capital to signal the start of a military insurrection. The anticipated coup d’état failed to materialize
22 January 1958    When the navy revolted a group of army officers forced Pérez to resign.
13 February 1959    Betancourt became president.
1960    Venezuelan Petroleum Corporation (Corporación Venezolana de Petróleos–CVP) was formed.
11 March 1964    Raúl Leoni became president.
1974    Pérez beame president.
January 1975    The government cancelled the iron ore concessions of subsidiaries of two United States-owned firms (United States Steel Corporation and Bethlehem Steel).
August 1975    Congressional approved a bill, nationalizing the petroleum industry.
1979    Luis Herrera Campins became president.
1992    Military officers staged two unsuccessful coup attempts.
December 1993    Rafael Caldera Rodríguez was elected president.
1999    Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías took office as president.
December 2001    Business and labor organizations held a work stoppage to protest Chavez’s increasingly authoritarian government.
December 2006    Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías was reelected.

Uruguay Key Dates

1516    Juan Díaz de Solís entered the Río de la Plata by mistake and thus discovered the region.
1520    The Portuguese captain Ferdinand Magellan cast anchor in a bay of the Río de la Plata at the site that would become Montevideo.
1680    The Portuguese, seeking to expand Brazil’s frontier, founded Colonia del Sacramento on the Río de la Plata, across from Buenos Aires.
1726    With the founding of San Felipe de Montevideo, Montevideo became the port and station of the Spanish fleet in the South Atlantic.
1776    The establishment of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, with Buenos Aires as its capital, took place. Montevideo was authorized to trade directly with Spain instead of through Buenos Aires.
1807    A 10,000-member British force captured Montevideo in early 1807 and occupied it until that July, when it left and moved against Buenos Aires.
18 May 1811    Artigas’s army won its most important victory against the Spaniards in the Battle of Las Piedras.
June 1814    Montevideo surrendered to the troops of Buenos Aires.
1821    Portuguese Brazil annexed the Banda Oriental as its southernmost Cisplatine Province.
25 August 1825    Representatives from the Banda Oriental declared independence from Brazil and its incorporation into the United Provinces of Río de la Plata.
4 October 1828    Uruguay became an independent state.
18 July 1830    The constitution was approved, after having been ratified by Argentina and Brazil. It established a representative unitary republic–the República Oriental del Uruguay (Oriental Republic of Uruguay)
1836    The first political groups, known as Colorados and Blancos because of the red and white hatbands, were formed.
1843-52    The Great War centered on the nineyear-long siege of Montevideo.
1903    José Batlle y Ordóñez became president.
1910    Civic Union of Uruguay (Unión Cívica del Uruguay–UCU) and the Marxist-inspired Socialist Party of Uruguay (Partido Socialista del Uruguay–PSU) were founded.
1931    Gabriel Terra became president.
1939    The badly damaged German battleship Graf Spee, cornered by a British naval force was blown up and scuttled by its own crew just outside the harbor.
1943    Juan José Amézaga became president.
1952    The new constitution was approved by plebiscite in 1951 and went into effect in
1962    Raúl Antonaccio Sendic, formed the National Liberation Movement-Tupamaros (Movimiento de Liberación Nacional-Tupamaros–MLN-T), a clandestine urban guerrilla movement.
1967    General Oscar Gestido became president.
27 June 1973    President Bordaberry dissolved the General Assembly and replaced it with the Council of State.
1981    Retired Lieutenant General Gregorio Alvarez Armelino became president.
November 1999    Jorge Batlle became president.
March 2005    Tabaré Vázquez became president.

Trinidad & Tobago Key Dates

 about 5500 B.C.    Trinidad and Tobago having been settled by Amerindians.
1498    Christoph Columbus landed in Trinidad.
1532    Spanish colony was founded on Trinidad.
1592    First Spanish settlement established at San Josef.
1595    Colony was destroyed by Sir Walter Raleigh.
1802    Trinidad was formally ceded to the British crown under the treaty of Amiens.
1888    Tobago was amalgamated with Trinidad and administered as a single colony.
31 August 1962    Trinidad and Tobago became fully independent state.
1 August 1976    Trinidad and Tobago got a new constitution and became a presidential republic.
July 1990    Attempted coup, staged by a 100-strong group of Islamic extremists, under leadership of Yasin Abu Bakir.
October 2002    Patrick Manning won elections.

Suriname Key Dates

 1500    Yáñes Pinzón explored the coast of what is todays Suriname.
1593    Spain explored Suriname again.
1602    The Dutch began to settle the land, followed by the English.
1667    The English transferred sovereignty to the Dutch in 1667 (the Treaty of Breda) in exchange for New Amsterdam (New York).


   Dutch Guiana, the colony was integrated into the kingdom of the Netherlands.
25 November 1975    Suriname became independent from the Netherlands.
1980    A coup d’état brought military rule under the control of Lieut. Col. Dési Bouterse.
1991    Runaldo Venetiaan became president.
1992    A peace treaty was signed between the government and several guerrilla groups.
1996    Jules Wijdenbosch became president.
May 2000    Runaldo Venetiaan became president again.
January 2004    The government introduced a new currency, the Surinamese dollar.

Peru Key Dates

950 B.C. to 450 B.C.    Kingdom of Chavín emerged in the northern highlands.
1150 to 1450    As loose confederation of cities scattered along the coast of northern Peru and southern Ecuador, the Chimú flourished from about 1150 to 1450.
1438 to 1471    Under Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui rule and that of his son, Topa Inca Yupanqui (1471-93), the Incas came to control upwards of a third of South America, with a population of 9 to 16 million inhabitants under their rule.
1528 to 1532    Huáscar (from Cusco) and the illegitimate Atahualpa (from Quito) fought a five-year civil war, were Atahualpa (1532-33) emerged victorious.
1531    Francisco Pizarro arrived in northern Peru.
15 November 1532    Pizarro arrived in Cajamarca, the Inca’s summer residence.
15  November 1533    Pizarro captured the imperial city Cusco.
1535    Pizarro founded Lima as the capital of the new viceroyalty.
1538    Diego de Almagro was executed.
1541    Pizzaro was assassinated.
1776    Creation of a new viceroyalty in the Río de la Plata (River Plate) region.
1780 to 1782    Túpac Amaru rebellion.
28 July 1821    General José de San Martín proclaimed Peru independent.
9 December 1824    Peruvian independence was completed by defeating royalist forces at the hacienda of Ayacucho near Huamanga. This battle in the remote southern highlands effectively ended the long era of Spanish colonial rule in South America.
1845 to 1851    General Marshal Ramón Castilla became president.
1866    Peruvian victory over Spain’s attempts to seize control of the guano-rich Chincha Islands in a tragicomic venture to recapture some of its lost empire in South America.
1883    Treaty of Ancón.
1895 to 1914    Aristocratic Republic.
1914 to 1915    Colonel Oscar Raimundo Benavides (1914-15, 1933-36, and 1936-39) seized power.
1932 to 1934    "Leticia Incident".
1941 to 1942    Border conflict with Ecuador that led to a brief war.
1963    Fernando Belaúnde Terry became president.
1968    General Velasco Alvarado overthrew the Belaúnde government.
1969    The Andean Pact was created.
1975    General Francisco Morales Bermúdez Cerrutti became president.
1980    Appearance of the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso–SL).
1981    Peru Ecuador border conflict.
1985    Alan García Pérez became president.
1990    Alberto Kenya Fujimori became president.
September 1992    Abimael Guzmán was captured.
2001    Alejandro Celestino Toledo Manrique became president.
28 July 2006    Alan Gabriel Ludwig García Pérez became president.
August 2007    Coastal Peru was hit by a devastating earthquake.

Panama Key Dates

 1501    Rodrigo de Bastidas was the first of many Spanish explorers to reach the isthmus.
1 September 1513    Balboa set out with 190 Spaniards,and after twenty-five days gazed on the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
1538    All Spanish territory from Nicaragua to Cape Horn was to be administered from an audiencia in Panama.
29 January 1671    Henry Morgan appeared at Panama City and with 1,400 men he defeated the garrison.
1718-1722    Panama’s temporary loss of its independent audiencia and the country’s attachment to the Viceroyalty of Peru
1739    Spain again suppressed Panama’s autonomy by making the region part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada (encompassing present-day Colombia, Venezula, Ecuador, and Panama).
28 November 1821    Official date of independence fom Spain. Panama thus became part of Colombia, then governed under the 1821 Constitution of Cúcuta, and was designated a department with two provinces, Panamá and Veraguas.
1846    Bidlack-Mallarino Treaty was signed between the United States and Panama.
1 January 1880    Ferdinand de Lesseps starts to built the Panama Canal.
1884    Rafael Nuñez became president of Colombia, supported by a coalition of moderate Liberals and Conservatives.
1886    The new constitution established the Republic of Colombia as a unitary state.
1899-1902    Panama was drawn into Colombia’s War of a Thousand Days (1899-1902).
6 November 1903    The United States recognized the new Panamanian junta as the de facto government on November 6, 1903.
23 February 1904    The rights granted to the United States in the so-called Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty were extensive. They included a grant "in perpetuity of the use, occupation, and control" of a sixteenkilometer-wide strip of territory and extensions of three nautical miles into the sea from each terminal "for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection" of an isthmian canal.
1904    The provisional governing junta selected when independence was declared governed the new state until a constitution was adopted in 1904. Under its terms, Amador became Panama’s first president.
1904    Threats to constitutional government in the republic by a Panamanian military leader, General Estéban Huertas, had resulted, at the suggestion of the United States diplomatic mission, in disbanding the Panamanian army in 1904.
15 August 1914    The first ship made a complete passage through the Panama Canal.
1932    Harmodio Arias Madrid was elected to the presidency in 1932.
1942    Among the major facilities granted to the United States under the agreement of 1942 were the airfield at Río Hato, the naval base on Isla Taboga, and several radar stations.
1948    By 1948 the United States had evacuated all occupied bases and sites outside the Canal Zone.
1952    National Police Commander José Antonio Remón became president.
23 January 1955    Treaty of Mutual Understanding and Cooperation was signed.
1964    Marcos Aurelio Robles became president.
1968    Arnulfo Arias beacme president but removed by the National Guard after only 5 months in office.
1969    Omar Torrijos took power in Panama as commander of the National Guard.
7 September 1977    President Carter and Torrijos met in Washington to sign the Panama Canal Treaty
October 1978    The National Assembly elected a lawyer, Aristides Royo, to become president after Torrijos stepped down.
August 1983    Colonel Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno was appoianted commander of the National Guard.
1984    Noriega formed the Fuerzas de Defensa de Panamá.
11 October 1984    Ardito Barletta became president.
27 September 1985    Ardito Barletta resigned, after only eleven months in office. He was succeeded the next day by his first vice president, Eric Arturo Delvalle Henríquez.
December 1989    U.S. President George Bush authorised an invasion of the country (Operation "Just Cause"). Guillermo Endara was installed as the head of a new administration.
1992    Noriega was tried, convicted and sentenced to 40 years of imprisonment in the USA.
1999    Mireya Elisa Moscoso Rodriguez became Panama’s first female president and the Panama Canal Zone returned to Panama.

Nicaragua Key Dates

 about 5500 B.C.    Different tribes live in Nicaragua.
about 3000 B.C.    The Pipil were a subgroup of a nomadic people known as the Nahua, who had migrated into Central America about 3000 B.C.
12 September 1502    Christoph Columbus first visit to eastern Nicaragua.
1522    Gil González Dávila led the Spanish conquest of Nicaraguan territory.
1524    Hernández de Córdoba led an expedition that succeeded in establishing the first permanent Spanish settlement in Nicaragua.
15 September 1821    Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Guatemala declare their independence from Spain and became members of the Empire of Mexico.
1 July 1823    United Provinces of Central America (Costa Rica, El Salcador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras) declared their independence from Mexico.
30 April 1838    The federation finally dissolved in 1837, and a Constituent Assembly formally declared Nicaragua’s independence from the United Provinces of Central America.
1855    A group of armed United States filibusters headed by William Walker, a soldier of fortune from Tennessee who had previously invaded Mexico, sailed to Nicaragua intent on taking over the government.
1857    The final battle of what Nicaraguans called the "National War" (1856-57) took place in the spring of 1857 in the town of Rivas, after which Walker left Nicaragua.
1858    Managua became the capitol of Nicaragua.
1893    General José Santos Zelaya became president after a revolt.
1895    El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua formed the "Greater Republic of Central America" (República Mayor de Centroamerica) via the Pact of Amapala.
1909    The United States broke diplomatic relations with the Zelaya administration after two United States mercenaries serving with the rebels were captured and executed by government forces. Soon thereafter, 400 United States marines landed on the Caribbean coast, which led to the resignation of President Zelaya.
August 1912    A force of 2,700 United States marines once landed at the ports of Corinto and Bluefields to support President Diaz and remain in country until 1925.
1916    The Chamorro-Bryan Treaty omitting the intervention clause, was finally ratified by the United States Senate in 1916. This treaty gave the United States exclusive rights to build an interoceanic canal across Nicaragua.
May 1926    United States sent marines, who landed on the Caribbean coast, ostensibly to protect United States citizens and property.
May 1927    Pact of Espino Negro signed.
1927    Army for the Defense of Nicaraguan Sovereignty (Ejército Defensor de la Soberanía de Nicaragua-EDSN) was formed as a guerilla army by Augusto Sandino.
February 1934    Sandino was arrested and later executed by members of the National Guard under the command of Anastasio "Tacho" Somoza García.
December 1936    Anastasio Somoza García became president of Nicaragua.
January 1937    President Somoza resumed control of the National Guard, combining the roles of president and chief director of the military.
1 May 1947    Leonardo Argüello became president and Somoza García remained as chief director of the National Guard.
21 September 1956    Anastasio Somoza García was assassinated.
1957    Luis Somoza Debayle beacme president and his brother Anastasio "Tachito" Somoza
Debayle became dircetor of the National Guard.
1961    The Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional–FSLN) was formally organized in Nicaragua.
1967    Anastasio Somoza Debayle became president.
23 December 1972    A powerful earthquake shook Nicaragua, destroying most of the capital city.
10 January 1978    Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal was assassinated.
17 July 1979    Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigned and fled to Miami.
23 January 1981    Reagan administration suspended all United States aid to Nicaragua.
1981    Later that year, the Reagan administration authorized support for groups (Contras) trying to overthrow the Sandinistas.
1983    Daniel Ortega leads a three members junta.
10 January 1985    Daniel Ortega began his six-year presidential term.
August 1987    The Arias Plan was signed by the presidents of the five Central American republics (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica) at a presidential summit held in Esquipulas, Guatemala.
25 February 1990    Violeta Barrios de Chamorro won election against Daniel Ortega and became first president of Nicaragua after the end of the civil war.
26 June 1990    Contras completed their demobilization.
1996    Daniel Ortega was again defeated by Arnoldo Aleman Lacayo leading an alliance of liberal and
centrist parties.
November 2001    Enrique Bolanos Geyer became president of Nicaragua.