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Nicolás Ocaranza

Venezuelan army general during the War of Independence and first president of the Republic of Venezuela, was born on 13 June 1790 in Curpa, a village close to Acarigua in the general captaincy of Venezuela. It must be noted that scholarly opinions vary regarding Páez’s racial genealogy. He was the son of Juan Victorio Páez, an official of the Royal Tobacco Monopoly, whose family arrived in Venezuela from the Canary Islands (Spain).

Though the book Documents for the History of the Life of José Antonio Páez (Vol. 1; Caracas: National Academy of History, 1976) mentions that his father initiated an administrative process intended to prove Páez’s “clean white ancestry, without Moro or Indian race,” no reliable documents show that his mother, Maria Violante Herrera, was a woman of white ancestry. And while Paez claims in his Autobiografía that his soldiers called him catire blond man it should be ...


Alfonso Arrivillaga Cortés

was born on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent around 1788. Upon his conversion to Christianity later in life, his given name was changed to Marcos. In April 1797, at the age of 10, he arrived in Guatemala, together with more than 2,000 African- and Amerindian-descended “Caribes,” as they were called in Central America. In the Caribbean Lesser Antilles they were known as “Caribes-Negros,” and carried out an effective war against the British colonists (1795–1796). Upon their defeat they were deported to the community of Roatán on the Bay Islands to the north of the Honduran coast.

The first historical account we have of Marcos is in the 1821 census of the community of Trujillo on the Caribbean coast, around the time that Spain’s Central American colonies declared independence (Archivo General de Centroamérica [AGCA], A1—leg. 99, exp. 1159 The census tells us that at that ...


Ernesto Mercado-Montero

one of the rebel leaders of the Haitian Revolution was most likely born in the Congo or Kongo region of West Central Africa His name may come from the homonymous coffee plantation located between present day Vallières and Mombin Crochu We have no records about Sans Souci s life in Africa but like many other African slaves he was likely a war veteran before arriving in the Caribbean As John Thornton suggests around 70 percent of the slaves listed in the French records during the 1780s and 1790s came directly from Africa Warfare transformed the Lower Guinea Coast and the Congo into two main points of origin for slaves in the late eighteenth century In the 1780s alone slave ships carried some 116 000 war captives from these regions the majority of whom were taken to the French colonies in the Antilles In the Kingdom of Kongo for instance the ...