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Marixa Lasso

known as “the Liberator,” in Venezuela, Colombia, and elsewhere in Latin America, was born on 24 July 1783 in Caracas, Venezuela. He was the son of doña María de la Concepción Palacios y Blanco and don Juan Vicente Bolívar y Ponte. Both parents died while he was a young boy, and he was raised by an uncle. His mother was descended from a family in the Canary Islands, and his father was of Basque descent. The Bolívar family had been in the Americas for seven generations and was a prominent and wealthy family of slave and plantations owners. This wealth and status gave Bolívar access to the best education available, as well as the opportunity to spend part of his formative years in Europe.

Bolívar first traveled to Europe when he was 15 years old. He returned again as a young widower, in 1803 During his second trip he ...

Article

Simón Bolívar was born to a family of wealthy cacao plantation landholders who owned many slaves. Educated by private tutors in Caracas and Spain, Bolívar was profoundly influenced by the thinkers of the European Enlightenment, in particular the liberal ideas of French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as well as by the American Revolution (1775–1783), and the French Revolution (1789–1799).

With the news of Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion of Spain in 1808, and the consequent political weakness of the Spanish rulers in Madrid, Bolívar and other elite criollos (Creoles, people of European descent born in the Americas) started to organize local juntas (councils) in order to replace the colonial government. In 1810, with Commander Francisco de Miranda he led a revolt against the Spanish forces in Venezuela Some historians say that Miranda and Bolívar wanted to take power from the European colonizers ...

Article

Mayda Grano de Oro

Born in poverty in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, to a Haitian father and a mother from the Antilles, Ulíses Heureaux was a principal political and military leader in the Restoration War along with Gregorio Luperón. This conflict, which significantly involved Afro-Dominicans in a fight for their sovereignty and against the reinstitution of slavery for the first time, resulted in Spain's final withdrawal from the Dominican Republic.

Heureaux, who was also known as Lilís, became one of the most important political figures of the nineteenth-century Dominican Republic. He began his political career as the military leader of Gregorio Luperón's Partido Azul (Blue Party), opposing Buenaventura Baez's Partido Rojo (Red Party) during Baez's six-year regime from 1868 to 1874. After this regime the presidency was limited to a two-year term, and between 1876 and 1882 the Blue and Red Parties alternated control of the government ...

Article

Antonio Maceo y Grajales was born in Majaguabo, San Luis, Oriente province, Cuba. His father was Venezuelan but had lived many years in Cuba. His mother, Mariana Grajales, a Cuban, has become a legend, since eight of her sons and her husband died in the struggle for Cuban independence. At an early age, Maceo took interest in the political affairs of the country, and he became a mason at nineteen.

When landowner Carlos Manuel de Céspedes's call to overthrow the Spaniards, the Grito de Yara of 1868, sparked the beginning of the Ten Years' War, Maceo was among the insurrectionists. By mid-January 1869, three months later, his military exploits had earned him the rank of commander; soon after he became a lieutenant colonel. Careful, thoughtful, and quick thinking, Maceo became a true genius of guerrilla warfare, which he learned from Máximo Gómez ...

Article

Mustafa Kabha

Libyan leader of resistance to Italian colonialism, was born in the village of Janzour, in the region of Wadi al-Ashhab, east of Burqa, in eastern Libya. His father, Mukhtar Ghayth, belonged to the clan of Farhat, part of the Braidan tribe, hailing back to the Quraysh tribe of Prophet Muhammad. Omar al-Mukhtar was orphaned at an early age, his father and mother having died on the Hajj to Mecca. He was adopted by a man named Hussayn al-Ghuryani, who sent him to study at the kuttab (Qurʾanic school) of Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qadir Budiya, one of the greatest thinkers of al-Tariqa al-Sanusiyya, the extremely popular Libyan Sufi order.

After completing his studies at the kuttab, al-Mukhtar was sent to the town of Jaghbub, where he studied for eight years under some of the most prominent figures in the Sanusi Tariqa first and foremost Shaykh al Sayyid al Mahdi al ...

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Mohammed Hassen Ali

Ethiopian military officer of Oromo origin, was born in Salale, Shewa province, to a deeply religious family. He received Ethiopian Orthodox Church education. His father, Birru, was killed by poison gas while fighting against the invading Italian forces in 1935. Heartbroken, Taddese’s mother died just three months after her husband’s death.

Taddese joined his uncle, Beka, who was one of the resistance leaders in Shewa province. Taddese was captured together with many others by the Italian forces and was sentenced for the first time to life imprisonment with hard labor in Mogadisho. The outbreak of World War II shortened Taddese’s misery and changed the course of his life. When the British captured Mogadisho in 1940, Taddese was freed and recruited into the British forces. He was given military training in Kenya and returned to Ethiopia in 1941. In 1942 Taddese was promoted to the rank of ...

Article

Cyril Daddieh

Ivorian teacher, trade unionist, war veteran, deputy, mayor, spiritual leader, senator, cabinet minister, and wealthy planter/businessman, was born on 23 January 1920 in Jacqueville, not far from Abidjan. His father had served as a customs official in Abidjan. He attended primary school in Grand Bassam and then the École Normale Supérieur William Ponty in Senegal from 1937 to 1940. He taught for two years before joining the French war effort in 1942. He was deployed in North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany and was awarded the Croix de Guerre for bravery. After his military service in the French army ended in 1946 he returned home to teach in Aboisso As an ethnic Alladian Yacé was widely recognized as the spiritual leader as well as the titular political representative of the 3A Alladian Aïzi Akouri located in the area around Abidjan between the lagoon and the sea Yet teachers ...