jueves, 30 de abril de 2015

April 30: Today is the anniversary of the establishment of the Organization of American States, in Bogotá, Colombia in 1948.

Seal of  Organization of American States

The Ninth International Conference, which brought together 21 States in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1948, adopted the Charter of the Organization of American States, the American Treaty on Pacific Settlement ("Pact of Bogotá) and the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. The Economic Agreement of Bogotá, which was proposed to foster economic cooperation among the American states adopted at the same conference, but never took effect.

"Democracy for peace, security, and development"

In the same way that the OAS Charter, the Pact of Bogotá obliges the High Contracting Parties to resolve disputes between American States by peaceful means and lists a number of procedures to follow: good offices and mediation, investigation and conciliation, and arbitration.

Seal of  Organization of American States Organisation des États Américains  (French) Organização dos Estados Americanos  (Portuguese) Organización de los Estados Americanos  (Spanish).

If a solution is not reached by the conciliation procedure established, the parties are entitled to appeal to the International Court of Justice. In fact, some controversies have reached this stage.

  The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, adopted months before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, stressed the commitment of the region to the international protection of human rights and paved the way for the adoption of the American Convention on Human Rights (Pact of San José de Costa Rica), which was adopted in 1969 and entered into force in 1978.

José Miguel Insulza: Guilty of increasing inefficiency and downfall decay

The Charter of the Organization of American States was the result of a long negotiation process that began in 1945. Originally several names for the new institution were proposed: "Union", "regional community" and "Organization". After having chosen the latter designation was discussed the use of "states", "Nations" or "Republics". It did not opt ​​for the term "Republics" in order not to exclude other forms of government that may exist in the region, and "Nations" option was rejected as this is more cultural or sociological than legal term. So the name we know today was conceived: "Organization of American States."

miércoles, 29 de abril de 2015

April 29: Islamic Umayyad Caliphate troops invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711.

The Islamic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula began on 29 April 711, from Morocco, led by Tariq Ibn Ziyad one of the most important commanders of the Caliph Al-Walid I, who defeated the Visigoths of Hispania, between 711 and 718.

The Peninsula was named Al-Andalus, which included part of southern France. The invasion began from Morocco to Gibraltar (hispanicized name Tariq hill, the invader). Actually, the name Gibraltar is derived from the Arabic Jabal Tariq at meaning "mountain of Tariq"

Founded the Umayyad Emirate of Córdoba in the territories of Al-Andalus who later became Caliphate of Córdoba. Tariq was called back to Damascus by Caliph and there remained until the end of his days.

Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to those parts of the Iberian Peninsula governed by Muslims, or Moors, at various times in the period between 711 and 1492.

martes, 28 de abril de 2015

April 28: France invades the Austrian Netherlands (now Belgium) and begun the French Revolutionary Wars of 1792.

The French Revolutionary Wars were all conflicts faced by the French Revolution against the European monarchies who opposed the revolutionary liberalism, between 1792 and 1802. External threats closely shaped the course of the Revolution.

The revolutionary clashes motivated by zeal and glory, managed to defeat their enemies and neighbors, seized the Netherlands, Italy, the banks of the River Rhine. The domain of the war was numeric. The Revolution called up French males, and countless of young patriots enlisted to defend the revolutionary process.

The Holy Roman Emperor in Vienna, Austria, Leopold II was the brother of Marie Antoinette Queen of France and Louis XVI´s wife. For that reason, The Austrian and Holy Emperor invited the King of Prussia to form a coalition against revolutionary France, to restore the powers of King Louis XVI.

Such an alliance was called the First Coalition against Revolucionary France. As a matter of fact, Emperor Leopold II of Austria and King Frederick William II of Prusia jointed forces to restore King Louis XVI to the throne of France.

lunes, 27 de abril de 2015

April 27: Nicolás Federman and Sebastían Belalcázar re-founded Bogotá in 1539.

First plane of the province of Santa Fe, built by Diego de Torres, Chief of Turmequé.

After the death of the Zipa, who ruled the Chibcha savanna of the Muiscas (local natives), the conqueror Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada and his troops abandoned the site by a fire caused by the native Muiscas.

Allegorical painting Foundation Bogota - Pedro Alcantara Quijano Montero

On April 27, 1539, Jiménez de Quesada celebrated the arrival of Nicolás Federman coming from Venezuela, and Sebastián de Belalcázar, coming from Founding to Cali.

Recoleta Church of San Diego, in actual 7th avenue with 26Th street career by Mark Edward drawing Walhouse 1850.

With the meeting the official founding of Bogotá was organized at the site of the current Plaza de Bolívar. They chose first the site for the Church; then the Government House, the jail, and, finally, the allocation of the first batches for residents of the new town.

domingo, 26 de abril de 2015

April 26: The Basque territory in Guernica, Spain, is bombed by German Luftwaffe, during the Spanish Civil War, in 1937.

Map of Guernica Bombing

The bombing of Guernica (Operation Rügen) was an air strike on the Spanish population on April 26, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War by the German Condor Legion and Italian Legionary Aviation, who fought for of the rebels against the government of the Second Spanish Republic.

Ruins of Guernica (1937)

Current estimates encrypt victims died in a range that spans from 120 to 300 deaths, 126 according to the most recent and comprehensive study.

Ruins of Guernica (1937)

According to some critics, both air forces Luftwaffe of Hitler’s Germany and the Italia one of Mussolini took advantage of the Spanish Civil War to test their aircraft new bombers under General Francisco Franco´s authorization to scare Spaniards.

Mural in Guernica based on the Picasso painting. Basque nationalists advocate that the painting be brought to the town, as can be seen in the slogan underneath

Guernica inspired Pablo Picasso and many other artists as a symbol of civilian suffering as a matter of war conflicts.

sábado, 25 de abril de 2015

April 25: Spartan general and politician Lysander defeated the Athenians at the Battle of Egospótamos, in 405 BC, and the next year, in 404, invaded Athens and ended the Peloponnesian War.

Map of the Peloponnesian War 435-404 B.C.

According to Thucydides in his “History of the Peloponnesian War”, Spartan militia feared the rising power of democratic and expansionist Athens.

Thucydides’ writings relied on the testimony of eyewitnesses and his own experiences as a general during the war.

It is important, therefore, to take into consideration that the text of Thucydides is a starting point for understanding the analysis of power politics on the one hand, and political practice that has dominated much of the history of international relations, on the other.

The multitude saluted Lysander for his victory over Atenians

For example, applying "realistic" policy (Realpolitik) currently allows us to understand the behavior of US foreign policy: "No need to ask permission from the UN to invade Iraq" and "The United States reserves the right to pre-emptive strikes against countries that pose a threat to national security "…

This is an account of the Peloponnesian War in Ancient Greece, fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Athens). It was written by Thucydides, an Athenian general who served in the war. It is widely considered a classic and regarded as one of the earliest scholarly works of history.

viernes, 24 de abril de 2015

April 24: Today is considered the traditional date of the fall of Troy in 1184 before Christ.

The Horse of Troy

Based on the myths, the Trojan War happened during the Bronze Age, even though it was written in the Archaic Age. (The Mycenaeans are connected to the Trojan War as Agamemnon was from Mycenae.)

This map shows the proximity of Troy to the Greeks, based on the myths.

Many of the stories that make up Greek mythology center around the Trojan War, the 10-year conflict in which Greeks under Agamemnon destroy the city of Troy in Asia Minor - that as revenge for the theft of Helen by Paris, a Trojan prince.

Map of Greece and Anatolia

The Trojan war is the legendary event that famously sends countless heroes, including the peerless Achilles, to an early grave. Even many of those who survive the war die soon after its conclusion - notably, Agamemnon.

“The Trojan War, fought between Greeks and the defenders of the city of Troy in Anatolia sometime in the late Bronze Age, has grabbed the imagination for millennia. A conflict between Mycenaeans and Hittites may well have occurred, but its representation in epic literature such as Homer’s Iliad is almost certainly more myth than reality…”

Hector, prince of Troy versus Achilles a Greek hero of the Trojan War

“…Nevertheless, it has defined and shaped the way ancient Greek culture has been viewed right up to the 21st century CE. The story of gods and heroic warriors is perhaps one of the richest single surviving sources from antiquity and offers insights into the warfare, religion, customs, and attitudes of the ancient Greeks.”

Sources of quotations:

jueves, 23 de abril de 2015

April 23: on April 23rd, 1968 Columbia University students occupied five of the campus buildings.

Crowds grow larger

Students’ protests led to 712 students’ arrests and more than 100 injuries. Specifically, students were protesting the production of Dow Chemicals, the company that manufactured napalm, one of the main weapons for destruction in Vietnam.

Students call for making love instead of war

On April 23, 1968, students from Columbia University in New York City started a non-violent demonstration on campus which advanced to the occupation of the University buildings that lasted nearly a week.

After the Bust, police occupy the campus

Columbia University Students for a Democratic Society -SDS- and Columbia’s Student Afro Society -SAS- got together to protest against the University’s ties with the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) affiliated with the US Department of Defense. Students discovered documents relating students’ researches with Vietnam War strategies. Besides, Marine Corps were recruiting black students for the Vietnam War.

After the Bust, the student body overwhelmingly comes to support the strike

When negotiations between students and the Administration failed, police was called to intervene injuring and arresting over 700 students, triggering a campus-wide strike which ended in closing down university´s activities for almost a week.

Alma Mater: Raped by the cops!

miércoles, 22 de abril de 2015

April 22: Hernan Cortes, the Spanish Conqueror founded Veracruz in 1519 and established a Spanish settlement there.

Spanish Conqueror Hernan Cortes

Henan Cortes set a new expedition frome near Havana, Cuba, In February 1519 with 10 vessels, funded by Cuban Governor Diego Velázquez.

Hernan Cortes route to Mexico

Hernan Cortes had the intent to explore and trade precious metals. On the morning of April 21 sighted the coast of Veracruz, anchoring near San Juan de Ulua, and the next day, Friday April 22, 1519, landed on the beaches adjacent to Chalchihuecan so-called by the native Mexicas (the ancient land of the Aztecs,also known as the Mexicas).

Hernan Cortes founds the Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz (today Veracruz)

Hernan Cortes and his troops met with the emissaries of Moctezuma (Aztecan Emperor). When Cortes saw the reach gifts offered by the Aztecan Emperor, he changed his mind about the intention of the expedition, deciding to colonize those lands.

Hernan Cortes receiving gifts sent by Moctezuma

Nevertheless, within the expedition there was opposition to Cortes’ intentions. With the dual purpose of removing the opposition and find a more suitable place to protect his fleet, Cortes sent two ships which arrived at Quiahuiztlán Cove.

Veracruz was founded in 1519 by Hernán Cortés, on the Gulf of Mexico, in accordance with an urban layout model based on a grid system of streets and blocks which radiated from a central "plaza".

Meanwhile, Cortés founded a way to escape his legal relationship with Velázquez, Governor of Cuba. On July 10, 1519, Cortes’ soldiers founded Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz, a settlement of huts palm which became the first municipality of continental America.

Arenales Quiahuixtlan.

The expedition was composed of six hundred and seventeen men, of which 508 were soldiers and 109 seamen or artificers. Thirteen soldiers were armed with muskets, thirty-two with cross-bows and the rest with swords and spears. Instead of armour, they had quilted jackets, deemed sufficient against the foe they faced. They had sixteen horses, ten small, field pieces and four falconets.

martes, 21 de abril de 2015

April 21: Romulus founded Rome in 753 before Christ.

The female wolf, feeding baby twins Romulus and Remus

According to the legend, the twins Romulus and Remus founded Rome on April 21, 753 B.C. The legend says that both twins were suckled by a she-wolf as orphaned infants.

Legendary Founding of Rome by Romulus

Actually, the Romulus and Remus myth originated sometime in the fourth century B.C., and the exact date of Rome’s founding was set by the Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro in the first century B.C.

On this day: The founding of Rome

Furthermore, following the legend, “Romulus and Remus were the sons of Rhea Silvia, the daughter of King Numitor of Alba Longa.”

A map of early Rome when it's walls were still square according to Romulus' ploughed furrow.

On the southeast of what would become Rome, was located the mythical city of Alba Longa. King Numitor was overthrown by his brother Amulius, before the twins were born.

The history of Rome begins with a myth, that of its founding by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus. Abandoned as infants and nursed by a she-wolf

However, Amulius forced Rhea to become a vestal virgin so that she would not give birth to rival claimants to his title. Nevertheless, “Rhea was impregnated by the war god Mars and gave birth to Romulus and Remus. Amulius ordered the infants drowned in the Tiber, but they survived and washed ashore at the foot of the Palatine hill, where they were suckled by a she-wolf until they were found by the shepherd Faustulus…

Nicholas Mignard | The Shepherd Faustulus Bringing Romulus and Remus to His Wife, 1654 | Dallas Museum of Art | Image and data from the Dallas Museum of Art

…The twins then decided to found a town on the site where they had been saved as infants. They soon became involved in a petty quarrel, however, and Remus was slain by his brother. Romulus then became ruler of the settlement, which was named “Rome” after him.

Source: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/rome-founded

lunes, 20 de abril de 2015

April 20: The League of Nations was officially dissolved in 1946 to make way and powers to the United Nations-UN-

US President Woodrw Wilson

The beginning of World War II showed that the League of Nations had failed in its main objective to prevent another world war. Although it was promoted by US President Woodrow Wilson with a famous speech of 14 points defending its creation, the US Senate did not approve the project or the entry into the League. The absence of US established a permanent weakness for that multilateral organization.

the sign reads "This League of Nations Bridge was designed by the President of the U.S.A." Cartoon from Punch magazine, 10 December 1920, satirising the gap left by the USA not joining the League.

The last meeting of the League of Nations began on April 12, 1946 with delegates from 34 nations, and ended seven days later, on April 19, 1946.

Anachronous world map in 1920–1945, showing the League of Nations and the world

"The League is dead, living the United Nations," then said the British diplomat, Lord Robert Cecil.

Symbol of the League of Nations

On April 19, 1946, President of the Assembly, Carl J. Hambro of Norway said: "The twenty-first and last Assembly of the League of Nations is closed" and the League ceased to exist the next day, 20 April 1946.

Flags of members

The Assembly was summoned to settle the organization and transfer their assets to the nascent United Nations better known by the acronym UN (United Nations).

The League had no military might of its own and had to rely on its member nations to provide physical force if necessary.

Today The United Nations has 193 member nations of the planet's main multilateral organization that began with 51 founding members, with 34 having the League of Nations.