Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Liberation Heroes

Miguel Hidalgo, an unconventional priest inspired by the Enlightenment, led peasants in revolt, sparking what became Mexico's independence war, and was shot by firing squad in 1811.

José Martí, a precocious intellectual and rebel, resisted US meddling and symbolised Cuba's fight against Spain's domination. He died in battle in 1895.

José De San Martin, a professional soldier, is Argentina's national hero for building an army that engaged Spanish forces in northern Argentina, Peru and Chile. Died in exile in France in 1850.

José Artigas, an expert rider and marksman, helped Spain to resist British incursions before taking charge of anti-Spanish forces in what is today Uruguay. Died in exile in Paraguay in 1850.

Bernardo O'Higgins, of Basque and Irish lineage, ousted royalists from Chile and became the country's founding father. Died in 1842 en route home after exile in Peru.

Símon Boliívar, a Creole aristocrat, mobilised Venezuela and Colombia against Spain and became the most celebrated liberator. Died in 1830, apparently from tuberculosis.

Joaquim José da Silva Xavier led a Brazilian revolution against Portuguese rule and pillage of mineral wealth. Was betrayed and executed in 1792 in Rio de Janeiro.

Túpac Amaru, the descendant of Inca royalty, led a doomed campaign against Spanish conquest and was executed in 1572. Today several leftwing political groups are named after him.

No comments: