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Following the 3rd voyage of Columbus Carupano capital of Venezuela Carnaval and gateway to Paria Peninsula Orinoco Margarita Island - Also famous for their Carnaval and part of the legacy of the Caravels of Columbus on his  3rd voyage Porlemar Airport Los Roques Puerto La Cruz
Portugal in the Age of Discovery
Manuel I of Portugal
Pedro Álvares Cabral credited with discovering Brazil in 1500
Bartholomew Dias in 1487 rounded the Cape of Good Hope and proved that access to the Indian Ocean was possible. In 1498 Vasco da Gama made good on this promise by reaching India.
Duarte Pacheco Pereira secret mission
Controversies about the discovery of Brazil
Saint Brandon patron saint of navigators whose myth includes discovery of America in 5th century
Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici
Martin Waldseemüller
1st map of "America"
Vicente Yáñez Pinzón
Martin Alonzo Pinzón,
Ferdinand & Queen Isabella.
Taino , List of Taínos
Carib, indians
 brothers Bartolomeo, Giacomo participated in the enterprise Christopher_Columbus the eldest of five children. Christopher Columbus had two sons by different mothers. His heir was Diego Columbus (1480 - 1526). His second and favorite son was Fernando Columbus 1488 - 1539)
de_Bobadilla a member of the Order of Calatrava,
Nicolás de Ovando
Ferdinand Magellan 1480–April 27, 1521)
Common New World Holidays
Labor Day
La Raza/Columbus Day
Halloween/ Day of the Dead
Christmas/New Year's
held every four years between competitors from all nations of the Americas or the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World  
1955 1959 1963
1967 1971 1975
1979 1983 1987
1991 1995 1999
The Race of the Future
More Sources
Giles Tremlett. "Lost document reveals Columbus as
tyrant of the
 Caribbean", The Guardian, 2006-08-07.

2006 rediscovery of evidence gathered by Bobadilla reported by

Columbus My Enemy the Taino resistance

"Destruction of the Taino"
by William F. Keegan
in "Archaeology"
(January/February 1992, pp. 51-56)

The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus in 1828, the Conquest of Granada a year later, and, the Voyages of the Companions of Columbus in 1831, by Washington_Irving

American / COLUMBUS’ LA NAVIDAD & American / Columbus and Genocide
by Edward T. Stone published in 1975 & 1978

-Lorenzi, Rossella. "DNA Suggests Columbus Remains in Spain", Discovery News, October 6, 2004. Retrieved on 2006-10-11. (in English)

One point of agreement among all interpretations is that the voyages of Columbus marked turning points in history

Oct 12th remains a National Holiday although increasing less to celebrate the American or Italian race
Día de la Raza
Columbus Day
is a holiday celebrated in many countries in the Americas, commemorating the date of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World on October 12, 1492.

In 1917 Argentina became the first nation in Latin America to celebrate what became known as the Día de la Raza or day of the race which commemorates the fusion of European and New World peoples and cultures into a new culture and new national identities. Venezuela followed in 1921, newly-renamed (as of 2002) Día de la Resistencia
(Day of Indigenous Resistance) in Venezuela, Chile in 1923 and Mexico in 1928 in celebrating October 12th as Día de la Raza.

In the Bahamas, where Columbus first landed, the holiday is known as Discovery Day.

Similar holidays, celebrated as Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) in many countries in Latin America, Día de las Culturas (Day of the Cultures) in Costa Rica, Discovery Day in the Bahamas, Hispanic Day in Spain, and the commemorate the same event.

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America's first human rights crusader
How much damage, how many calamities, disruptions and devastations of kingdoms have there been? How many souls have perished in the West Indies over the years and how unjustly? How many unforgivable sins have been committed? ... What we committed in the West Indies stands out among the most unpardonable offenses ever committed against God and mankind....

Bartolomé de Las Casas, Historia de las Indias, c. 1527

For three years he was bishop of Chiapas in southern Mexico; he then returned to Spain for the last time in 1547, becoming a permanent resident of the monastery of San Gregorio in Valladolid. He began his Historia de las Indias in 1527, while he was still on Espanola, but did not complete it until thirty years later. He had become well acquainted with Diego, Columbus’ legitimate son and his successor as Admiral of the Indies, and with Diego’s highborn wife, Maria de Toledo, niece of the duke of Alba. They placed all of Columbus’ papers at his disposal, including a copy of the Journal of the First Voyage. Las Casas made an abstract of the latter for his own use, and it remains the only detailed record of the historic voyage. The original of the journal has been lost.

Chronology Age of Discovery
1492: Caribbean Islands discovered by Christopher Columbus. He returns there on 2nd voyage in 1495
1497: John Cabot discovers Newfoundland
1498:  Vasco da Gama  leads the expedition that would discover the route to the Indian Ocean that rounded the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope. This new route marked the beginning of a new era of direct contact between Europe and Asia. During his reign King Manuel was the ruler of the greatest empire of his time and benefited from a growing African trade and the golden harvest of the Indies.
1500: Brazil by Pedro Álvares Cabral,
Thus the easternmost part of current Brazil, when it was discovered in 1500 by Pedro Álvares Cabral, was granted to Portugal and not Spain who had sent 3 expeditions to explore
Tierra Firme or a continent of dry land - Columbus who went as far south as the Orinoco River, Amerigo Vespucci along a north-south meridian 370 leagues (1550 km) west of the Cape Verde islands.
1510: First African slaves taken to America.
1513: Vasco Nunez de Balboa reaches Pacific Ocean overland from the Atlantic.
1519-1521: Portuguese under Ferdinand Magellan first to sail around the world (Magellan dies during the journey, killed in the Philippines in 1521 by local people, but his crew completes the voyage).
1519-1521: Hernan Cortes conquers the Aztecs.


Uniting the Pan American Hemisphere

October 12 - is the Day the Americas is celebrated
We remember the past Amerindians, thank the heroes, and seek a better tomorrow for those who will follow 

 - the popular discovery of the continent unfolded in Trinidad, Venezuela & Brazil in 1499 

Also in 1499: Spain's Queen Isabella learns of "The Curse of Columbus" and an Italian named Americo gets credit for discovering the New World.


"he [Columbus the "Admiral"] wishes to see what was the idea of King Don Juan of Portugal, who said that there was mainland
to the south: and because of this, he says that he had a contention with the Sovereigns of Castile, and finally the Admiral says that it was concluded that the King of Portugal should have 370 leagues to the west
from the islands of the Azores[326-1] and Cape Verde, from north to south, from pole to pole. And the Admiral says further that the said King Don Juan was certain that within those limits famous lands and things
must be found.

1494 Treaty_of_Tordesillas [executed in Valladolid province, Spain), June 7, 1494] divided the world outside of Europe between the Spanish and the Portuguese and ignored by other countries.
When word of Columbus' discoveries reached Portugal its king
King John II charged the Spanish with encroachment into the Portuguese realm. The Spanish monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella then appealed to the Pope in Rome, who was in origin a Spaniard. In 1493 the Pope issued a proclamation (a Bull) which assigned all lands which were more than 100 leagues (345 miles) west of the Cape Verde Islands to Spain and the land east of that line to Portugual. King John [Don Juan or João II] of Portugal was not satisfied so he negotiated a treaty with Ferdinand and Isabella 270 leagues (930 miles) farther to the west. This was called the Treaty of Tordesilla.

Shortly after the conclusion of the Treaty of Tordesilla, King João II died in 1495 from pneumonia. His cousin, King Manuel the Fortunate, assumed the throne and continued to support the search for a seaway to the Indies.

In 1498, Columbus was running low on drinking water. He followed the island around to the Gulf entrance and gathered water at the Moruga River. He gratefully named the land ‘La Trinite’ or Trinidad. Columbus is reported to have promised to name the next land he discovered for the Holy Trinity, and considered it a miracle when the first land he sighted showed him the  three peaks of the Trinity Hills smiling as he put in to gather water.
"He that is Three and One guides me by His
pity and mercy that I may serve Him and give great pleasure to your
Highnesses and to all Christianity, as was done in the discovery of the
Indies which resounded throughout all the world."

Columbus at beginning of 3rd journey
Ancient, mystic trinity
 three is a magic number

Creative power; growth. Three is a moving forward of energy, overcoming duality, expression, manifestation and synthesis. Three is the first number to which the meaning "all" was given. It is The Triad, being the number of the whole as it contains the beginning, a middle and an end. The power of three is universal and is the tripartide nature of the world as heaven, earth, and waters. It is human as body, soul and spirit. Three is birth, life, death. It is the beginning, middle and end. Three is a complete cycle unto itself. It is past, present, future. Three is the heavenly number, representing soul, as four represents body. Together the two equal seven (3+4=7 ) and form the sacred hebdomad. The 3x4=12 representing the signs of the Zodiac and months of the year.

 His plan had been to keep nearer to the Equator. The launch of the 3rd voyage of Columbus had made ready to set sail at a glacially slow pace following the disappointing results of the 2nd voyage which had concluded in 1495. While Columbus has been grandly successful in marketing his heretofore unknown lands as the golden land of El Dorado to the 2nd voyage investors, come the 3rd voyage, the resulting outcome for the early takers had been too disappointing. Investors had not make promised returns and Columbus all too readily added first transatlantic slave trader to impressive list of firsts. Now the monarchs of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella were interested in knowing more about the supposed great continent they had agreed to split with King Juan of Portugal.
Tuesday, August 7, 1498 Columbus 3rd voyage. Encounter with natives at Macuro, Venezuela which Columbus has named Island of Grace. The teenager Las Casas registers his first doubts about the moral certainty of the Admiral:
from Las Casas's history of the 3rd voyage

"But Wednesday, August 8, a canoe came with 12 men to the caravel and they
took them all, and brought them to the ship of the Admiral, and from them
he chose six and sent the others to land. From this it appears that the Admiral did it without scruple as he did many other times in the first
navigation, it not appearing to him that it was an injustice and an offence against God and his neighbor to take free men against their will, separating fathers from their sons and wives from their husbands and [not reflecting] that according to natural law they were married, and that other men could not take these women, or those men other women, without sin and perhaps a mortal sin of which the Admiral was the efficient cause-- and there was the further circumstance that these people came to the ships under tacit security and promised confidence which should have been observed toward them; and beyond this, the scandal and the hatred of the Christians not only there, but in all the earth and among the peoples
that should hear of this.
[ more]From a scholarly book compiling and translating source material originally published in 1906 and made available by Project Gutenburg






                                          On May 30, 1498, Columbus set sail with six ships from from Sanlucar, Spain. [near Cadiz] The crew included the young writer Bartolomé de Las Casas, (1474-1566), who would go on to become the bishop of Chiapas and the chief early defender of the Amerindian's rights, preaching treating the Indian fairly was in Spain's best interests to prevent divine retribution as well as writing important early history.

Leaving the Canary Islands on June 19, the fleet split into two squadrons: three ships to sail directly for Hispaniola with supplies for the colonists, and the other three, the Esperanza, the San Sebastian and the San Martin to explore further south closer to the equator. The fleet was becalmed in the Doldrums, an area off the coast of equatorial Africa notorious for its lack of winds and heat, for eight days and arrived in the West Indies short of fresh water.

The quiet beach at Columbus Bay is said to be the point at which Christopher Columbus  landed after gathering fresh water at Moruga. The beach is surrounded by miles of coconut plantations and the "Three Sisters" (3 tiny islands) protrude just off the shoreline. Columbus Bay is where the controversial central figure of the New World lost his anchor which is now on display at the Trinidad National Museum

Evidence of fishing by some of the 35,000 Indians then living on the island was evident. The next day, Columbus sailed west to Point Irin where he anchored and was approached by 25 Indians in a large canoe. Columbus ordered a tamborine to be played and his young boys to dance in a friendly gesture. The Indians had not come to dance and set loose a barrage of arrows on the ship. They eventually exchanged gifts.   That night the ship was badly shaken by swirling currents and anchor broke loose.

Image:Hispaniola lrg.jpg

Dominican Republic & Haiti are the two countries that comprise Hispaniola. Home of the first colonies, founded by Columbus where it is considered bad luck to say "Columbus" more. Home of the Caribbean's highest peak, the first nation formed from a slave revolt and a strong Carnaval tradition every February. Haiti's is pre-lenten while most large large cities in the Dominican Republic have parades and fairs around independence day

It was clearly time to move on, he sailed into the Gulf of Paria and up the Orinoco. He name the southern entrance to the Gulf of Paria-the Serpent's Mouth

 The Orinco River's volume of water, the 3rd greatest in the world, impressed Columbus. He realized that no island could produce such a prodigious volume of water.


"I have come to believe that this is a mighty continent which was hitherto unknown. I am greatly supported in this view by reason of this great river, and by this sea which is fresh."

wrote Columbus in his journal.

On August 4, 1498, Columbus became the first European to set foot on the South American mainland when he went ashore at the Venezuelan City closest to Trinidad, Macuro.  The natives were not interested in exchanging  for European trinkets but paid generously in gold and pearls for brass and hawks bells. They spoke of other traders from the East in the past as well.
Peninsula of Paria
Paria Peninsula the finger of Venezuela pointing towards Chagauramas, Trinidad, still remains largely unpopulated long after Columbus made his first continental

The only part of the continent Columbus would land upon would be here at Macuro. The natives kept pointing West, and so Columbus endeavored to explore further the coast of Venezuela. He mistakenly named the Paria Peninsula the Isle of Grace.

 Trying to leave the Gulf his ships experienced problems and he put in at the island Chacachcare, still unpopulated today now that the leper colony has departed. This is the part of Trinidad closest to Venezuela's Paria Peninsula.  After overnighting and claiming the island for Spain he sailed through the Grand Boca, it was at this point that he sighted Tobago in the distance and named it "Bellaforma" as well as Grenada, naming it  "Concepcion."

He called the place Boca del Drago, or Dragon's

1498 Historic 3rd voyage of Columbus was the first time the Admiral reached the continent but he relinquished his dubious right to claim he discovered it by insisting it was connected to India.

Mouth because of the way the waters were churned up.

Columbus modified his belief in a round earth when his navigational readings detected the bulge in the earth at the equator. He proposed that the earth was shaped like a pear with a rise "like a woman's breast" on which rested the "Terrestrial Paradise" or Garden of Eden, to which no man could sail without the permission of God.

Explorer, Destroyer, Messenger.
Recapturing the Lost Soul of the New World as we countdown to 2012.

Chains in Transit: a taste of his own medicine
Gift-slaves of colony's inhabitants and revolt against rule by 3 Columbus brothers  in Haiti/Dominican Republic sends Columbus home in chains.
Columbus was obsessed with the idea of finding a new route to the Far East, which would provide him with enough wealth to pay for the liberation of the Holy Land from Islamic rule. His enterprise of the Indies was also responsible to investors and had to turn a profit if Columbus was going to realize his ambitions.

Ongoing warfare between Christianity and Islam produced thousands of slave laborers, who were put to work in heavy agriculture in Italy, southern France, eastern Spain, Sicily, and eastern Europe near the Black Sea. Most slaves in this area were "white"--either Arabs or natives of Russia and eastern Europe. But by the mid-fifteenth century, the expansion of the Ottoman empire cut off the supply of white slaves. It was during the mid-fifteenth century that Portugal established trading relations along the West African coast, and discovered that it was able to purchase huge numbers of black slaves at a low cost.

On the morning of the 13th, the fleet sailed out of the Gulf of Paria at its northern entrance and coasted west along the mainland for the next three days, spotting the island of Margarita on the 15th of August. Here he found the natives fishing for pearls, of which he obtained three bags by bartering  with gay china and bells. The Indians thought that the pale Spaniards with their shiny armaments must be their "brothers of the sun" and that their arrival meant the beginning of a large and prosperous empire.

Columbus's health was poor at this time, and he now ordered the fleet to sail for Hispaniola on a northwest by north course. They arrived off southern Hispaniola on August 19, 1498.

Christopher Columbus believed that Indians would serve as a slave labor force for Europeans, especially on the sugar cane plantations off the western coast of north Africa and he likely had this plan in mind as he set off on his 2nd voyage since he would soon thereafter deliver his first cargo for the slave markets of Seville to his business agent there. Beginning with 1600, he transported 500 to Spain in 1495 with some 200 dying in transit. Thus Columbus initiated the African slave trade, which originally moved from the New World to the Old, rather than the reverse. He did this despite instructions from Queen Isabella to assist in theImage:Christopher Columbus Face.jpg conversion of the inhabitants to Christianity. He instructed his lieutenant in charge of the cargo to explain the course of action as necessary manner to deal with cannibals, prisoners of war and those unable to be converted because they could not learn the language.

Columbus earlier had begun by demanding gold or cotton every three months from all Amerindian inhabitants of Hispania. As Washington Irving, the figure who has as much to do with creating the archetypal historical figure as anyone except the explorer himself said in 1828:
"Columbus In this way was the yoke of servitude fixed upon the island and its thralldom effectually insured. Deep despair now fell on the natives when they found a perpetual task inflicted upon them. … Weak and indolent by nature, unused to labor of any kind and brought up in the untasked idleness of their soft climate and their fruitful groves, death itself seemed preferable to a life of toil and anxiety. They saw no end to this harassing evil which had so suddenly fallen upon them."

The resolution of events that were to engulf Columbus in their tragic wake was not long in coming. His letter to the sovereigns proposing exportation and sale of four thousand slaves went with the fleet of five ships that left Santo Domingo on October 18, 1498. In the same fleet were several hundred colonists returning to Spain and six hundred enslaved Indians. Each returning colonist had been presented with a slave by Columbus as a token of his good will. Two hundred more had been allotted to the masters of the ships to cover the cost of their transportation.

The arrival of the fleet and Columbus’ letter to the sovereigns could not have come at a worse time for him. Complaints of the chaotic and harsh rule of the three Italian brothers—the admiral and Diego had been joined in Santo Domingo by their brother Bartolomé—had been pouring into the royal court with increasing urgency. And indeed, as the historian Angel de Altolaguirre remarked, “the state of misery which reigned in Espanola was demonstrated by the fact that Columbus, for his own profit, and to meet the expenses of the colony, found no other means than to sell its inhabitants.”

The sixteenth-century historian Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas—also a great admirer of Columbus—wrote that among the many charges brought by the white residents of Espanola against the admiral was one that
 “he would not consent to baptism of the Indians whom the friars wished to baptize because he wanted more slaves than Christians; that he made war against the Indians unjustly and made many slaves to be sent to Castile.”
And four Catholic missionaries, in separate letters to Cardinal Cisneros, the archbishop of Toledo, accused Columbus and his brothers of actively hindering the efforts of the missionaries to convert the natives to Christianity and furthermore asserted that their cruelty to the Indians was a continual frustration to the friars’ labors in the Lord’s vineyard.
Aragon was an empire in decline while Castile's star was just beginning to rise under its energetic young Queen. Isabella was a devout Christian and this religious conviction motivated her fanatic campaign to expel the Moors and Jews from Iberian and spread Christianity to the rest of the world. Christopher Columbus would often appear before her wearing Franciscan robes. Her strength came from her port cities like Barcellona.

Columbus’ proposal for wholesale enslavement of the natives to meet the economic needs of the new colony not only confirmed the reports the sovereigns had received from other sources but also awakened them for the first time to the real character of his traffic in human beings. And with the awakening came a royal explosion.

“By what authority does the Admiral give my vassals to anyone?” Queen Isabella exclaimed angrily when she learned of the arrival of the returning colonists with their “gift” slaves. She ordered that it be publicly cried in Granada and Seville, where the court then was in residence, that all those who had brought Indians to Castile as a result of Columbus’ largesse return them to freedom in Espanola on pain of death. Las Casas soberly reports that his own father was one of those compelled to surrender slaves.

“I do not know what prompted the Queen with so much anger and severity to order those 300 Indians whom the Admiral had given as slaves, returned,” Las Casas wrote. “… I found no other reason but that, until this latest arrival, I believe the Queen, because of erroneous information which the Admiral sent to the Sovereigns, supposed they were taken in a just war. "

---Much of the content regarding Columbus and slavery was researched in Spain was originally  published in 1975 by Edward T. Stone in an article called  Columbus and Genocide

Arriving at the new city of Santo Domingo, Columbus discovered that disgruntled colonists had staged a revolt against his rule as administered by his brother. In 1497, Francisco Roldan, mayor of La Isabela, led a
revolt against the Columbus government. A year later 300 colonists, disenchanted with living conditions and the absence of regular wages, left Hispaniola for Spain. The loyalties of those who remained were divided equally between Columbus, who controlled the center of the island, and the rebel force headed by Roldan in the west. Columbus negotiated a peace with Roldan on terms determined by Roldan. This included land grants and the rights to control their own Indian Taino slaves.

Not a particularly adept administrator, Columbus' presence seemed to have the effect of making things even worse, and his attempt to restore some semblance of order through punishments that did not sit well with much of the island's population. Many Spaniards did not see gold in their future but rather a tough frontier life and 300 elected to return to Spain. In due course, the Spanish crown's rulers, Ferdinand and Isabela appointed a knight commander named Francisco de Bobadilla with plenary powers to take over the administration of Espanola. At the same time, they summarily dismissed Columbus from his high estate of viceroy and governor.

When  Bobadilla, arrived in Santo Domingo, he immediately had Columbus arrested for the hanging he personally observed of two Spaniards. Bodilla took evidence from 23 foes and supporters and compiled a 48 page report which was only rediscovered in 2005 in the Spanish city of Valladolid.

Her crime was to suggest the Columbus family was of low birth in Santo Domingo. What was the family's pedigree?

Among the atrocities documented; One man caught stealing corn had his nose and ears cut off, was placed in shackles and was then auctioned off as a slave. A woman who dared to suggest that Columbus was of lowly birth was punished by his brother Bartolomé, who had also travelled to the Caribbean. She was stripped naked and paraded  around the colony on the back of a mule. Bartolomé ordered that her tongue be cut out and Christopher Columbus congratulated him for defending the family.

In October of 1500 the Admiral and his brothers were sent home to Spain in shackles. They would indulge him with a fourth voyage on the condition he not visit the Dominican Republic island. Columbus returned to the New World in April 1502, only to be shipwrecked in Jamaica from June 1503 to March 1504.

In April 1502, Nicholas de Ovando replaced Bobadilla as governor. Ovando arrived with a large group of over 2,000 Spaniards. They imposed new stresses on the Taino population making them work long hours in the gold mines on a diet of only cassava.

Many Spaniards and Indians died from the unhealthy environment which encouraged the spread of diseases.
Ovando also was no longer interested in maintaining peace with the Taino leaders and had 84 caciques burned and hanged, including Anacaona, the paramount cacica (female chief). All the natives were then assigned to either the crown or individual Spaniards. The Crown's instructions that Taino were vassals entitled to rights, including proper care and wages were largely ignored.
As an observer of the wanton destruction of human life, Now the priest in the colony Fray Bartolome de Las
, the first priest ordained in the new World and later known as the "Protector of the Indians, could no longer sit idly by as the Taino were wantonly destroyed . He came forward as the defender of the Taino,and castigated his countrymen for their harsh treatment of them.

Columbus died in 1506 believing, to the end, that he'd discovered and colonized part of India. Ovando, who had managed to reduce the Taino population from 500,000 to 60,000 was recalled to Spain in 1509 by King Ferdinand, who was keeping a promise that he had made to Queen Isabella on her death-bed. He was succeeded by Diego Columbus, the son of Christopher.

The Spaniards  did not bring their women to the Americas. They took Amerindian wives in civil marriages, and had mestizo children. Their first exploitation of the mainland began in soon close to the pearl beds of Margarita Island.
The Portuguese Crown also favored sending noblemen who were allowed greater license in developing the vast landscape. They quickly turned to the massive importation of African slaves miscegenation.

Like all holidays October 12th can be whatever you wish it to be but increasingly it will be known as something other than Columbus day, but it will always be a great day for a parade celebrating who we are today as the people of the Americas.

English portugues espanhol

In 2011 the Americas finest athletes will gather in Guadalajara, Mexico for the hemisphere's premier event
Why "The Americas"
 In1499, just a year after Columbus 3rd voyage, was led by Alfonso de Ojeda and the Florentine, Amerigo Vespucci. They sailed westward along the coast of Tierra Firme (as the concept of a large land mass beyond the Caribbean Islands was then known) as far as Lago de Maracaibo. There, native huts built on piles above the lake reminded Vespucci of Venice, thus leading him to name the discovery Venezuela, or Little Venice.

Amerigo Vespucci (March 9, 1454 - February 22, 1512) was an Italian merchant, explorer and cartographer whose name became attached to the New World. It was not his map that used the name but he was the first to publish an account of the existence of the unknown continent. He  assisted greatly in the popularization by his writing which was widely distributed. For ths he used a latinised form of his name, Americus Vespucius, in his Latin writings from his original Alberigo.. In 1507,a German cartographer, Martin Waldseemüller,  published a map along with a Latin translation of Amerigo's account. On the map he changed  Vespucci's first name to the feminine to  give credit to Amerigo.  The name took hold.
In 2001 the US library of Congress acquired the only surviving copy of this historic map.

1st Map of America -1507


Who else discovered Brazil before Cabral?
The claim that the Portuguese explorer and navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral was the first European to discover Brazil, on April 22, 1500, is contested. This is partly due to the strict enforcement of secrecy by Portugal  to maintaining their lucrative trade monopolies while keeping  more powerful  ambitious sea powers at bay. Still, with the priority of completing the navigation around Africa's Horn of Plenty to the India Ocean, not completed till 1498 it is doubtful that the knowledge that Portugal's King Juan used to insist on the Treaty of  Tordesillas to give it rights to Brazil ahead of Spanish claims was based on more than intelligence gleaned from its domination of the harbors off Guinea, Africa which had up until recently  maintained regular small-time trade across the prior sea powers of the Phoenicians, Romans, Chinese, Greeks, Moors, Mali ¹ or many millennia maintaining local knowledge on the powerful currents and trade winds across the Atlantic. Columbus brought back a gold tipped spear on his 2nd expedition given to him on Haiti which tested as a complex alloy only found in Guinea, Africa ² Also the cotton patterns used, lack of interest in glass beads, desire for brass and communication that previous traders were now the distance of more than 800 leagues" was all recorded by by Las Casas on Columbus 3rd voyage.
The academic version which still maintains that with few exceptions, the Amerindians came over the Bering Strait at the ice age, 13000 years ago. We spend some time on this phenoneon. from the African perspective here the African view 
When Da Gama returned to Portugal in 1499 with news about the extent of Muslim gold trading on the east African coast, King Manuel became determined to send a strong armada to take advantage of these discoveries. The fleet, under the command of Admiral Pedro Alvares Cabral, included a squadron of four caravels under Bartholomew Diaz,, who had been selected to found a fortress-factory at the gold-exporting port of Sofala on the east coast. On 9 March 1500, the armada set out on the Atlantic and turned south-westward to take advantage of the south-east trade winds. Cabral may well have been secretly instructed to explore the western area allotted to Portugal under the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494. Sailing westward, the fleet came upon the bulge of South America. Dias thus became an active participant in the first discovery of Brazil. In order to test the mood of the local inhabitants Dias was ordered to land a longboat at an anchorage they named Porto Seguro (the present Baia Cabralia). As the natives proved friendly and attractive, the Portuguese went ashore and danced and made merry with them, visited their village, and afterwards celebrated mass on the beach.
On the web are sketchy details of a letter in the Vatican, written at the time of King Afonso IV, around 1341-1343 reporting on a Sancho Brandao sailing in the Atlantic and finding a land with many naked men. Also supposedly some English documents  from the 1370's mention a   "Brazil of Portugal"
Two of the more unproven claims are that in 1498 Duarte Pacheco Pereira arrived in Maranhão, on the northeastern coast of Brazil, in 1498 arriving in Maranhão, Brazil. In addition there is a 4th or 1st voyage of Amerigo Vespucci that may have arrived in Brazil in 1497 but this is doubtful.
1499: Amerigo_Vespucci After hitting land at the coast of what is now Guyana, Vespucci sailed southward, discovering the mouth of the Amazon River and reaching 6°S, before turning around and seeing Trinidad and the Orinoco River and returning to Spain by way of Hispaniola. On return to Lisbon, Vespucci wrote in a letter to de' Medici that the land masses they explored were much larger than anticipated and unlike the Asia described by earlier Europeans and, therefore, must be a New World, that is, a previously unknown fourth continent, after Europe, Asia, and Africa.
1499: Vicente Yáñez Pinzón (c. 1460 - after 1523) was a Spanish navigator, who captained one of the 3 ships with his older brother Martin Alonzo Pinzón,and Christopher Columbus on the first voyage to the New World in 1492, In 1499 he sighted the Amazon River and ascended to a point about fifty metres from the sea. He called it the "Río Santa María de la Mar Dulce", thus becoming the first explorer to discover an estuary of the Amazon River. Pinzón is considered the discoverer of the Oiapoque river.
Very Early in Brazil
Roman amphorae from the wreck of a Roman ship was two intact  from the bottom of Guanabara Bay in 1975 . Dr. Elizabeth Lyding Will identified the jars as similar in shape to jars produced in kilns at Kouass, on the west coast of Morocco. The Rio jars look to be late versions of those jars, perhaps datable to the third century A.D. In 1981 archeologist Robert Marx discovered thousands of pottery fragments in the same locality, including 200 necks from amphorae. The find became political when Italians said the claim proved their right to immigrate to Brazil should be treated like Portuguese and it is alleged that the government has since hidden the archaeological site under sand. [more]
Pedra da Gávea: View from Praça da Bandeira This rock is in Tijuca forest is claimed to be a marker by a 600B.C Phoenician ruler
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  • Amazon_Stonehenge
    A circle of some 130 granite blocks in the Brazilian state of Amapa was hailed as a possible 2,000-year-old winter solstice marker.

    First Settlements on Trinidad
    Trinidad: It took until 1592 for the Spanish to establish their first settlement, San Josef, just east of the present-day capital of Port of Spain. Over the next two centuries, Spanish colonizers made efforts to establish tobacco and cacao plantations but crop failures and a lack of support from Spain left the island only lightly settled.
    First Settlements in Venezuela
    A year after that the Spanish established their first settlement, at Nueva Cadiz, on the island of Cubagua near Margarita Island in 1528. It did not have a fresh water source but did have lots of rich pearl beds. It ruins today are notorious for not only being wiped out completely  by a tsunami but also for the first record of a resource being managed to extinction in the New World.
    The City shares an ignoble history with two of the great known tsunamis in history when its cataclysmic tidal wave occurred on Christmas in 1540. It's pearl beds played out, it was never restored.
    First Settlements in Brazil
    It would be 25 years from Cabral's discovery in 1500 before the Portuguese would establish a colony in Brazil. The discovery of Brazil wood, the source of red dye, much in demand by the European textile industry, was incentive for founding the colony and provided its name. The fear that Brazil might fall into French hands accelerated settlement efforts by the Portuguese Crown. Early efforts were led by private individuals who were granted land and much leeway in their administration.

    In 1549 the Crown sent an expedition to establish a royal government in Brazil. This expedition included six Jesuits, the first of the regular Catholic orders in Brazil. It eventually became clear the natives were ill-suited for the labor necessary to produce crops and the importation of African slaves to work sugar plantations by 1600 was firmly established.



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