Timeline Cape Verde

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Cape Verde is a cluster of islands home to just 500,000 people. With beaches and a dramatic mountain landscape, it has long relied on tourism to build its economy.

c1450    The Portuguese brought slaves to the uninhabited Cape Verde Island.
    (SFC, 8/5/98, p.A8)
1487        Bartolomeo Dias, Portuguese explorer, set out from Lisbon in August, and sailed south to the Cape Verde Islands and past Cape Cross. Storms forced him out to sea and when the winds moderated he continued east but found nothing. He turned north and then sighted land.

1956        Aristides Pereira (1924-2011) co-founded of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, or PAIGC, which operated in secret in Guinea-Bissau and in Cape Verde.
    (AP, 9/22/11)

1974        Mario Soares, the foreign minister of Portugal, helped negotiate a cease-fire that led to independence.
    (SFC, 4/19/00, p.A10)

1975        May 25, ECOWAS Treaty1 was signed. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was formed in Nigeria with 15 members that included: Benin, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Upper Volta (later Burkina Faso).

1975        Jul 5, The Cape Verde Islands officially became independent after 500 years of Portuguese rule. Aristides Pereira, a former guerrilla fighter against the Portuguese colonial administration, became head of state following independence. Pedro Verona Pires was appointed as the first prime minister and remained in the post for 16 years, then lost his country's first democratic elections in 1991.
    (SFC, 8/5/9, p.A8)(AP, 7/5/00)(AP, 9/22/11)(AP, 10/10/11)

1992        Singer Cesaria Evora recorded her album "Miss Perfumado." She was discovered by producer Jose Da Silva who established her in Paris.
    (SFC, 9/13/99, p.)

2001        Mar 22, Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires began ruling as the President of Cape Verde  and continued to September 2011. He was Prime Minister from 1975 to 1991.

2006        Dec 21, Cape Verde PM Jose Maria das Neves said Africa must stop blaming its colonial past for its problems and instead point the finger at the continent's leaders.
    (AFP, 12/21/06)

2007        Feb 8, In Cape Verde 3 Italian women, aged 17-33, were brutally attacked while vacationing, dragged into the woods, pelted with stones and left for dead at the bottom of a hole. One woman survived. 3 local men were arrested.
    (AP, 2/10/07)

2009        Aug 14, Hillary Clinton ended her whirlwind seven-nation African trip at Cape Verde, with a tough love message that Africans must tackle their own problems.
    (AFP, 8/14/09)

2009        Aug 17, Russian media reported that the Arctic Sea has been found near Cape Verde and that the ship's 15-man Russian crew has been taken aboard a Russian naval vessel.
    (AP, 8/17/09)

2009        Sep 27, In Venezuela Pres. Hugo Chavez proposed that South American and African nations unite to create a cross-continental mining corporation to keep control of their resources. Chavez made diplomatic inroads in Africa at a summit of South American and African leaders where he offered Venezuela's help in oil projects, mining and financial assistance. Venezuela signed agreements to work together on oil projects with South Africa, Mauritania, Niger, Sudan and Cape Verde.
    (Reuters, 9/27/09)(AP, 9/28/09)

2010        Dec 28, West African leaders Boni Yayi of Benin, Sierra Leone's Ernest Bai Koroma and Pedro Pires of Cape Verde met with incumbent Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo to deliver an ultimatum from the ECOWAS regional bloc to step down or face removal by force. But Gbagbo's government signaled he was unlikely to agree to cede power to Alassane Ouattara.
    (Reuters, 12/28/10)(SFC, 12/29/10, p.A4)

2011        Aug 7, Cape Verde islanders voted for a new president as Pedro Pires wrapped up two terms at the helm of a nation hailed for its stable democracy. His ruling party faced a split vote. A run-off was scheduled for August 21.
    (AFP, 8/8/11)

2011        Aug 21, In Cape Verde, one of Africa's most stable and prosperous nations, liberal opposition candidate Jorge Carlos Fonseca unseated the party which held the presidency for a decade. Fonseca, a former foreign minister, won 54.90 percent of the vote, besting his socialist rival Manuel Inocencio Sousa, who garnered 45.91 percent of the vote.
    (AFP, 8/22/11)

2011        Sep 22, Former Cape Verde president Aristides Pereira (87), who fought Portugal's colonial rule, died in Portugal. He was the West African country's first post-independence president.
    (AP, 9/22/11)

2011        Oct 10, The $5 million Mo Ibrahim award for good leadership in Africa, withheld the previous two years because of a lack of qualified candidates, was bestowed to Cape Verde's former Pres. Pedro Verona Pires (77) for promoting democracy and development on his archipelago.
    (AP, 10/10/11)

2011        Dec 17, Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora (70), nicknamed the "barefoot diva", died in a hospital in her native country. Her 1992 album, “Miss Perfumado,” earned her 5 gold records.
    (AFP, 12/17/11)(Econ, 1/7/12, p.86)

2013        Mar 23, Spanish, Portuguese and British police boarded a ship loaded with nearly two tons of cocaine destined for sale in Europe and arrested nine people. The ship was in the Atlantic Ocean, some 700 miles southwest of Portugal's Cape Verde islands.
    (AP, 3/24/13)

2013        Apr 4, Cape Verde Islands Radiotelevisao Caboverdiana reported that Rear Adm. Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto and four other Guinea-Bissau nationals were apprehended by US authorities aboard a yacht in international waters in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. The US Treasury Department designated Na Tchuto as a drug kingpin in 2010 for his alleged role in the cocaine trade in Guinea-Bissau.
    (AP, 4/5/13)

2014        Nov 23, In Cape Verde the volcano Pico do Fogo erupted forcing more than 1,000 people to evacuate from the Cha das Caldeiras region. By mid-December lava flow destroyed two villages and threatened a forest reserve.
    (AFP, 12/16/14)

2016        Mar 20, In Cape Verde Janira Hopffer Almada conceded defeat after the liberal opposition MPD party took more than 53 percent of the vote with nearly all ballots counted, ousting the PAICV after 15 years in power.
    (AFP, 3/21/16)

2016        Apr 26, In Cape Verde a disgruntled soldier, who had gone missing, was suspected of gunning down eight soldiers and three civilians, including two Spaniards. Suspect Manuel Antonio Silva Ribeiro (22) was arrested after a 24-hour manhunt.
    (AP, 4/27/16)

2016        Dec 4, The US Pentagon announced the release of Guantanamo Bay prisoner Shawqi Awad Balzuhair. The low level militant was sent to the West African nation of Cape Verde for resettlement. This lowered the number of prisoners held at the US base in Cuba to 59. Twenty of those remaining have been approved for release.
    (AP, 12/4/16)

2019        Feb 2, It was reported that Cape Verde police have detained 11 Russian sailors for the suspected smuggling of more than nine tons of cocaine.
    (Reuters, 2/2/19)

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