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South America

Venezuela was the first of the South American countries to be colonised by the Spaniards. Christopher Columbus discovered it on his third voyage in 1498, and settlers soon followed in the early 16th century. Uruguay, discovered by the Spanish explorer, Juan Diaz de Solis, in 1515, was claimed over the years until its independence in 1830 by both the Portuguese in Brazil and the Spanish in Argentina.
Brazil, although first discovered by a Spaniard in 1500, was declared a possession of the Portuguese crown in the same year by Pedro Alvares Cabral.
In the early 16th century, Colombia and Ecuador were also conquered by the Spanish. In 1532, Francisco Pizarro added to the Spanish dominions by the conquest of Peru and its Inca Empire, which at that time included much of what is now Bolivia, Chile, Columbia and Ecuador.
Paraguay was claimed for Spain by Sebastian Cabot in 1526. The Spanish captain, Pedro de Mendoza, established a settlement on the site of what is now Buenos Aires in 1536. Although this was soon burnt down by Indians, Juan de Garay and other Spanish settlers reestablished the settlement in 1580 and gave it the name Santos Trinidad y Puerto de Santa Maria de Buenos Aires.
This long name which means Holy Trinity and Harbour of Our Lady of Kind Winds, was soon shortened to Buenos Aires.
The history of the Spanish and Portuguese control in South America is one of oppression and exploitation. In the early 19th century, the colonies revolted and established republics.

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