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Latin America: The Largest Sleeping Giant In The History Of The World
Latin America, one of the richest regions of planet Earth and yet we find some of the poorest areas of the world in the region.  There are thirty three (33) countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and there are still gigantic differences between the north, central and south regions of the Americas.  A continent linked by common roots and similar history and yet disconnected by political, economical and social components. The region is the envy of any other country of the world. There are thousands of miles of coastal areas, minerals from gold to uranium, petroleum, natural gas, deserts, jungles, mountains, forests, sweet water, precious wood, rich soil, hydro thermal energy and much more. In fact, whatever you may think, Latin America has it. Today the main question many folks in the region have is this: What keeps the nations of Latin America from forming one of the most powerful conglomerates of nations of the whole world? There is not an easy answer to this question. Consider the following: There are a good number of regional components opposing some Latin American nations moving towards that direction. These components are both political and historical and until each nation manages these obstacles, joining forces towards a continental alignment looks difficult to achieve. In addition to these local and regional obstacles, there are outside forces teaming up for this not to take place. The entire world knows that if the main players in the Latin American region mount a single block, the economic power of the world shifts towards Latin America. For the sake of this notion, let our imagination run. Imagine for a moment that a single block formed by Latin American nations (only) finally emerges with a common economic denominator. This group of nations will represent the most important producers of energy (petroleum and derivatives), with an impressive economic maritime activity combining fishery and marine services along several thousands of miles of shoreline facing both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Gulf of Mexico. This block of nations will have an agricultural output to feed the entire American continent with a substantial surplus to sell to the rest of the world. According to the World Bank, "Latin America is home to about 28% of potential new arable land. And despite droughts and water scarcity in some sub- regions, it also holds the highest share of renewable water resources. The multidimensional abundance of almost any kind of raw and cultivated resources, from precious woods, coal, silver, gold, grains, fruits, beefs, poultry and much more, makes Latin America the land of opportunities, a region offering a great future to its people and a vast food store to the rest of the world. As in any other physical system, this potential is not different at all. This kinetic energy requires a great deal of motion for results to be obtained. Of the thirty-three nations of the region a group of Latin-American nations such as Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Panama potentially could easily represent the energy-food block of nations of the world. These nations together have the capacity to produce the energy and its derivatives to satisfy the needs of every nation, additionally producing grains, cereals, vegetables, legumes, fruits, pork, beef, poultry, fish, precious metals such as gold, copper, silver and a long list of other metals required by a number of industrial processes. The entire Latin America region could be the primary tourist destinations of the world. Every nation offers wonderful geography, very hospitable people, fantastic food, and a history that extends to thousands of years of the human history. Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru by themselves offer thousands of years of history with amazing archaeological sites. Equally, attractive for the international tourists are the group of small nations located in the Caribbean region, places such as Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, and Virgin Islands will captivate the attention of all visitors for the exquisiteness and the romanticism of the many beautiful towns and villages. For the experienced traveler, the region of Latino America offers incredible puzzling locations to visit. These include places such as Teotihuacan (in Nahuatl ”), Palenque, Uxmal and Chichen Itza in Mexico, Tical and Yaxchilan in Guatemala, Nazca and Machu Picchu in Peru to mentioning some popular sites. Latin America has it all. If Latin America is the abundance land of the world, what then is taking place that one still see some of the poorest regions in the world? What is the reason these many great nations do not dominate the economy of the world? Coming back to the original question posted at the beginning of this article, that is: What keeps the nations of Latin America from forming one of the most powerful conglomerates of nations of the whole world? There are not simple answers to this question, better yet; there are not answers that could be offered without producing national outrage in some of the  American nations. At the risk of causing this very sentiment, we offer a narrative explaining some of the reasons keeping Latin America from becoming what Latin America has the power to become. Please observe that to fully understand what is Latin America today, one needs to view the historical record of the region. Without this perspective one may not fully appreciate the region’s political and social components driving the past, present and future path of the region. A word about the term Latin America Since the Spanish and Portuguese element looms so large in the history of the region, it is sometimes proposed that Iberoamerica would be a better term than Latin America. Latin seems to suggest an equal importance of the French and Italian contributions, which is far from being the case. Nevertheless, usage has fastened on Latin America, and it is retained here. Please read the article Are You a Latino? There are three distinct regions of what is Latin America. These regions are defined primarily by the geographical location of each region. Based on this we have North, Central and South America regions. Each region has its very own history and although there have very close similarities there are also vast differences in the path each region has chosen to walk. The history of the Americas before the arrival of Christopher Columbus (Pre-Colombian) is a vast history penetrating deep into the annals of human presence in the continent. Because the focus of this article is not oriented to cover such a period of history, enough is to say that after the arrival of Christopher Columbus (1490 to Vera Cruz) and the centuries of European colonialism, exploitation and, in the name of God the population devastation of natural Americans at the hand of the new arrivals, the region became unstable and prompt to dissolve relationships to the Spanish Crown. The Latin American Wars of Independence were the revolutions that took place during the late 18th and early 19th centuries and resulted in the creation of a number of independent countries in Latin America. These revolutions followed the American and French Revolutions, which had profound effects on the British, Spanish, Portuguese and French colonies in the Americas. Haiti, a French slave colony, was the first to follow the United States to independence, during the Haitian Revolution, which lasted from 1791 to 1804. From this emerged Napoleon Bonaparte as French ruler, whose armies set out to conquer Europe, including Spain and Portugal in 1808. The Peninsular War, which resulted from the Napoleonic occupation of Spain, caused Spanish Creoles in Spanish America to question their allegiance to Spain, stoking independence movements that culminated in the wars of independence, which lasted almost two decades. At the same time, the Portuguese monarchy relocated to Brazil during Portugal's French occupation. After the royal court returned to Lisbon, the prince regent, Pedro, remained in Brazil and in 1822 successfully declared himself emperor of a newly independent Brazil. The process of emancipation of the Spanish colonies begun at the beginning of the 19th century culminated during the second decade of that century, putting an end to the control exercised by Spain in the New World. In 1898, its last strongholds on the continent - Cuba and Puerto Rico - will be torn from their hands by the United States, falling under its tutelage. Reason 1. Foreign Interventions In The Latin American Nations Once the ties of the Latin American countries with Spain ended, and the commercial monopoly that the latter ended, the majority of them were British and then American companies that established a net predominance in Latin America. The English preponderance that replaced the rigid Spanish monopoly was manifested throughout the nineteenth century by the rise of British trade in the former Spanish colonies. Since then English ships have been docked in major American ports such as Veracruz, Buenos Aires, Valparaíso and El Callao. It was a commercial supremacy that did not seek direct political dominance, even though England had already tried to obtain its own space in the New World, using armed aggression for that purpose: at the capture of Buenos Aires in 1806 it was followed by as many landings In Caribbean territories, including the founding of a ghostly "Kingdom of Mosquito" on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua and Honduras and the occupation in 1833 of the Falkland Islands, populated since 1929 by Argentine settlers. England was able to prevail in Latin America during the first half of the nineteenth century despite the pretensions of France and the United States, who also wanted to gain their share of influence in the region. In the history of the region, several countries have negatively interfered in the economic, political and social development of Latin America, of those countries, the following nations are the ones contributing for the foremost negative dominance since the post independence era of the region: England, France, Spain and United States You are invited to read about the history of interventions in Latin America by foreign powers including the United States. Through the following links you could find a plethora of detailed information on this particular subject: Foreign Intervention in Latin America 10 Cases of American Intervention in Latin America Must to Read: History of U.S. Interventions in Latin America How Did The United States Intervene In Latin America During The Cold War Reason 2 – Economics and Education It is a natural pair of disciplines for any nation of the world. Economics and Education go hand by hand. Education promotes Economics as Economics promotes Education. If this does not take place, both conditions neglect economic development and social growth of any nation. See Cuba for example. A representative of this premise, a total abandonment of an educational system by a corrupt economic system has produced a society experiencing an extreme low economic level positioning it in a dramatic disadvantage over any of the other Latin American nations. When using the word ‘Economics’ we all have the tendency of thinking in poverty levels or socioeconomic level of a given population or nation. When referring to Latin American nations, must readers would agree that the region in general is poorer than European nations, United States and Canada (in North America). The premise is correct in that the peoples of Latin America do not enjoy a medium to high economic levels in general.  Although the general population is poor, there are many individuals with enormous amounts of wealth in Latin America; in fact, one of the richest people in the whole world, Mr. Carlos Slim is from Mexico. Poverty in Latin America has a number of roots.  It is a complex subject and widely extensive. There is a consensual agreement that a combination of uneven distribution of wealth and resources sponsored by economic and political agendas to favor the rich and powerful is a major contributor to the millions left behind. One of the contributors for this to take place is the general low level of education of the masses. The lack of education manifests itself in low levels of economic advancement in any nation including the so-called development nations. In the United States for example, states like Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, poverty levels are compatible (if not worst) with poverty levels in any of the poorest nations of Latin America. The common denominator between these regions is the low level of education of their populations. The lack of education also promotes abuses and supremacy of the powerful over the weak and defenseless individual and the proletarian. The lack of education is also the foundation of several social manifestations not in favor of any national interest. Some of the most important phenomena are: Discrimination to the poor High unemployment Illegal behavior Anti-social behavior Anti Nationalism Tax Evasion These have economic repercussion to any nation forming vicious cycles not easy to eradicate as generations live under this circumstances. Many of the nations of the region do not have a solid and ill-free educational system.  The destructive forces of corruption inside both the economic and political systems working in favor of the ones with wealth and power, produce the high levels of poverty seen across the region. Reason 3- Corruption Although the phenomena of corruption and education go hand-and-hand, this political and social cancer across Latin America is one of the trademarks distinguishing several nations of the region. Corruption is one of the main challenges Latin America faces and the one single problem that needs to eliminate as a condition for the region to become what Latin America has the resources to be. In fact, for many analysts familiar with the issue, the latest round of corruption scandals is actually evidence that Latin America is starting to get on top of the problem. That’s what Nick Miroff, writing in the Washington Post, argues. “In countries where democratic institutions have grown stronger, a more independent judiciary and the political activism of an internet-powered citizenry are challenging the old way of doing business by graft. It looks like hard-fought progress.” Corruption was in the past tolerated because many thought it helped everything run smoothly. “Rouba, mas faz” – he steals, but he gets stuff done – was often said by Brazilians when referring to their politicians. Now people are starting to see corruption for what it is: a poison that spreads to other parts of society, with sometimes devastating effects. There is perhaps no more infamous example of this than the 43 students who went missing in Mexico’s Guerrero state. While it’s still not clear what happened to them, it was almost certainly the work of corrupt local officials and gangs. Indeed, as analysts at Insight Crime have pointed out, it’s no coincidence that some of the region’s most corrupt countries – Honduras, Venezuela, Guatemala – are also among the most violent places in the world. The following headlines need to be totally eradicated from the region: Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s popularity took a big hit after her family was involved in a high-profile corruption scandal. More recently, Argentina’s former president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was indicted for meddling with the country’s central bank. And in Guatemala, former president Otto Perez Molina will stand trial for allegedly masterminding a scheme under which bribes were paid to customs officials. For Latin America to awake, corruption needs to be eradicated and democratic institutions most be freed of abuse and illicit use of power. Patriotic politicians ought to be elected by the will of the peoples in benefit of each nation. The Future for Latin America As the balance of power in the west tumbles under the weight of social disintegration, political correctness and the surge of radical Islam, nations once powerful at the vanguard of the economic pack of nations, the environment presents to the nations of Latin America a clearer path for an amazing awakening of the monstrous power the region has. In the long run life seems to be much better for the Latin American nations. From Mexico to the tip of South America and from the Pacific to the Atlantic ocean, future generations will enjoy an abundance of the important things Latin American societies have always valued: family, health, education and peace, all these within a well balanced economic system.   Hopefully the corrosive social models in practice by the United States and in some measure by Canada will be avoided in Latin America. These nations must learn from the experience of the neighbors of the north. The peoples of the Americas ought to observe the almost complete destruction of the social fabric that the United States have experienced by almost nullifying all moral margins in favor of political correctness.   As the Latin American nations avoid mimicking similar narratives around the same social illness that have brought down the country leading the path of conservatism in the region, the social foundation in the Latin American nations will perpetuate values and practices allowing themselves to enjoy the flourishing of their social environment.   Equally important is for the Latin American nations to observe and learn similar lessons of national destruction in countries across the Atlantic Ocean. Several of the European nations are experiencing self inflicted profound wounds without reaching a real solution or recognizing that the origin of the problems they are facing have been self-created. History has registered the very same hostility between the West and Islam and yet Europe insists in trying to amalgamate a society with non-mixable components.  For Latin America this lesson is of a paramount importance and one that cannot be missed. The course to follow is Latin America
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June 12 2017