By Michael Reid
Latin the United States has usually been condemned to failure. Neither terrible sufficient to rouse Africa’s ethical campaign, nor as explosively booming as India and China, it has principally been ignored through the West. but this giant continent, domestic to part one thousand million humans, the world’s biggest reserves of arable land, and 8.5 percentage of worldwide oil, is busily reworking its political and financial landscape. This booklet argues that instead of failing the try out, Latin America’s efforts to construct fairer and extra filthy rich societies make it one of many world’s so much lively laboratories for capitalist democracy. in lots of countries—including Brazil, Chile and Mexico—democratic leaders are laying the rules for quicker fiscal development and extra inclusive politics, in addition to tackling deep-rooted difficulties of poverty, inequality, and social injustice. They face a brand new problem from Hugo Ch?vez’s oil-fuelled populism, and lots more and plenty is at stake. Failure increases the circulate of substances and unlawful immigrants to the us and Europe, jeopardize balance in a sector wealthy in oil and different strategic commodities, and threaten many of the world's such a lot majestic ordinary environments. Drawing on Michael Reid’s decades of reporting from within Latin America’s towns, presidential palaces, and shantytowns, the e-book presents a vibrant, instant, and knowledgeable account of a dynamic continent and its fight to compete in a globalized world. (20080323)
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Extra resources for Forgotten Continent: The Battle for Latin America's Soul
Mexico’s revolution of 1910–17 (some argue it lasted until 1940) forged a distinct political system, under which the official Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) ruled continuously until 2000. It also spawned an official culture of indigenismo, aimed at promoting (or at least proclaiming) the country’s racial integration. One of the early ideologues of the post-revolutionary period, José Vasconcelos, the education minister in the 1920s, argued that Latin America was in essence mestizo (a ‘cosmic race’, he called it, referring to its claimed spirituality).
Costa Rica apart, they were marked by repressive dictatorships. Following the Sandinista revolution of 1979 in Nicaragua, they were suddenly thrust into the spotlight as a theatre of the Cold War. As well as Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador suffered civil wars, as left-wing guerrillas backed by Castro’s Cuba battled dictatorships 26 FORGOTTEN CONTINENT supported, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, by the United States. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the administration of George H W Bush wisely decided that democracy was the only solution for Central America’s conflicts.
In 2000, President Fernando Henrique Cardoso called the first of what have become regular South American summits. They began by promoting better transport links across the continent. In November 2004, at a meeting in Cusco, the former Inca capital in Peru, Brazil’s vision of South American unity took a further step forward when all 11 South American countries (including Guyana and Suriname) proclaimed a South American Community of Nations, with the eventual aim of a common passport and common currency.