As Europeans colonized in the Latin America “melting pot,” adjustments were made amongst the social, economic, and political relations within the countries.
Bolivia- Indigenous people of Bolivia with held information and fled from Spanish conquerors. They lacked political rights and were forced into labor. In 1952, the indigenous people were granted citizenship and came out of their dwellings for better lives; education, jobs, and opportunistic moves to the city.
Haiti- A South American country of mostly African heritage. Haiti has had a poorly governed past which has made it a poor and unequal place to live.
Dominican Republic- Made up of a blend of African and European decent. Many modern Dominicans are racist towards Haitian blacks based on the history of conflict between the 2 nations.
Post World War II, Venezuela was a land of opportunity because of oil availability.
With this comes greed and high levels of inequality. Revenue from oil production is spent by the government to serve political ends. President Hugo Chavez runs the country poorly by appointing all his officials, spending all the oil revenue, acquiring massive debts, and allowing the support from militias and gangs.
The militias are violent and crime rates are high in Venezuela.
Mexico joined NAFTA in 1994 and slowly built it’s economy through maquiladoras. (where products are assembled then re exported) China then became the largest country for this type of work resulting in 300,000 job losses in Mexico.
With the huge economic losses, many went to trafficking immigrants and drugs into the US.
This has been referred to as a “reconquista” by some writers because part of US soil once belonged to Mexico.
Further down in central America, countries have higher levels of poverty in communities that are filled with gangs, violence, and guns.
The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) was established to help lift Central America’s economy.
The Second World- Argentina and Chile: Very Fraternal Twins
Argentina was a prosperous country for many years until the presidency of Juan Bautista Alberdi.
It was wealthy, beautiful, and unaffected by the first world war.
After a poor militant move to seize the Falkland Islands, British forces intervened.
Argentina was at one point a prideful country above all others in South America, but is no longer considered first world.
Chile is considered South America’s “role model.”
With economic growth, Chile was able to reduce poverty and employ more citizens rather than develop inequality.