Latin America and Democracy

Latin America and Democracy

Mistaken ideas about the historical reality of Latin America have been appearing for almost two centuries. There is not even an exact name to designate this reality: should it be “Latin America,” “Hispanic America,” “Iberoamerica,” “Indoamerica”? Each of these names ignores one part of its complexity. Economic, social, and political labels are equally misleading. The concept of “underdevelopment,” for instance, may be applied to economics and technology, but not to art, literature, moral values, or politics. The expression “Third World” is vaguer still. The term is deceiving as well as imprecise. For instance, what relationship exists between Argentina and Angola, Thailand and Costa Rica, Tunisia and Brazil? Despite two centuries of European domination, neither India nor Algeria changed its language, religion, or culture. The same may be said of Indonesia, Vietnam, Senegal, indeed, of most of the former European possessions in Asia and Africa. Iranians, Hindus, and Chinese belong to civilizations unlike that of the West.

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Lima