Saturday, March 28, 2009

Latin America

Despite sitting snugly on the cusp of the South American mainland, most people in Trinidad and Tobago know little about those countries between Mexico and Argentina. They are names that feature in geography class and not much else. Maybe it's because traditionally we have looked first to the former "motherland" Great Britain and then to the USA since we share a language, English. We, who have been independent for more than forty years fail to embrace our neighbours for the most part. But maybe we should pay more attention.

This is not a blog about the Summit taking place here, enough has been ventilated about that topic by all and sundry. Having nominally been looking at Latin American politics recently it appears much has changed from the old picture of dictatorships and military juntas every week. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silvamade is my hero this week. On a visit to Downing Street he is quoted as saying, "This is a crisis that was caused by white people with blue eyes. And before the crisis, they looked as if they knew everything about economics." Incidentally, President Lula is white, well as white as one from our part of the world can be. Lula is making quite a name for himself as is Argentina's Christina Kirchner and Chile's Michelle Bacchelet to name but two. What's even more amazing is the lack of apology, they have unabashedly declared themselves. Lula is head of a sovereign nation of millions, why should he be apologetic. he's right, the rest of us to some degree are paying for the arrogance of nations run by those blue eyed folk. If you look carefully, the economy in India has taken a beating but didn't crumble. Brazil took a beating but largely is rebounding. There must be something to this.

Nope, I'm not racist, quite the contrary. However when you look at the consumer driven values of successive Republican President's and the patterns established by those so called developed nations you have to wonder how no one could have noticed the crap that was going on.

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to the visit by President Lula next month. If nothing else, it will be very instructive.


Gabriela said...

President Lula's own private history is a very interesting one. I like him too, and I wasn't aware of those wiseful words of his in Downing Street.
I can tell you out of experience that living in a place wher a summit is held is very interesting. Lima hosted two important summits last year, and the ambiance was so different... in a very nice way.

slacker said...

If you want to understand and appreciate where Lula and Kirshner and Evo are coming from find Neruda's Macchu Pichu and appreciate that for latin americans america starts in Patagonia and ends in the Arctic...its not about stars and stripes...

Gabriela said...

Neruda's Macchu Picchu? Neruda was Chilean and Macchu Picchu is in Peru. Neighboring countries, it's true, but each South American country has its own features.

slacker said...

My point is that you Latin Americans see yourselves as the 'true' americans distinct and in some way more connected to the spaces you inhabit unlike the norteamericanos who are not in the most part connected to their spaces.

In Macchu Picchu, Neruda guides his readers to a vision of America as a whole, the Latin leaders such as Lula and the like are empowered by the sense of self that comes from self realization...which in my mind is what Macchu Picchu is about.

Gabriela said...

Thanks for the explanation, Slacker.