History of Latin American people is a
struggle against colonialism, imperialism and their local supporters such as
local bullies and local collaborators. This democratic revolution is an ongoing
European civilization met a new world with
the discovery of the American continent in 1492. This New World was exposed to
the exploitation of European countries of the time. Spanish and Portuguese
colonists who reached Central America in the early 16th century after
Christopher Columbus shared the southern part of the new mainland among them.
The Vatican intervened and gave Latin America except Brazil to the Spaniards.
The North American region was generally occupied by the British and French,
while South America was under the exploitation of the Portuguese and Spanish. The
roots of leftist and rebellious groups against colonialist countries and the
capitalist system in Latin America date back to this period. The left-wing
groups say that they have been exploited and destroyed for three hundred years
since the whites came to the continent.
The Spanish colonists, who destroyed
the indigenous civilizations (Aztecs, Incas) by resorting to the bloodiest
roads, impose their cultures and beliefs in Latin America. The Catholic Church
has backed the Spanish and Portuguese colonies by providing legitimacy to bully
orientations and providing a basis for social and cultural life.
If we look briefly at Latin American
history, the Mayan population living in the area when Mexico is discovered is
described in scientific sources that fall from about 25 million to about a half
million due to the massacres and whites brought about in about 40 years. The
whites became the only force in the region with the immigration they had made
to Latin America over time. In such an environment, white aliens with superior
weapon power have begun to use societies and hybrids as slaves.
Imperialist colonist countries have
plundered especially silver and gold mines in Latin America. On the other hand,
the colonies built a feudal structure called Latifundium while building the new
ports and trade towns on the shores of Latin America, giving the lands in the
inner areas to their feudal lords. Latifindium comes from latin word latifùndio
which means large land area owned by a single person. Latifindium lands cannot
be legated, however, hacienda lands can be legated to heir of landowners. These
lands are called as estancia specific to Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Southern
Chile and fazenda specific to Brazil.
Outbreaks and massacres and the number
of locals declining over time were inadequate for the processing of the newly
acquired lands. Slave trade began from Africa to America during this process. The
Spanish colonial empire carried hundreds of thousands of African people as
slaves to the sub-continent. Indigenous people and Africans in the Latin
American region were seen as wild wolves and were employed in heavy jobs. Education
rights were hindered in later periods. Land reforms were opposed and political
rights were hindered in the last period. In addition to these problems, the
economic crises, neoliberal policies and the increase of pressure on the people
and the inability to benefit from underground and above sources are the origin
of the rebellious groups today. For example, the Zapatistas who oppose liberal
politics in Mexico and that their sole purpose is to achieve democracy, justice
and freedom are voicing that they are a 500-year history of rebellions.
The intellectual pioneer of
nation-states in Latin America is the French Revolution. The French Revolution
broke off the authority of the Spanish and Portuguese colonial states over
Latin America, both by exporting revolutionary thoughts to this mainland and by
walking on the Iberian Peninsula with the Revolutionary army. This has flared
up the firing of independence in Latin America. Simon Bolivar founded the
intellectual-operational link between the French Revolution and Latin America.
Bolivar came to the world in 1783 in
Caracas as the son of a Venezuelan noble family with Spanish roots. He found
himself in the French Revolution when he was on the way to Europe to complete
his studies. He was very impressed by his revolutionary thoughts. In those days
he put on his mind the launch of the liberation struggle in Latin America to
overthrow the colonial regime that the Spanish colonists had established in
Latin America. He crossed the Atlantic and became the head of the struggle for
independence of Latin America. After Napoleon’s attack on Iberian Peninsula, the
Spanish authorities weakened in Latin American countries and this accelerated
the fight for independence in the Latin American countries.
Bolivar fought along the Ant Mountains
and provided the emancipation of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and lands of Bolivia,
which would carry their name from the colonial governments. These countries gathered
national congresses and lead the constitutional movements. He fought the
Spaniards in many regions. Opposed to France, Britain, and the United States to
interfere with the internal affairs of the countries that gained independence
in Latin America. The Great Colombian Republic, founded by Bolivar in 1819 and
covering present-day Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador, failed to maintain its
integrity after the death of the Founder (1830), due to internal conflicts.
Latin America has watched the
developments in 19th-century Europe by a distance even though they influenced
by developments in the United States and Europe. The bipartisan political
system consisted of conservatives and liberals was gradually sprouted as a
condition to the traditional local despots called caudillos system. While the
Conservatives took the Church behind them, the Liberals sought a more liberal,
more secular policy. But the liberal bourgeoisie was not strong enough to carry
the democratic revolution. The archaic order that revolution of Bolivar could
not wipe off evolved into the oligarchic political and economic structures.
The Monroe Doctrine, which US President
Monroe unveiled to keep European forces away from the American mainland in 1823,
initially was in favor of Latin America however in favor of the United States.
The US became the de facto neighbor of Latin America by tearing up Texas in
1945, California in 1948, New Mexico and Arizona from Mexico.
Pacific and Latin America became one of
the main focus of the United States and capitalist order which is getting
stronger and stronger day by day. They accepted these territories as their own.
The idea of America belongs to Americans in the Monroe Doctrine started to turn
into America belongs to North Americans which has an aggressive attribution.
Later on, the United States started to involve businesses of Latin American
countries since the idea of superiority of the White-Anglo-Saxon man sprout in
the United States and they believed they are leading to Latin American
countries to civilization arrogantly.
Left-wing groups that have rebellion as
a rooted tradition began to have a say in the political systems of their countries
later on. The left-wing parties in Latin America has managed to find
significant support from the people as a result of the political crises that
are happening further by the economic crises. The countries of the region,
organized in the past under the leadership of the US, have begun to work together
to organize themselves against the United States, which is now regarded as the
greatest and the biggest representative of the capital system, in the end. These
developments can be seen as a significant development in breaking the rooted
effect even if they do not cause great harm to US interests in the region.