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Analysis Of Latin America

1467 words - 6 pages

Analysis on Open Veins of Latin America

History is a subject most people tend to disregard and see it as only the class they needed to pass in school. Most individuals don't take the time to reflect how history has had an impact on them, their family and even their culture. By studying and understanding history and why events happened they way they did it can help us analyze our current situation and even help predict future events. This is what Eduardo Galeano tries to do in his book Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the pillage of a Continent. He discusses the events in history that have led to Latin America be in the state it currently is in. Galeano argues that because ...view middle of the document...

In was in 1492 when Columbus and his ships would make landfall in the Bahamas, but believed he landed on the island of Japan (Galeano,11). Once inland, he would meet the natives of the island and would come to refer to them as Indians since he thought he was in the West Indies. His discovery would mark the beginning of violent and gruesome event for the natives of the Americas all because of one item: Gold. Columbus not only wanted to find a western route to Asia but also to find new sources of gold. Gold that he believed the Indians had in abundance. This idea of the abundance of gold would lead to the savage treatment of the natives and forcing them to find as much gold as possible. This would also initiate the exploitation of Latin America for its Gold and silver. The treatment the natives received from the Spanish would lead to a high death rate. Columbus wouldn't be the only one to kill for gold and silver. Hernan Cortez would conquer and kill a large majority of the Aztec population and Francisco Pizarro would do the same to the Incas, all for obtaining as much gold as possible.
Moving ahead, after the Spanish invasion would come the invasion of other European countries such as France, Great Britain and Portugal. Portugal would come to colonize Brazil, making it part of its empire. Great Britain would have some connections to Brazil with its exports and France would come to invade Mexico only to be pushed out with the help of the

United States. The book also discusses the importance of the exports of Latin American countries and how dependent this countries are on them. The drop in prices of the cacao has had negative effects on Brazil, how Guatemala economy was also dependent on the export of coffee and bean but would eventually come to develop a great economy with the discovery of its petroleum. We also see the discussion of imperialism by the United States in Latin America and the effect it has had on these countries. How the United States would intervene in countries in which it had investments and would do anything in its power to protect those investments even if it meant bribery, blackmail or military intervention. Not only would the protection of these investments have a negative effect on Latin American countries, but also the investments themselves. An example would be the United Fruit Company, an American company, which would crush local competitors and dominate the fruit market, primarily in bananas (Galeano,107).
Galeano's uses his book to make great points in what the reader can clearly see as the exploitation of Latin America. One of Galeano's main point is how can countries in Latin America, who have an abundance of natural resources, be considered a third world in which the majority of the population are part of the lower class. Like stated before, its historic events that led to Latin America to be the way it currently is. Latin America was first " Pillage" by the Spanish, who ended large...

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