That conceit --that Latin Americans are a coherent geopolitical group-- has driven a lot of misguided policies in the region, both from the Gringos and their enemies (Guevara a generation ago, Chávez today).
I think the most important lesson was that Latin Americans don't consider themselves Latin Americans. Despite the increased migration, trade and political connections among countries of the region, most citizens are unaware of the recent and not-so-recent histories of their neighboring countries.
Which is why so many nations keep repeating the mistakes of the past--and why in those countries that seem to be on the right track, the forces pushing in the opposite direction are so powerful.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Alvaro Vargas Llosa on Latin America
Mario's son travelled around Latin America for a documentary, offering the following as the lasting wisdom he achieved: