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Juan J. Paz-y-Miño Cepeda*, Prensa Latina contributor
In any case, after the independence of the United States (1776), the processes of independence in Latin America and the Caribbean between 1804 and 1824 marked the historic end of European colonialism on the continent, although some territories were still outstanding (such as Guianas or Malvinas), as well as Cuba and Puerto Rico , which became independent in 1898. On the other hand, although the European colonization of Africa had a long history, it was the Berlin Conference of 1884 that decided to divide the continent between the then European imperialisms, on the premise of avoiding conflict between them. The beneficiaries were, in order: France, United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Spain. Consequently, the independence processes of almost all countries, which can better be described as the decolonization of Africa, have only taken place since the 1950s and lasted until the 1990s, some of these processes were bloody.
The liberation of Latin American countries, despite external dependency, allowed centuries to build nation-states in the 19th (England) and 20th (USA) centuries, advance sovereign policies at different times, and modernize economies with relative autonomy. The same did not happen across Africa as its late release hampered overall progress. On both continents, European colonization marked the conditions of underdevelopment, dependency and deep social divisions in almost all countries. But also, since the birth of the “Third World” by the Bandung Conference (Indonesia, 1955), which launched the Non-Aligned Movement, a long process of accumulation of forces, will, conscience and politics has taken root that has the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America to demand respect for their sovereignty, independence and autonomy with the aim of building their own economic systems and political regimes. The “Cold War” has also long been an obstacle that Manichaean divided the world between those of “freedom” and “democracy” and those of “communist slavery”. A duality built by the US with the support of the capitalist powers of Western Europe, which for decades have justified direct or indirect intervention in “underdeveloped” countries to further their interests.
The end of the Cold War and the supposed triumph of globalization
The world duality created by the Cold War collapsed with the collapse of Soviet and East European socialism. Transnational globalization seemed to triumph forever. But the rise of China, Russia, the BRICS and ‘Third World’ countries, asserting themselves like never before since the beginning of the 21st century, has changed the world map yet again. Today, the traditional powers of the West cannot assert their visions and interests as they did in the immediate past. This situation is the result of a series of contemporary historical processes, of which it is worth noting: the experiences of interventionism have accumulated increasing rejection and resistance in the cities; the advancement of education and technological advances in communication sowing citizen awareness, information and knowledge within everyone’s reach, making deception impossible or difficult; economic modernization and material progress favoring autonomous decisions, have expanded relations between countries and diversified “dependencies”; Markets articulate new relationships; social movements and progressive and democratic forces (usually identified with the left) emerge and bet on a different society; Governments are also formed with projects aimed at strengthening sovereignties; and in Latin America regional identity is growing.
The peoples rebel
Under these new conditions of world development, the old colonial powers are being challenged. Just in the past week, unprecedented events have piled up: French President Emmanuel Macron, on a trip to four African countries (former colonies), claimed that the military presence would decrease and questioned rapprochement with Russia and China; but in the DRC, President Félix Tshisekedi confronted him and urged him to be respectful and that “the way Europe treats us needs to change” (https://bit.ly/3mCPTVQ / https:/ /bit.ly /3LdQ6ZQ); at the same time, street protests against France increased in West and North Africa; and similarly, President Hage Gaeingob in Namibia challenged the German Ambassador over his claim that there were more Chinese than Germans present in the country (https://bit.ly/3yspCMP).
With unique audacity, Republican Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar warned the Argentine government that the US would not stand idly by by building Chinese warplanes and that “there are two worlds, the free world and the world of slaves, i hope Argentines stay in the free world,” he threatened (https://bit.ly/3ZVwFZN), to which the speakers of Argentina’s government house had to reply (https://bit.ly/3JoIano). With more audacity, Republicans Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and John Kennedy (Louisiana) have suggested that the US Executive Branch could authorize the use of armed force to intervene in Mexico against drug trafficking (https://bit.ly/3ZxmpqV) . to which President Andrés Manuel López Obrador responded with words reflecting the general mood of the Latin American peoples, as he criticized the “mania” and “bad habit” of the United States to “consider itself the government of the world”; adding: “But what is even worse is that they want to intervene in the public life of another country with military force. In other words, invade another country on the excuse that they are targeting terrorist drug dealers. Of course it’s pure propaganda. However, we must reject all these claims of interventionism”; and concluded by stating: “Mexico is neither a protectorate of the United States nor a colony of the United States. Mexico is a free, independent and sovereign country. We do not receive orders from anyone” (https://bit.ly/3JqHihP / https://bit.ly/3SZD6sP / https://bit.ly/3YzyQBv). The pressure on Latin America to comment on the war in Ukraine also aims to define the region in favor of the interests of the western world, while in these countries it is at stake to preserve their status as a zone of peace, undefined by one of the powers acting in a conflict alien to the sovereign interests of Latin America, although the war has already been condemned regionally.
Slowly but surely
It is noted that there is a still slow, if historically unstoppable, boom in dependent countries made possible by the breaking of Western hegemony and the formation of a multipolar world. In this emerging 21st-century mundus novus, Bandung’s ideals are gaining strength and meriting renewal, creating conditions for Latin America to draw closer to other Third World nations with the goal of creating a geopolitical front that embraces itself also affects the international arenas. based on new forms of political integration in defense of sovereignties, against the Western powers’ intentions to once again divide the world between the supposed bloc of “democracy” and the fiendish sphere of “authoritarianism” regions.
*Ecuadorian historian and analyst.
(Taken from selected companies)
Latin America And The Rebirth Of The “Third World” – S Chronicles
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