Thursday, November 21, 2013

Latin American integration in history

By W. Abraham Perez Alandia

Latin America and the Caribbean is a region that has endured much poverty and dissociation from the time it was invaded by European colonizers. Chronic documents, research and recent interpretations, suggest that the native peoples were organized in social structures economic, social and political relations with a significant degree of relationship and exchange between the different ecological. It remains to determine whether existing trade relations between the peoples of the continent are a type of integration that was destroyed by the invaders.

The exploitation of natural resources on the continent was achieved by means of ethnocide and inhuman exploitation exercised by the Europeans invaders across the continent. The character of feudal property, printed in the worldview of the invaders determined the division of the territory and the stagnation of trade relations possible. The only link was strengthened is the corresponding metropolis Colony, by the plundering of natural resources, especially precious metals.

In the early days of independence large project we worked on Latin American integration under the dream of existence of the same nationality. The dream of Simon Bolivar, was part of the major integration projects of the time. However, there were also groups who wanted to take political control of territory dismembered.

Latin American integration initiatives has deep roots in the post-colonial history of this continent. In the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth develops the idea of ​​integration, under the character of the various economic and trade interests, due to strong external pressure by the time power states, mainly England and the U.S. . States. This attempt at integration was justified also by cultural ties and spatial neighborhood. Latin American identity was constructed to over time driven by struggles against oppression and hegemony invaders installed from the Anglo world.

Consequently, since the birth of the republics 'independent' to date, attempts and integration initiatives referred to a union or integration to achieve a single political and economic system of Latin American states in this space. Maybe you set a single name, that of "Colombian Continent" in the text of the Constitution of the First Republic of Venezuela, adopted in Caracas on December 21, 1811. This continent was the common horizon in mind and the speech of the main heroes of independence.

Although the project of forming a continental confederation peoples liberated from Spanish invaders, was a project of Creole elites, showed the need to integrate these peoples against the colonizer, then against the expansionist policies of the U.S. Jose Samper writer published his "Essay on political revolutions and social status of the Colombian Republics" in the text desataca the following: "... Therefore, we would propose (..) that henceforth adopted the following : COLOMBIA, the New World that extends from Cape Horn to Mexico's northern border. (..) The rest of the continent).

No doubt that was the Liberator Bolivar integration plans raised by what is called South America to lay difference with North America. These plans are fully outlined in documents prepared by him as Cartagena Manifesto of 1812, the Charter of Jamaica, 1815, correspondence sent to O'Higgins and San Martin, as well as those sent to the heads of state of Rio de la Planta, Chile and Peru, partnership proposals made five Hispanic American states.

Faced with the onslaught of U.S. aggressive occupation of Mexican territory and attempts to annex Cuba and Haiti, was José Martí, the end of the nineteenth century, which resumed the old ideal of Latin American unity. Historic moment in which this concept was being undermined by the concept of Americanism, category designed by U.S. Secretary, James Blaire.

The concept Martinianus of Our America acquired new aspects in relation to the legacy of continental union of Great Colombia, as there was only limited to the former colonies of Spain, common to all the previous proposals, De Martí included all the southern countries Rio Grande hatched faced colonialism and greed of big powers, particularly the U.S. The idea of ​​a Latin American community began to take shape as continental integration.

The spirit of integration was also throughout the twentieth century. In this spirit answers the call made by Augusto Cesar Sandino, under the theme "Implementation Plan Bolivar supreme dream," the March 20, 1929, conceiving a proposed continental alliance.

In the twentieth century, the main leaders of popular movements and revolutions of the continent did not fail to allude to the need for Latin American unity, forced ideological reference against the failure of the capitalist model, with the crisis of 1929, whose hegemony was to move from England to the U.S. In this regard, it is worth remembering attempts Juan Domingo Peron of Argentina, who express the famous phrase: "XXI Century find us united or dominated". Also, Getulio Vargas of Brazil and Carlos Ibañez, Chile. In these cases, Latin American integration was associated with the development of bourgeois nationalist movements of different political hue, the same who defended and imposed policies to promote domestic development.

Himself Import Substitution model, proposed by ECLAC, concluded that the full development of the region needed to be an economic integration process, to overcome the relatively small size of national markets and the need to move from a phase of import substitution in light industries towards replacing durables and capital goods. Process was frustrated initially by the onslaught of transnational capital and then by neoliberalism denationalise forcing all the progress that had been achieved before.

The second part of this paper will refer to the current process of integration and its contradictions.

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