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miércoles, abril 20, 2005

Latin American unity?

"!Alerta, alerta, alerta que camina la espada de Bolívar por America Latina!"

I heard quite a bit of this chant at the rally and conference last week - the translation, roughly, is "Watch out! The sword of Bolívar is moving through Latin America!" Simón Bolívar, of course, being the Liberator, who lead the armies that freed six nations from Spanish rule, and whose lifelong dream was an independent and unified Latin America.

In his lifetime he saw the unity of the new nations fall apart, as the country of Gran Colombia split up into Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela (with Panama later splitting off from Colombia). But today, is Latin America approaching the point where Bolivar's dream may be fulfilled?

Surely it's still got a long way to go. But many nations are now looking seriously at ways to increase economic and political integration. A new article from COHA argues that "The possibility of South American unity is more imminent today than at any time since Simón Bolívar’s original vision of continental solidarity."

And yes, I am still working on writeups of the conference, as well as my last interview -- I'll get them up here soon, I promise!

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