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Week 9 – Commerce, coercion, and America’s empire

This week focused heavily on Latin America’s relationship with North America, but most directly related to its relations with the United States. The majority of what is brought up is the negative aspects of what the America’s have done and I believe this is evident still today.

when we look at specifically the USAs relationship with people from Latin America, it is very much a difficult one. A lot of what was said in the earlier years have influenced how the states view these individuals. Today for example we have trump calling undocumented immigrants aliens, and We also have his support in the sterilization of Latin American woman at border camps without their consent. All these issues happening today relate to what happened with America and Latin America before.

As the text we read this week mentions, how under president Eisenhower’s administration they told Americans that Guatemala was a communist country and that it was a threat to America’s safety. However they only said this because the banana trade was no longer working in their favour. The government and the UFCO then used this momentum to invade Guatemala to overthrow the man in power who opposed the USA having such great power within their country. These ideas of what Latin Americans are is still considered valid today, that they still are a threat to Americans safety and they cannot be trusted. This is only one of the many examples presented within the text.

The text also discusses the complex relationship of these two powers when it came to mainstream media and modernization. As we see Carmen Miranda a Latin American actress and singer became huge within American media, however she was portrayed as certain stereotypes. This distorted how Americans saw latinos, especially woman being hyper sexualized. Yet this exposure also came with its benefits. As Latin American communities were getting more exposure, more tourism thus growing their economy. As well as other performers and artists from Latin American countries were brought into the American media. Thus the bad always came with the good when referring to Latin America and the states relationship.


further discussion

1. does the good that American did in Latin America out weigh the bad?

2. how is the affects of America still felt in Latin America today?




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