Do you understand me, Mendes, or can I explain it to you, Federico? I’m going straight to the rag: I’m sick of the term “Latin America” and its derivatives. The only adequate word to denominate the old Spanish provinces (they were never colonies, they were as much Spain as a peninsular province) is Latin America. If we want to include Brazil and Portugal in the equation, we would then speak of «Ibero-America». “Latin America” is an imperialist aberration resulting from the Spanish Black Legend.
I explain. First, because “Latinos” are only those born in Lazio, or those who have absolute command of Latin. A person born in Latin America has nothing Latin. In the same way that a Spaniard is not Latin at all. It is Hispanic, Iberian, European and American (because of the old provinces that were Spain and because of what we learned from them). Second, because they are the promoters of the Black Legend, those who insisted on disseminating this voice. Words are weapons of manipulation. According to Manuel Morillo (2012, Latin America, Denomination at the Service of Imperialism), the term «Latin America» was born in Paris in the 19th century to defend the imperialist objectives of France under Napoleon III in relation to its colonies, protecting its political expansionism. Hence the expression crossed the Atlantic, at the end of the 19th century, with the United States taking over with the idea of eliminating the influence of Spanish culture and its Catholic religion in Latin America. Pure propaganda of a rising empire against a great declining nation. Morrillo also reminds us that President Woodrow Wilson was the first to use the term officially to support his expansionist interests and achieve the penetration of his multinationals against economic interconnections with Spain. The idea was implement a policy of systematic elimination of Spanish, identical to the one followed by them in the Philippines after the war against Spain in 1898 (where we lost the aforementioned Philippine Islands, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guam). There (in the Philippines) they did manage to do away with the Spanish language and education, but not with religion (remember that the Philippines is the only Catholic country in Asia). The US became the magnetic pole of Latin America in the second half of the 20th century. And curiously, in that unique fight against Hispanics, the United States found a strange bedfellow in its most intimate enemy: Marxism. This ideology, which has sodomized Latin America for so many years, was associated with Yankee imperialism in its attack on the concept of Hispanidad (we will talk about this a little more below).
But let’s not raise our hands to our heads, let’s remember that nationalisms in Spain are still at face value the same hispanophobic pattern of manual: annihilate the language, the culture, the common traditions, and the emotional bonds with the Spanish.
In conclusion, after reading this, any Spaniard or Latin American (whether they like Spain or not) should reject the use of this word (“Latin” or “Latin American”), since it is wrong, and it stinks of imperialism and manipulation.
Having made this clarification, we must celebrate that Spain and Latin America remain united by the common thread of blood and miscegenation, family, language, religion, culture and traditions. Any Spaniard who travels to Latin America immediately feels part of that new homeland that receives him. That continent is an extension of Spain, or Spain is a continuation of each of those countries.
In addition, currently the link with Spain is becoming even closer by attracting to our country a huge Hispanic talent that is forced to emigrate from their homeland, stalked by the crisis, violence, political mismanagement and local totalitarianism. Here they are welcome and respected. They work hard and integrate. Many stand out and are successful. They are in their house. They are not immigrants, they are brothers who return home. They are the descendants of our ancestors who migrated there. They are the children of all the good and all the bad that Spain did for those lands. So when I read the recent article in the New York Times titled Madrid Rivals Miami as a Haven for Latin Americans and Their Money (by Raphael Minder), and who praised the attractions of Spain for our Hispanic-American brothers, did not surprise me at all. Because our roots unite us, our history is connected, our children are linked, our culture binds us, our language makes us one, and our God is the same. Only some selfish politicians strive to separate us and confront us. And look what a coincidence, it is still the descendants of Marxism who are sowing discord: Podemos in Spain, Maduro in Venezuela, AMLO in Mexico, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, along with all that totalitarian patulea of second-level satraps. They defend the hateful drive, the religion of resentment, that of the differential factor of each one of the nations against the others and of all against the mother country. From hate one governs with contempt and from brotherhood always with appreciation.
I would like to recall now that Latin America is absolutely mestizo, and has numerous indigenous peoples. In contrast, where the English passed (not to mention other empires) there are almost no mestizos, nor traces of native culture. Why this difference? The explanation is that while other empires “colonized”, Spain “hispanized”. The objective of the conquest was first evangelization (catalyst for Queen Isabella the Catholic to embark on the madness of Columbus), and then enlarge the empire, but always through national, cultural and civilizing integration, and through the protection of the indigenous. Surprised dear reader? I refer to the evidence, since it was the revolutionary Laws of the Indies of the Catholic Monarchs that approved marriage with indigenous people and granted them legal protection, turning them into men subject to rights, providing them with clear legal procedures to denounce injustices and ill-treatment (Trials of Residence). Another thing is the reality of the barbarians who skipped these laws, that of many Spanish leaders and caciques who miserably abused their position and the damned smallpox that devastated the local populations. Some will be shocked to learn that while Spain legally allowed and protected marriage between Spaniards and natives through the Royal Decree of 1514, in the US it was illegal to marry a person of a different race in some states… Until 1967!
It will also be incredible for many to learn that before France published its first grammar, or England did the same with its own, the Spanish missionaries had made the grammars of the most relevant indigenous languages between 1547 and 1690. The Spanish evangelizers learned the languages locals to convert the indigenous people, since it was the most convenient for their objectives. Spanish only became the national language in Latin America once the republics of Spain became independent.
Chanel, a Cuban Hispanic, represented us at Eurovision. Three of the songs in the top 10 of Los 40 Principales are by Hispanics (two also have Spanish nationality). It fills us with pride that a Spanish-Cuban triumphs in Hollywood (Ana de Armas). The Serie Woman-fragranced coffee It is the most watched Netflix series in Spain (Colombian).
Being Hispanic unites us, our culture merges into a broad band. It is high time that we turn Latin America into the magnetic pole of the 20th century.