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Mexico should be a first rate country. It’s tragic.

It’s got two huge coasts, oil, agriculture, rich cultural diversity, amazing food, tons of land. And yet, corruption and drug cartels have stunted its growth and potential.
It's depressing to compare and contrast pretty much all of Latin America with Canada and the US. Contemporary Argentina and Chile may be the most appealing countries in Latin America (Valparaíso, Chile in particular seems like it could be an interesting place, but damn, the seismic and drought risks are certainly elevated in Chile). But if the western hemisphere had to be colonized at all, it seems like the outcome could have been more evenly distributed, even with every European power in that era having flaws.

It would also be curious to see how Chile would be today had the US not successfully supported a coup to oust Allende and install a right wing dictator in the early 1970s.

I do wonder how much things could improve for all three countries if Canada, the US and Mexico all merged into one, particularly since China has a larger Navy and larger ship-building capacity than the US.
FukFaceWillie · 41-45, M
@BreadAndCircuses South America is like the “forgotten” continent despite so many similarities in terms of European colonialism. The British and French seem to have had a positive effect. My understanding is that Argentina considered itself the most European South American country. I’m a huge Borges fan so I think them for that!
@FukFaceWillie I do wonder how much of the current state of Latin America is due to it mostly being colonized by Spain and Portugual (but the non-Spanish and non-Portuguese bits on the northeast coast aren't really that much better today).

I don't know [i]why[/i] the specific colonizers would make any difference today, but it is an odd coincidence at least. I mean it's not like there was anything really great about the English king George III, and much of the US is still batshit crazy and wanting keep carrying muskets and wear tricorn hats today. Much of what is bad about the US today does really have its roots in the Revolutionary era and therefore seems like it can never be undone without complete dissolution of the country.

I do wonder how stable Argentina and Chile will be over the next hundred years, or if Brazil is a lost cause, in spite of the few appealing things about Brazil (bossa nova, samba, the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer). One of the common problems in several Latin American nations is just the lawlessness, like the illegal slashing and burning of rain forest by beef ranchers in Brazil, the illegal and ecologically destructive gold mining by Brazilians in French Guiana, and so forth.
FukFaceWillie · 41-45, M
@BreadAndCircuses One argument is that Enlightenment values didn't really take in Spain and Portugal the way they did in Britain and France. Also, there were democratic institutions in the colonies prior to the American Revolution. Spain was kicked out of Florida, Louisiana, and the West, as was Mexico in "California/Nevada/New Mexico/Arizona," and Texas. The last country to get rid of slavery in the Western Hemisphere wasn't actually the US, it was Brazil.

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