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La Prensa, Nicaragua

The United States: Lessons Learned


By Orlando López Selva

Translated By Stuart Taylor

27 December 2012

Edited by Kyrstie Lane


Nicaragua - La Prensa - Original Article (Spanish)

The United States of America is undoubtedly still a vast and powerful nation. However, it is already experiencing some changes within its structures that tell us that there is a transition toward new ways of being.

What is striking about the recent past is this nation is already becoming multinational and colorful. Ethnocentrism, which has prevailed until now, will gradually decline.

It all started when they decided to restrict the flow of immigrants from the south and started to erect a wall in Washington. However, Welsh, English, Irish, Scottish, Dutch and German immigrants were all accepted – and also, at worst, the warm and friendly citizens of Italy.

Nevertheless, there was a double standard when immigrants arrived from the south with their chests of sombreros, tamales, scapulars, images of the Virgin Mary and strange death cults and other rituals that only appeal to anthropologists.

But whether they are of metal, concrete or barbed wire, every border is vulnerable to the challenges of starving human beings, hungry for freedom. And in Washington, they never thought that it would be better to help their neighbors from the south in order to avoid them arriving in waves. Instead they built institutions to crush those in search of the “American dream” with ministries, towers, lookouts, patrols, wired fences, deserted terrains, night-time helicopters and other high-tech gadgets.

But no technology can stop those who flee their current realities – these are people who, in time, ironically become key influencers, political decision-makers and modifiers of that reality.

Will we have to call this “the quiet revenge” that the Latinos today seek for the U.S. policies of previous centuries in Latin America and currently toward Mexico? Is this a new sociological phenomenon that academics will one day have to call “the potential power of immigrant votes?” Americans that are more opposed to change have been partly diluted and are becoming a minority, because (like many Europeans) they have opted to live happily without having children or because they prefer others to learn English over reading “Don Quixote”, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” or “Old Gringo.”

When globalization took off the U.S. had an opportunity of which they did not know how to take advantage. Instead of searching for how to universalize themselves, they clung to the idea that the world had to accept and internalize their own “American” values. They had their minds fixed on one idea: “The whole world wants to be like us; therefore they should imitate us.” Will today’s analysts question the democratic system because it permits “absurdness” and “intolerance” towards its Anglo inventors?

How unpleasant it must have been for many North Americans educated in the WASP mentality to see that this surge of noisy, undersized and badly dressed Latinos is now a “minority” with political power that cannot be ignored! Upon seeing rallies of Yankee political parties fighting for power, there is something that really strikes me. On one hand, there are the wealthy Republicans – with their outspoken pastors – who pretend to straighten out the creases of the State with their business experience. On the other hand, there is the Democratic candidate, magistrate–hybrid in blood and training, promising a better future as if he were leader of a third world country dealing with its underprivileged ethnic population, minorities and gallant immigrants.

Did this seem more like a Latin American scene? Or is it that America is not so united after all? Have the tides already turned? Many people in Boise or in other northern cities will already be thinking that if democracy did not work for them (because the two-party system and other mechanisms could not avoid it) the system must now be changed or rebelled against. If more Oriental or dark faces begin to appear in Congress or the White House, then what is to stop this silent and gradual avalanche from slowly producing new children with sombreros and bushy moustaches like Uncle Sam?

What else could happen? Will the decreasing minority allow Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata effigies to be sculpted in South Dakota on par with those of Washington and Lincoln?

Are tacos and tequila already stealing power from hamburgers and Millers?



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