Translation of Lectura 2 - "Problemas hispanoamericanos"

Spanish is the official language or one of the official languages of twenty countries. The United States is, in part, another Spanish-speaking country.

In many of these countries, the inequalities of class are enormous. A small, a tiny part of the population owns almost all the land. The peasants without land come to the city in search of work. In the city, they form "new towns," "young cities," very poor settlements (I'll add a clarifier about that) without municipal services.

There are in all parts (everywhere) willing people that want to remedy the problems. But the growth of the population floods (overwhelms) all the available resources.

The majority of the Hispanic regions are poor countries. Some thinkers believe that it is necessary to understand the causes of this poverty, in order to determine the remedies.

The causes are much discussed. Among the suggested ones (causes) figure the following:

Is poverty the product of the fields, of the terrain, of the climate? Of the attitude of the conquerors and settlers/inhabitants, motivated by stories of "El Dorado?" Of the exploitation by the North American and multi-national companies? (There is much resentment by actions of companies in the past, and by the actions of the banks that hold (possess) the Latin American foreign debt.) Of the extraction of (mineral) riches during the colonial period? Of the abusive structure of the colonial and current society? Of the values taught by the Catholic church? Of the laziness of the habitants? Is it purely accidental?

The governments of the Latin American countries are usually week. Is it a cause or effect of poverty?

Although very slowly, Latin America is changing. Cuba has a communist government. Other countries -- Mexico, for example -- have leftist governments. In Guatemala and El Salvador, the governments are very repressive. In the Andes, there is a movement of indigenous vindication. The name, "Shining Path," is taken from the Peruvian thinker, Mariátegui.

We live in a rich country. Do we have a responsibility toward these poor neighbors? And if it exists (if we do), what is it?

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