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Now more than ever it was a mistake and all of us in the field have been guilty of the same mistake to speak about Latin America as a unity or a meek revolution in Latin America. As a human they are many stages of development and of backwardness are underdeveloped. That was Dr. Roberto s going to director of the Institute for Latin American and International Studies at the University of Nebraska speaking at the twenty sixth annual Institute on world affairs conducted as a special feature of the instructional program at San Diego State College the institute is dedicated to the use of the free academic forum for the presentation and discussion of current and continuing issues of international significance. The institute consists of a three week series of public lectures and panel discussions by eminent authorities in the field of world affairs. The main theme for this year's Institute is expressed in one word revolution.
To introduce our speaker at the session here is Professor Minos generalise director of the Institute on world affairs. Dr. Ro better to ask you as you Mario. Man who has dedicated his life to analysis and understanding of the culture and peoples of Latin America. What prompts in their motivation and all that goes into the constitution of a state and its hopes and aspirations. His background is very extensive I will give you a brief outline of what constitutes this man academically. He is presently director of the Institute for Latin American International Studies at the University of Nebraska and chairman of the department of romance languages at the same university. He has taught at a variety of schools throughout the country and abroad at Columbia University Milbury
college George Washington University has taught at the University of London and Cambridge Oxford. Nash University of Mexico University of Oriental in Venezuela Purcell Paolo and saw so Firth. He's head of the section of Spanish American literature of the patent Pan American Union. He's editor of the periodical Americas of many you are familiar with of the Pan American Union has met a member of the board ever a board of editors of the Spanish edition of Life magazine. He's on the board of the Institute of delices spine years of Columbia University and so on and so forth he's written extensively and pours for his feelings and interpretations in many periodicals and in many other publications. He comes to us direct from Costa Rica which he left yesterday for the purpose of attending this institute and is returning to a Latin America again tomorrow to pursue his studies were indeed on it and pleased to be able to introduce to you again this evening. Doctor a better OS can outsmart you. Doctors cannot do much.
I think I am here under false pretenses. I'm most grateful to Dr generalise and to the Institute on world affairs for the very kind of the patients they extended to me to address this group and specifically for bringing me back to the States for a little while and sending me back to Latin America. After a brief 24 hours I was sold in California. I say on their first pretenses for one particular reason if I really are capable enough to answer the question
which way the revolution in Latin America I would be certainly the greatest of all prophets. Being just a mortal with all the temptations weaknesses going mortal. I was there only to give you my personal impression without many statistics of what you in the last two and a half months or so I have witnessed in Latin America all the way from more or less the most advanced sections of Latin America to the more or less most primitive sections of Latin America.
May I also say that I am not an objective person. I do have my point of view. I do have very strong feelings about what is going on in Latin America. Feelings developed through early years possibly through study possibly through observation but mainly through experience. I was born in Cuba. I came to this country during the Second World War. I was a paratrooper with the RSS during the Second World War.
I jumped in France nine days before D-Day and I spent a very lovely year in the hospital afterwards. The nurses care was just lovely. There are many traditions that I carry in Latin America. There are many interim American principles and ideas and objectives that I chose. But there are also many aspects of Latin American Life of Latin American Society of Latin American education that I object to and that to me are
to say the least up notch. I do hope that if I don't help clarify all your questions during this brief presentation your questions afterwards to me may raise some points and I hope I may be able to answer some of them. I'm only many traditions that I cherish. There's one that I remember always with a great deal of love and feeling you fact I always remember the case of a very dear friend of mine Latin-American ust an American who was giving a lecture about Central America and he said that in Central America and this is true in certain places certain traditions of the 18th of the 19th century that's still maintained.
In fact Mother's Day in Costa Rica was celebrated just the other day rather than the second Sunday of May. One of those traditions he was saying This Friend Of Mine is the fact is a lovely one that came from Spain especially in the small villages where by the girl this sweet lovely girl standing by the window looks by looks when her fiance goes by and she throws a rose at him when he passes by and he takes the rose and keeps it as a memento until the fall of the night. He said I was listening to this lecture and there was a lady next to me and after the lecture she asked Is it true that in some Latin American countries like in Central America
you still have the tradition of throwing all the girls on the flour at the end say when he passes by with a boyfriend when he passes by. I stood up with pride and said Indeed ma'am I used to carry a basket with me. But again if I were to answer accurately the question that I myself but for this like I would be tantamount guilty of being very presumptuous. Let's analyze not objectively again. But with my own impressions some of the factors some of the face facets that
predated left in America as I see them. But let me state from the very beginning to that now more than ever. It is a mistake and all of us in the field have been guilty of the same mistake to speak about Latin America as a unity in our recent revolution in Latin America as a unity. There are many stages of development and of backwardness or underdeveloped. One would actually have to study each country individually. One actually would have to make an inventory so to speak of each country individually. Let us say then that there is not one left in America but many Latin America.
The CON-TROLL an educational differences the differences in technological and scientific development in the domestic social tensions and pressures are struggling against each other in lieu of the ability of leaders of color make it impossible to speak of the unity of one. Latin America. At the same time there are factors that undergird all of Latin America. Misery is one of them. Hunger is another one. Lack of housing and health is another one. Population explosion so to speak. Not necessarily we're going to that little later is the concentration of population in certain urban areas like in many countries of national unity.
Let alone the continental unity. In most countries one crop it can. Let in America as a whole is the recipient. Unfairly existing political and social ideologies that compete with each other. That fight with each other that's struggled to survive in the midst of limited national resources limited educational facilities limited by sometimes by the fact that the population lacks the tools necessary to understand clearly and fully the meaning of antagonistic ideologies. Many times some of these Latin American countries
anxious to assert themselves in a manner that seem to be anachronistic in the 20th century react rather dangerously. Ecuador is in case that. But nevertheless Latin America is not an isolated entity. It is the recipient of at least all the influences that come from Europe and from the United States and from behind the Iron Curtain and from Asia. And Latin American countries. They're both officially and unofficially use and that uses all of them. Indeed Latin
America is bound to the fate of the rest of the Western Hemisphere. The US and Canada included. Let me say. That let me in my gut is not facing a change. It is in the midst of one of the greatest rivalries scenary changes. This change is asserting itself in some places in the wrong manner. Like the case of Cuba and not clearly defined in many others in each country this change has taken different forms and shapes all of them. Whether it's from the extreme right or the extreme left all of them paying lip service to the
so-called improvement of the masses. This of course doesn't include the armies of the church. The Change the revolution in Latin America that Latin America is undergoing is very complex and depending of course on the structure and the framework of each country. If you allow me a few minutes I would like to take a brief inventory so to speak of each one of the countries that I know personally not only through statistics or readings because no statistics or readings will give anybody the impression of the stench. I just smell and some of the so-called advanced
cities in Latin America because of the misery and the backwardness of a good portion of the population. No book or essay will give you fully the feeling of frustration and seen the masses of Indians belong to no one not even to their own nation and sometimes not even to their own family. No essay or statistics will give you the feeling of frustration and desperation of seeing thousands and hundreds of children and some of the most important cities in Latin America running after you either to ask you to let you clean your shoes for less than two cents to Americans or begging for a penny so that they can go back home. And at the end of the day have five or six pay no Ensley of
like our lecture will also will even give you the right feeling or idea of the effort. Being me by many people in education in government both North America and South America to improve the situation. But there is something that goes beyond the effort something that has happened in the in the last 20 years to which no one of very few were paying a danger is what we call now for lack of a better edge question population explosion population explosion where in a in a pod or a country that is extremely big with barely 3 million people or in Brazil capable of holding close to 200 million people
less than 90 million the population explosion is not necessarily in terms of the area or in terms of the concentration in Sao Paolo or real or in deep thought. Why your key point Mexico City. Let's go with your permission of the country by country. This has happened in the last 20 years because in most of the Latin American countries from Argentina to Venezuela from 8 to ve with a few exceptions in the last 20 years instead of paying attention to this population growth to the needs of the masses to the needs of the universities to the needs of improving the educational and the political systems the military dictatorships have taken off and Venezuela
and Colombia and Argentina and Brazil and power y and etc were under the grips of some of the most stern look through the pictures. Not to mention the Dominican Republic and Haiti. So 20 years wasted fighting for freedom which is basic to all human and they were fighting to establish a true democratic government while the only other problems population education natural resources you name it were to be developed. The case of Argentina is well known. It's in the newspapers constantly thrown lest it bankrupt country. And now you have a military dictatorship along trying to resettle the country under conditions which are appalling because most of the professors of the Argentinian
universities are in American universities or in Europe or in some of the other Latin American universities that is in Brazil right now under. A government that does nothing. Perhaps that's the greatest sin the forces are fighting there. The students are demonstrating every day in the streets of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo. There are no classrooms now and they are beginning to build classrooms in the faculty of philosophy in letters something that should have been done 20 years ago. Now they're beginning to think about reforming the university system something that should have been done 20 years ago. And of course in both places in Argentina and Brazil there are vested interest trying to profit by the situation. The demagogues exist almost everywhere.
Let me add too to the situation in Argentina and Brazil the situation in Chile in Ecuador where the students farmers are taken over in WA yet killed for instance in Ecuador just last week. Property and there is nothing the government can do about it. The Instituto got a sort of modern idea God only sets you on the Institute of a grand reform and colonization in Ecuador has published last week it has page ad in the local papers in Quito requesting asking begging the central government. Please do something about the fact that they can not distribute the land because the population back but population is taking over without direction misguided and sometimes under the leadership of again people who are interested in just
disrupting the whole system of democratic government at the same time. A lawyer and a judge I should say a very important lawyer judge in here while you appeal will try to establish some order was murdered after he signed it. For it to establish order in July. You know I think it was in all the papers. The Catholic Church is a split. They took over the one of the most important churches I mean some priests and they are following the same pattern that you find in Brazil and some of the other countries in Latin America Mexico and Venezuela. The church is split down the middle. And I wonder what the visit of the pope this week to Columbia especially after the. Of human life it it. It was announced will bring about many
many churchmen in Latin America. Many of them just like the rest of the world are very concerned about this decision taken by the pope. All right I believe you're under very difficult circumstances. I don't care to discuss the case of the levy now because I don't know it myself. It's still shrouded in mystery and especially in the in the last week that I myself do not know exactly what's going on especially after the minister of interior out of here has left the country went to Chile then to London back to the States back to Peru Back to believe he had accused of being an agent of the Savio Union. And
now he confessed according to the papers last night that he was an agent of the United States government. They cases of Venezuela also until very recently the late 40s early 50s and the stern dictatorship now trying to. I'm doing it with all kinds of difficulties trying to reestablish or stop some kind of normal democratic government. Plus the fact that a country with the wealth of Venezuela where thousands of acres of land still to be
exploded and that a great deal of natural resources to be explored. Remains almost in terms of the total area of the country under-populated. I think my memory doesn't fail me now. That is what I have about the round figures 8 million people. The case of Mexico our neighbor is well known to most of you perhaps much better than I do. Mexico has tried to establish and rather successfully it one party democratic government. The results of which are being shown right now for the first time since 3 rather recently begun in 1910. Crowds of people gathered in El Socolow last week to demand the death of the president of the nation.
This never happened since paucity of the US. And as you well know Mexico the president of Mexico I should say was almost a sacred figure. You could criticize anybody else but the president and according to reports close to 100000 people gathered to shout down with the US out of that death to the US of that what has created all this lack of vision possibly not to mention of course the disruption the failures the disappointments the deaths in the island of Cuba. The fact that right now you have in Latin America
very close to eight hundred maybe eight hundred thousand students at the university level. And there is no country in Latin America that can take care of them. You cannot build instant buildings. You cannot create instant professors. You see it in Mexico and you name it all the way down to Argentina. And this is 1968 and according to the most conservative figures of the enter American Development Bank by nineteen eighty scarcely twelve years from now Latin America will have no less than three million university students.
Revolution: 20th century phenomenon
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#5 (Reel 1)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Identifier: 69-13-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Chicago: “Revolution: 20th century phenomenon; #5 (Reel 1),” 1969-02-11, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 23, 2024,
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APA: Revolution: 20th century phenomenon; #5 (Reel 1). Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from