I might get some slack about this post, but I think my fellow travelers would agree – the view of American history outside of America is different from what it is inside America.
Here is a good example – the National Hero of Costa Rica – Juan Santa Maria.
Why is Juan Saint Marie a hero?
Through the years 1856 – 1859, there was an invader from the USA by the name of William Walker.Yes,you read that right – he started his invasion in Honduras and worked his way across into Nicaragua.
He was supported by those in the USA that wanted to expand slavery into Central America. He wanted to rule 3 countries – Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Costa Rica convinced Nicaragua and Honduras to combine forces, and they led an assault on William Walker in Rivas, Nicaragua.
The key turning point in the battle – burning the buildings that his troops occupied.
Juan Santa Maria, though mortally wounded, was the one who started that fire.
That was the beginning of the route of William Walker.
He was eventually captured, put in front of a firing squad in Honduras and executed.
The whole history of William Walker and his invasion is found here.
Think about this for a moment – one of the few national heroes that Costa Rica has is a young man who died fighting Americans.
It was not just a small war for Costa Rica. The cost in human life was staggering.
With men lost in battle and a cholera outbreak, Costa Rica lost 10% of its population.
It was so bad, the coffee harvests could not be completed due to the lack of workers.
The Costa Rica government ran out of money and became indebted to the coffee plantation owners for loans.
The war really messed up life in Costa Rica – and this was fighting against an America force!
With history, it always depends on who is telling the story.
I am sure there are Mexican heroe’s from the American/Mexican war.
I am sure that there are other heroes who stood up against the tyrants that America has supported through the years. (The Samoza family comes to mind in Nicaragua – Maybe that is why Noriega is holding power longer than the constitution had permitted – he was key in ousting the Samoza family)
When you see countries that go through revolts and turn against the USA, you have to look at the history in the eyes of the people of other countries – a tough thing for Americans to do.
I bring this up not as a grand criticism of the USA, but as a realistic look of history.
In the last few years, there has been a shift in the paradigm of the world – particularly in the USA.
It is not the all-powerful country that it once was .
It’s being challenged by the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) coalition.
There is a coalition afoot in Latin America and the Caribbean – called ALBA.( You can read about that here.) There is even talk of starting a new currency called the Sucre instead of using the US dollar.
I tell this story to show readers that the view of history is very different outside the USA.
Here are some things to think about when you read world news:
1) The USA supported Mubarak for decades. When Mubarak left Egypt, he left with at least a billion(s) dollars. Where do you think he got that money? Do you think the new government of Egypt does not realize where the support for the dictator Mubarak came from?
2) Arab Bank, which is 29% owned by the Central Bank of Libya, received 72 loans from the Federal Reserve Bank after the failure of Lehman Brothers. Think some of that money went into Khadaffi’s pockets?
3) We are using drones to bomb areas of Pakistan – killing civilians in the process. Not saying it is right or wrong, but Pakistan citizens will hold resentments for decades for the loss of family members.
4) The problems in Iraq and Afghanistan are just to complicated to talk about. What ramifications will those wars and the debts that the USA has taken on have on future relations with those two countries and others in the middle east?
5) Have you noticed prices rising around the world? Oil, corn, coffee, etc. etc. This is brought to you by our own Ben Bernanke (Head of the Federal Reserve Bank, owned by the major US banks), who feels that basically free money for banks, is a good thing. Since banks don’t want to lend, they are putting that money to work in the stock market and commodity pits – hence the cost of basic items like rice, corn, soybeans etc., are at or near record highs.
How will the citizens of the world view our “Beacon of Light” and our “Moral Compass” in the years to come?
It all depends on how they view the history of America and her actions through out the world.
It is probably a lot different from what the US government doles out in press releases.
There is a shift in the paradigm, and most have not aware of it at all.
Cheers for now.
(Please – I love my country the USA. I would love to see her as a beacon of freedom and light. This is not the case in todays America. It is not a democracy when the government puts the burden of over $45,000 of debt on every citizen to bail out inept companies and foreign banks. No matter how you slice it, dice it or cut it, the government is paying more attention to the businesses that fund our representatives campaigns than to the voters that actually put them into office.)