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The MV Current

The MV Current

Banana Republics

Grant Hess, MVC Staff Reporter

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Banana Republics, the historic form of American dominance over the Central Americas for economic gain, seem to have resurfaced in the minds of many of the American people. The question that is on the people’s minds is what are those countries doing now?

Colombia, filled with many former plantations, underwent the withdrawal of the corporations and the installation of a weak and ineffective democracy. Currently it is reputed in American society to be a country full of drug lords and marijuana farms.

Combining the nations of Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras, a single conclusion is arrived at, they aren’t doing to well either. Do they all have democracies? Yes. Are they functional democracies that protect their citizens? Not really. They are pretty much entirely controlled by the drug cartels and only have the basic infrastructure of a first-world nation. Their failure is best shown in the migrant trains that frequently protrude upon the American southern border.

Unlike the others, Costa Rica is enjoying relative success, at least on the macroscale, as it has a comparatively large tourist industry. However, the tourist industry is not the country, and many citizens in rural areas might as well be in any other Central American country, as they see no direct benefits from the heavily commercialized coast.

Panama is the only country that can be considered to be a successful country with a stable source of prosperity. This source is the Panama Canal, which makes Panama a Venice of the modern world, with billions, if not trillions of dollars in trade goods flowing through their every year. This makes Panama a source of wealth in Central America, and even elicits contempt from some patriotic Americans.

Commenting upon Panama, Cameron McGinnis, 12, remarked, “I think America should take back the Panama Canal.”

All in all, the former Banana Republics of Central and South America can be said to be enjoying a time of moderate success, but with their own pros and cons, it is not possible to throw all these eggs into one stereotypical basket of said moderate success, for some of them are not successful at all.

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Banana Republics