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17 What-If Scenarios: What If The British Had Colonized Latin America 

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Processes of European colonization around the world shaped global politics since Christopher Columbus landed on current day Caribbean islands, and continue to shape the cultural identity of the lands they colonized. Let it there be no mistake: colonization was brutal, illegal, unjust and bloody, and indigenous populations in what are now the Americas were decimated by centuries of abuse at the hands of Portugal, The Netherlands, France, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom.

Latin America was shaped by the mix between Spanish, Portuguese and French colonizers and ancient civilizations such as the Quechua, the Maya, the Aztec and the Inca. The flavors, rhythms and social imaginaries of the region are colorful and respond to the particularities of the European and Indigenous civilizations that clashed.

But what is the British had colonized today’s Latin America? We do not want to banalize colonization, but sometimes it is kinda fun to wonder about the what-ifs of world history.

1. The region would not be called Latin America at all

Credit: Latin+America+stretches+for+5,500+miles+from+the+Rio+Grande+River+in+Mexico+to+Cape+Horn+at+the+southern+end+of+South+America..jpg. Digital image. Slide Player.

Latin America is called so because Portuguese, Spanish and French all derive from Latin and are the most widely used colonial languages in the region. If English ruled, then perhaps the region would be called Anglo America or something similar. Sounds like out of Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

2. Everyone would have morning and afternoon tea

Credit: morning_tea-0qt3ptk6ilp22598qm2_ct677x380. Digital image. Warwick Daily News

The British love rituals and good manners and rituals, and the everyday pauses for tea or coffee and cake and biscuits. It would be great to enjoy coffee and ginger snaps watching the Pacific ocean.

3. In fact, té de coca would be made by appointment of the queen

Credit: te-de-coca-1. Digital image. Expo Indigenas

Indigenous Bolivians drink a concoction of coca leaves to deal with altitude. The tea would be loved in the UK and the royals would love it.

4. Harry and Meghan would have gotten married in Machu Picchu

Credit: Machu-Picchu-Classic-View-2-1. Digital image. NOMADasaurus

The British would have savaged the Incas just like the Spanish, but they would have held on to political power by incorporating the region into the Commonwealth. Harry and Meghan would have organized a lavish wedding in the Andean hotspot.

5. The queen would have a pair of Xoloescuincles!

Credit: 635885090580c438b00b437.11522973-breed-550. Digital image. Perfect Pets

Move over corgis! The Queen would have pet Xolos and parade them in Buckingham Palace. So cute.

6. Aztec-Indian cuisine would be a thing

Credit: 606_02_2. Digital image. Mexiclore

Let’s be honest: British food is very boring, so they have incorporated the ingredients from their former colonies in their own culinary traditions. Chicken tikka masala is the national dish of England thanks to the incorporation of Indian spices into their cupboards! Aztec ingredients would be fused with cardamom, cumin, fenugreek, and chives to produce curry mole!

7. Afro-American culture would have spread out even more

Credit: 3526183_1425435360.6653.jpg. Digital image. Go Fund Me.

Perhaps the most horrible legacy of British colonialism was slavery. Even though the Spanish, French, and Portuguese illegally traded with African populations, the British were even more brutal. African culture would have spread farther and deeper into the continent as a result.

8. The Brits would eat tortillas and marmite for breakfast

Credit: bc70e0577e8e20b4701f7b099a1b92e5. Digital image. Yahoo Finance

The English love to have yeast extract over toast for breakfast. Marmite is salty and definitely an acquired taste. It would be made better over warm white corn tortillas. This would certainly brighten up their mornings.

9. Salsa would have some Celtic dance thrown in

Credit: lord-of-the-dance-lst173350. Digital image. The List .

African influence would have eventually led to the creation of salsa music. However, the Brits would have brought Irish migrants and their Lord of the Dance moves. One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-maaaaaaambo.

10. Mexico would have been called New Loch Ness

Credit: 58559-istock-457394005. Digital image. Mental Floss

The British would have arrived at the ancient Tenochtitlan and upon realizing it was a lake, they would name the territory New Loch Ness in honor of the famous lake. Centuries later, people would claim to see giant sea monsters in both places and conspiracy theories would abound.

11. Cuba would be The New Isle of Mann

Credit: map1. Digital image. Visit Isle of Mann

Cuba would not be Cuba, but the New Isle of Mann, due to its similarity to the island stuck in between Liverpool and Dublin. This would have triggered a generous migration of Irish folk to the Caribbean and give birth to CariCeltic culture!

12. The region would be crazy for rugby!

Credit: Springboks_Reuters NewsHub. Digital image. News Hub.

Move over soccer! As part of the Commonwealth, most countries in the region would be head over heels over rugby. It is practiced in Argentina today, but in this alternate reality teams like The Mayas, The Sioux, The Inca, and The Quechua Eagles would have millions of hinchas.

13. Everyone would do a year abroad in Australia. G’day mate!

Credit: aussiewordoftheday. Digital image. Sion Nagh

As part of the Commonwealth, the region would send its youngest, brightest and most desmadroso minds to the land Down Under. Saying G’Day to everyone on the street would be common and some Australian colonies would start to pop up near surfing-prone areas. Everyone would have BBQs on hot days. Very similar to Argentinian asados!

14. Clocks everywhere and no siesta!

Credit: SyncronizedClocks-166311698-(1). Digital image. Wired

It is no secret that the British are a bit anal when it comes to time. The whole continent, from Canada to Patagonia, would run like clockwork over a single timezone. Siestas? Are you kidding? No time for that! Efficiency would be the norm, but life would be a bit more boring. Puaj.

15. Harry Potter would conjure up an ancient Mayan god to defeat Voldemort

Credit: mayagoddeathahpuch11. Digital image. Ancient Pages

Our favorite wizard would not only resort to Anglo-Saxon lore, but also to Mayan ancient scriptures. He would call an ancient Mayan God to be able to finally defeat the one that shall not be named. Just look at how badass the dude on the picture is. Ay, nanita! Also, Hermione would look like a tiny cute Frida Kahlo. Ron would still be a redhead.

16. Shakira would be called Lady Shakespeare

Credit: Instagram. @shakira

Shakira would still exist (because she is a wonderful force of nature that escapes the rules of time and space, thank you very much), but she would have played homage to the great bard by calling herself Lady Shakespeare. Thou hips shall not lie! Just see how at home she looks in London in this picture.

17.  Mr. Bean would have worked with Chespireetou

Credit: ap815014119540. Digital image. MSNBC

Could you imagine a crossover between the great Chespirito and the uncanny Mr. Bean? They would have formed one of the best comedic duos of all time as if Chaplin and Buster Keaton had teamed up. Damn, we now wanna watch that!

Pride Celebrations Are Happening Around The World And The Biggest Ones Are Taking Place In Latin America

Culture

Pride Celebrations Are Happening Around The World And The Biggest Ones Are Taking Place In Latin America

@paradasp / Twitter

There’s growing up Latino and then there’s growing up as a gay Latino. While our culture is known for their supernatural skills at throwing a pinche good party, gay culture might just rival it. Both cultures’ party superpowers mixed together? ¡Imagínate!

Whether you own your identity as a queer Latino and want to feel affirmed from all corners, or are just looking for the best way to celebrate your Gay Pride, Latin America has you covered. Here are the most celebrated Pride events in Latin America along with some of its own local pride history. Be there or be square.

Mexico City, Mexico | June 27-29

@Univ_inenglish / Twitter

Going on its 41st year of gay occupation of Mexico City streets. Each year, the celebrations get bigger and bigger. The Mexican Student Movement of 1968 was as influential as Stonewall in sparking the first rebellion.

Of course, locals come out in their best outfits to celebrate the queerness of the Mexican capital.

@FelixdEon / Twitter

La Marcha de la Diversidad is the main event, which begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 28th. Despite the hate crimes persisting around the country toward the LGBTQ+ community, many say this parade is a day they feel less alone. Show up.

São Paulo, Brazil | Sunday, June 23rd

@i_imagina / Twitter

This year will mark the 23rd annual gay pride parade in São Paulo. It’s 2006 pride went down in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest pride parade in the world, rivaling that of NYC.

The Bolsonaro administration might be doing everything they can to push the LGBTQ+ community back in the closet, but that’s not what’s going to happen.

@XHNews / Twitter

Ironically, the government has invested millions of dollars into the parade. Meanwhile, the first openly gay politician in Brazil had to flee the country earlier this year because of the death threats he was receiving from the public. It’s still not safe to be openly gay in Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | September

@ilfogliettone / Twitter

While São Paulo wins the largest pride in the world, Rio’s comes close behind, with 1.2 million people in attendance every year. While this year would be the 24th LGBT Pride of Rio, strangely a date has not been set just yet.

See. Brazil is so queer, they boast some of the greatest pride celebrations in the world.

@AFP / Twitter

The parade typically marches down Copacabana Beach, as the gayest version of Carnaval sambas down the beach. Folks usually end up at Papa G’s club, which swells with proud members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Buenos Aires, Argentina | November 2

@GayEssential / Twitter

Carlos Jauregui organized the first Pride, which, like most, was a protest march in 1992. Most of the roughly 300 people in attendance were wearing masks for their own safety.

Now, there are no masks hiding the identities of the participants because being part of the LGBTQ+ community is nothing to be ashamed of.

@Queer_America / Twitter

Today La Marcha del Orgullo a Pride ends with a public concert in Plaza Congreso. The parade is conveniently scheduled the same weekend as the Queer Tango Festival.

Bogotá, Colombia | June 30

@XHNews / Twitter

Bogotá’s first pride was made of just 32 people and almost 100 police officers In 1982. Today, the entire country celebrates, with Bogotá’s Orgullo Gay march attracting up to 50,000 folks.

Colombia has seen a rise in LGBTQ+ activism and this parade might be one celebration to watch.

@XHNews / Twitter

In fact, Latin America’ largest gay club, Theatron, is in Bogotá. It’s essentially a complex with 13 different dance floors, holding up to 5,000 people! There are rooms that are men-only, women-only, salsa music-only, Motown-only. The only question is, why aren’t you there?

Cartagena, Colombia | August 7-11

@GAYMAP / Twitter

This year, Cartagena Pride is selling itself as the “biggest gay event in the Caribbean.” You can expect a colorful parade, a drag race and a variety of boat parties.

With such a colorful and beautiful array of cultures throughout Latin America, there is no reason to think that Pride won’t be a major force in the region this year.

READ: São Paulo Hosts One Of The Largest Pride Celebrations In The World

Afro-Latinos Continue To Make Huge Impacts On Global Politics

Culture

Afro-Latinos Continue To Make Huge Impacts On Global Politics

World history books do not always include large sections to detail the accomplishments of Afro-Latinos across North America, South America, and the Caribbean. So many Afro-Latinos have thrown their hats in the rings and led their countries through difficult moments and elevated the political discourse needed to push contries forward.

Cecilia Tait

Olympic silver medalist at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, Cecilia Tait became a champion off the volleyball court as well in her native Peru when she entered politics 10 years later. After dipping her toes in local politics, she eventually became the first Afro-Peruvian elected to the country’s Congress.

María Isabel Urrutia

Another Afro-Latina Olympic medalist from South America who went into politics once retiring from sports is Colombian María Isabel Urrutia. She won her country’s first Olympic gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympic Games and then transferred into politics, holding a seat in the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia.

Julio Pinedo

In 2007, Julio Pinedo, a direct descendant of African slaves in Bolivia, was officially recognized by La Paz as ceremonious king of his Afro-Bolivian community. 

“He is a symbolic figure,” Spanish photographer Susana Giron told the New York Times in 2015. “For the Afro-Bolivians, he is important because he gives them a cultural identity. It shows they are a people descended from Africa. It is about their history and culture.”

Benedita da Silva

After Brazil’s military dictatorship ended, black Brazilians started to gain prominence in politics. One such example is Benedita da Silva, Brazil’s first female senator. Her resilient attitude was honed throughout her life, including when she received her high school diploma at the age of 40 and went to college at the same time her daughter was studying.

Her political resume includes becoming a senator, as well as the first Afro-Brazilian governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro, and Minister of the Secretary of State. 

She is also a fierce advocate for women’s rights in Latin America.

Paula Marcela Moreno Zapat

Paula Marcela Moreno Zapat is a Colombian politician, engineer and college professor. She was appointed in 2007 to serve as Colombia’s Minister of Culture, thus becoming the first Afro-Colombian woman to hold a cabinet position in her country, also the youngest. As part of her work as Minister of Culture, she has put Colombia’s name on the map, literally. She has acquired spots for her home country to exhibit at book fairs, film festivals, concerts, and conferences around the world.

Luis Gilberto Murillo

Another Afro-Colombian engineer who had a successful career in politics is Luis Gilberto Murillo. 

In 1998, Murrillo won the governorship for the state of Chocó, becoming one of the youngest people to do so. However, he was stripped from his governorship in 1999 due to what some newspapers and residents called a controversial court ruling.

Murrillo was kidnapped in 2000 in Colombia and after being released a few hours later, he fled the country with his family. He returned in 2011 after mostly working in Washington D.C. and continued to work in politics, most recently as the former minister of Environment and Sustainable Development in Colombia. 

He continues to be outspoken for issues on environmental sustainability and has not let the bumps along the road deter him from fighting for causes he is passionate about.

Pío Pico

Alta California’s final governor under Mexican rule was Afro-Mexican rancher and politician Pío de Jesús Pico. He served twice as governor and once he gained U.S. citizenship, was asked to be part of the Los Angeles Common Council, although he did not assume the office. If you’re in Los Angeles, you might recognize him as the namesake of Pico Boulevard. 

READ: Latino Politicians Sound Off Over Tom Brokaw Saying Latinos Need To Be Better At Assimilating In The US

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