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Rescooped by Nancy Watson from Geography Education
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Shifting post-colonial economic geographies

Shifting post-colonial economic geographies | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"Changes in relationships can be hard to take. The economic bond between Latin America and Spain, its biggest former colonial power, is shifting as the region’s economies mature. Despite some ruffled feathers, the evolution is positive.  After two decades in which Spain amassed assets worth €145 billion ($200 billion) in Latin America, last year was the first in which Latin American companies spent more on acquiring their Spanish counterparts than the other way around."


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Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 12, 2015 2:36 PM

This article shows that the former Spanish "New World" colonies are becoming equal with their former motherland.  Spain now relies on relationships with Latin and South America because the economic downturn of the mid-2000s hurt Spain much worse than it hit the United States.  However, some Spanish still view themselves as superior to the South Americans, and their is still resentment of Spain in countries such as Panama, because the leaders claim that the Spanish still think of them as primitive natives, referring to the region's Mayan pasts, in a pre-Columbian world.  Yet, for the most part the relationship is beneficial and it is actually helping Spain out greatly, as these former colonies are now investing into the country.  Today, Spanish young people are even going to South and Central America in search of work because of the current economic stagnation in Spain.  This shows how things can change greatly overtime, and that yesterdays imperialist power, can now be in need of help from its former subjects.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 27, 2015 8:02 PM
This phenomenon is interesting. Mainly due to the fact that in the past the Spaniards have been quoted as describing native Latin-Americans as "backwards", "barbaric", and "savages". It's funny how some people can be made to eat their own words.
Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 5, 2015 10:51 AM

This article provides an interesting story about the shift in economic power from colonizer (Spain) to colonized (Latin America). Of course, colonialism in the sense that many of us think of it has not truly existed for a century or so. But that doesn't mean that its effects can't still be felt around the world. Many former colonies are still economically dependent on their former colonizers and are still feeling the adverse effects of (in some cases) rapid decolonization. In some instances, however, economic, and in some sense, political power has shifted to the former colonies. This certainly seems to be the case with Latin America and its former biggest colonizer, Spain. As the numbers show, the flow of investment and goods between the two countries has reversed over the last two decades or so, with Latin America now pouring more money into Spain than the reverse. 

 

What this has created is a sort of paradigm shift not only in an economic sense, but a geographic one as well. Where Europe and the U.S. were once major economic powerhouses on the global stage, now nations in Latin America and other developing countries around the world are seeing a gain in economic power. The availability of resources, large labor markets, and industrialization have allowed these countries to strengthen their economies and engage in foreign trade and investment that they were previously locked out of. As a result, developed nations such as China and the U.S. are now forced to recognize that developing nations half a world away are potential competitors when it comes to trade and investment. That this could mean a geographic shift in the centers of economic power in the coming decades is certainly possible, and something which the wealthiest and most developed countries around the world will surely monitor with great interest. 

Rescooped by Nancy Watson from Geography Education
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NYTimes: In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find Skyrise

NYTimes: In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find Skyrise | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
An unfinished skyscraper occupied by squatters is a symbol of Venezuela’s financial crisis in the 1990s, state control of the economy and a housing shortage.

 

Incredible paradigm shift as a skyscraper is converted from a symbol of wealth is occupied by squatters.  The lack of a vibrant formal economy and more formal housing leads to a lack of suitable options for many urban residents--especially with problems in the rural countryside.  A complex web of geographic factors need to be explained to understand this most fascinating situation.  The video link "Squatters on the Skyline" embedded in the article is a must see.

 


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Stacey Jackson's curator insight, February 22, 2013 12:35 AM
The fact that one resident featured in the video said she has "nothing to complain about" says a lot about the housing situation in Caracas. She didn't seem to think she deserved to live in a better environment- instead she accepts the unfinished skyscraper with rudimentary services and no sewage removal. It is a shame that Caracas hasn't been able to meet the housing demands of their growing population. I'm sure the issue is more complex, but it seems like this oil-rich nation should be able to build proper housing for its citizens. Also, 2,500 squatters is an astounding figure. Just to put it into perspective, my neighborhood (in Providence) has a total population of 2,669. I can't imagine all of us being crammed into one building without electricity, air conditioning, or proper plumbing.
Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 6, 2014 9:49 PM

 Incredible paradigm shift as a skyscraper is converted from a symbol of wealth to a building that is occupied by squatters.  The lack of a vibrant formal economy and more formal housing leads to a lack of suitable options for many urban residents--especially with problems in the rural countryside.  A complex web of geographic factors need to be explained to understand this most fascinating situation.  The video link "Squatters on the Skyline" embedded in the article is a must see.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 11, 2014 12:23 PM

Squatters occupy a building that was constructed to symbolize great wealth in Venezuela including a landing pad on the roof and floors to occupy office buildings. Due to a financial crisis, the building was never finished and squatters have taken advantage of this empty building. There is no windows, plumbing or an elevator to reach the higher levels of this skyscraper. Because of this, many safety issues have risen, including deaths. There is no other place for these squatters to live, it has become their home and they are temporarily making the best of it.