" The United States is now the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, with more Spanish speakers than Spain, and exceeded only by Mexico. "
"early data from the 2010 Census that shows that the Hispanic population of the United States grew by more than 40 percent over the past decade, to about 50 million people. "
Those quotes, above, from an article by Larry Rohter, New York Times Service, published in the March 14, 2011 edition of the Miami Herald, International edition, probably startle many and disturb some.
If the United States is now the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, with more Spanish-speakers than all Latin American countries other than Mexico, why is it not included in the definition of Latin America ? Evidently, Latin America could be seen to extend all the way North to the Canadian border ?
Well, any suggestion that the USA be included in Latin America is, for now, mere fantasy. American interventions into Latin America and perceived arrogance towards its Southern neighbors is all to recent in history. To bolster their own popularity Latin American leaders bolster their image of strength and independence by distancing themselves from the "Imperialist" USA; a stand sometimes softened when seeking aid.
Despite this negativism, I think that there is an underlying sentiment that says - We'll love you, if you let us and allow us to develop our future, our way.
I believe that English will remain the principle language in the USA and that it has a huge opportunity to embrace and share the Western Hemisphere with its Spanish-speaking neighbors with mutual benefit, if it gives them more attention and respect. At present, USA policy to almost all of Latin America is one of apathy, except where its consumer fueled drug problem is concerned.
What do you think ? - The United States, the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world and growing. Will we see greater warmth between it and its Southern neighbors in our lifetime ?
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