Latin America: An Institutional and Cultural Survey

Asynchronous Blog Post on Discourse on Colonialism

In the comment section down below  write a response (200-words minimum) to a set of two questions (due on 9/2 before class):


.Césaire argues that colonization works to decivilize and brutalize the colonizer. He says that “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery.” Explain. (Pages 35-36)

.Césaire holds that “nobody colonizes innocently.” Discuss what he means by that. (Page 39)


.Césaire proposes that colonization is based and justified on contempt for the native and that it changes the colonizer. Amplify. (Page 41)

.What are the effects of colonization on the colonized? (Page 43)


Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses.

.Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree?

.What other observations about Discourse on Colonialism do you want to bring into the discussion?

Oubao Moin- Juan Antonio Corretjer

Entry Question

During the period of European domination (1492-1898), what were some recurrent colonial practices happening throughout the Caribbean and Latin America?

Answer with a short sentence or phrase in the chat box.

Oubao Moin

The title of this song means “The Island of Blood” in the language of the Taino, the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean.  It was written by the celebrated Puerto Rican poet Juan Antonio Corretjer. The music was composed by Nueva Trova (folk) artists Roy Brown and Aires Bucaneros to tell the history of Boricuas and the hope of the poet and the musicians for an independent future. To this day it is an anthem of the pro-independence movement and a  celebration of working people everywhere in el Caribe. The song is also representative of Latin America as a whole as it discusses the struggle of indigenous, black, and indentured workers to be free from all forms of colonialism.

The Corozal river of the golden legend, its current carries gold, its current is bloodied. The River Manatuabón has the golden legend, its current carries gold, its current is bloodied. The River Cibuco writes its name with golden letters, its current carries gold, its current is bloodied. Where the plantation (arboleda) sank its roots in the golden ground, there the branches drip blood, the plantation (arboleda) is bloodied.

Where the Indian’s brow frowned, whether on land or water, under the weight of the chains, in prison irons, there the land stinks of blood, and the water is bloodied.

Where the black broke his shoulders, whether on land or water, and the branding iron marked his body and the whip opened his back, there the land stinks of blood, the water runs bloodied.

Where the poor white suffered the horrors of the labor gang under the machete of the overseer and the account book of the working day
There the land is cursed, the water runs poisoned.

Glory to those Taino hands because they worked. Glory to those black hands because they worked. Glory to those white hands because they worked. From those hands was brought forth our homeland.

Glory to the hands that dig the mines. Glory to the hands that care for the livestock. Glory to the hands that sow the tobacco, the cane, and the coffee. Glory to the hands that work the roads. Glory to the hands that turn the wheels. Glory to all the hands of all the men and women who work.

And glory to the hands, all the hands that work today, because they build and from them shall come the newly liberated country. Praise! For them and for their homeland. Praise!

Group Discussion

.The song “Oubao Moin” proposes to look at the past to start imagining transformations in society and (decolonial) futures, do you agree with these ideas?

.How do history, poetry, and the arts help to bring change in our individual and collective lives?