All you need to know about Iberian America

Respect Hispanic Heritage that Stole Gold of Latin America!

Published September 28, 2021 in Personal Stories & Opinions - 3 Comments

Back when I was in college, there was a Costa Rican dude that I knew who would sometimes express ideas that were strange to me.

For example, as I wrote in one of my first articles here, the dude had a Full Autism moment over my use of the word “American” to describe myself.

Similarly, there was something else that I noticed about him that seemed strange to me as a….

Uhhh, well, dare I say it?

As an American.

In which this dude was all around very active in some local college club for “Latinx” people.

If I remember right, the club was called “Latinx something.”

The something part I don’t remember but the word “Latinx” was in it.

So we already know what we’re dealing with here, aren’t we?

Anyway, Mr. Latinx of Costa Rica was, at one point, the President of this club.

I was never part of it myself but I knew the guy personally because he was part of another fraternity and I was part of an organization to approve college funding to different clubs.

It is common on this college for clubs to request money to help them organize campus events or whatever else that was needed.

So, one on particular day, Mr. Latinx came into the office to give the pitch for why his Latinx club needed an x amount of money.

Now, assuming you weren’t mentally retarded or greedy, you could basically get the money you requested.

This college was, in my opinion, very generous with the money they gave to students and clubs.

 So you’d need to have an IQ south of 100 to not get a budget approved.

And, to his credit, his budget was perfectly fine!

And typical for what the Latinx club would request.

Every year, they basically held the same events.

Mostly just a bunch of random cultural events to promote all things Latin America on the campus.

In his budget for the semester, he had two events in particular that were interesting to me.

One of which was a standard “celebrate Hispanic Heritage month” event where they’d celebrate the culture of various Latin countries.

And Spain also!

And, among other events, they also wanted to host a “movie event” where they’d have access to some space on campus to play a movie for anyone on campus to watch.

With whatever minimal funding they needed for that.

The curious thing to me though, especially back then when I had more a limited introduction to all things Latin America, was hearing about it all being "contradictory" by some.

Where, for one month, they’re going to host a “Hispanic Heritage month.”

Then, in the same semester, host a movie that was very much Anti-Spanish legacy.

I forgot what the movie was called exactly but I remember seeing it again actually when I was in Bolivia funny enough only some odd months after that semester.

So I’ve seen it twice but it’s been years since I’ve seen it.

From what I remember, it was basically some low budget movie that was more popular among leftist Latino crowds but didn’t make much mainstream success.

It focused on the theme of “decolonization” as it talked about the legacy of Spain and how bad it was for Latin America and indigenous people in general.

And, above all, focused on current efforts to “decolonize” Latin America from these influences above (Spain, the US, etc).

Where it seemed like part of the message was to contemplate "how much better" Latin America would've been without Spain involved.

And focused on some random groups of people who do shit to "decolonize" Latin America from its Hispanic influence.

From what I remember, they would promote speaking some random indigenous language to making music and whatever else.

Funny enough, I had to watch the movie because some class I took had us write a paper on it.

At the event, I remember there being some Latina chick with that same mentality talking with some professor along those lines.

I don't remember exactly what she said outside of something about how "all things Spain shouldn't be celebrated" and something else about "celebrating instead our indigenous roots."

Was she indigenous herself? I have no idea.

Though, as you can see in this article I wrote here, there are a few people who seem to want to disregard the Spanish part of their heritage and only focus on the indigenous part of it.

So, to me, it looks like a contradiction in some respects.

Like how I knew we funded their money needed for a “Hispanic Heritage month.”

Hispanic meaning anything related to Spanish heritage.

So we need to “decolonize” ourselves from Spanish heritage in Latin America but let’s celebrate it also?

Genuinely, I find this to be a weird thing about some Latinos.

And I emphasize the word “some.”

Most Latinos, in my experience, are not crying in raging anger about SPANISH COLONIALISM AND ITS IMPERIALIST LEGACY!!!

Most are just trying to live their respective lives.

In the same way that, as an American with strong Irish heritage, I’m not bitching about the legacy of England on Ireland.

Or how we had an independence war with them in the US.

And, on that note, I think some would look at the story above as evidence that it’s mostly US Latinos (especially those who weren’t born in Latin America) to think this way.

Or at least a small percentage of them anyhow to be fair.

Is that true?

Only Some American Latinos?

As a whole, I’d say maybe!

For the most part? Sure.

I could be wrong though – I’m simply shooting from the hip to answer that question as I think about all the people I know personally who have had that mindset.

And almost every single one that I can think of right now happened to be a young Latino person that was on a college campus in Ohio.

The only times I have encountered this mindset personally in Latin America was when I visited relatively far left folks like the Zapatistas in Mexico as you can see here or other social movements.

Of course, in the Zapatista case, that’s a movement of more indigenous folks who, for most of them (if not all), don’t have a whole lot of “Hispanic heritage” to celebrate anyway.

Because a lot of their heritage is much more indigenous and also because of the politics of the movement against the legacy of Spain and other countries like the US.

Or the Mexican federal government or the local one in Chiapas where they are located.

Anyway, that’s my personal experience with this.

Almost everyone I know with this mindset is a young US Latino and a few have been those born and raised in Latin America.

Larger Examples in Latin America?

But let’s drift away from my personal experiences now…

Can we see large scale examples of this type of mindset in Latin America?

Or examples that have at least some semblance to it? 

To a degree, we sometimes can!

There are examples of actual important folks in Latin America taking a stab at Spain!

For example, you have Chavez of Venezuela here having an argument with the King of Spain.

Or the strong words of Castro about Spain here.

You also have AMLO of Mexico demanding that the king of Spain “apologize for the conquest” in the legacy of Spain in Latin America.

Though, as you can see here, apparently polling suggests that a majority of Mexicans think that demanding the apology wouldn't help Mexico at all.

Maybe instead they’re more focused on wanting a government that doesn't pander and actually does something to improve their lives now?

And I’m sure you have other Latin presidents of the left who have taken stabs at Spain or its colonial legacy.

Some of whom, if we are being honest, are of strong Spanish heritage themselves!

For example, you can look here for the heritage of AMLO.

“His maternal grandfather José Obrador Revuelta was a Cantabrian who arrived as an exile to Mexico from Ampuero, Spain, while his maternal grandmother Úrsula González was the daughter of Asturians. Through his paternal grandparents, López Obrador is also of Indigenous and African descent”

What about Castro as you can see here?

“Castro was born out of wedlock at his father's farm on 13 August 1926. His father, Ángel Castro y Argiz, a veteran of the Spanish–American War, was a migrant to Cuba from Galicia, in the northwest of Spain. He had become financially successful by growing sugar cane at Las Manacas farm in Birán, Oriente Province. After the collapse of his first marriage he took his household servant, Lina Ruz González – of Canarian origin – as his mistress and later second wife; together they had seven children, among them Fidel. At age six, Castro was sent to live with his teacher in Santiago de Cuba,[7] before being baptized into the Roman Catholic Church at the age of eight.”

Then we have Chavez here.

“Chávez was born on 28 July 1954 in his paternal grandmother Rosa Inéz Chávez's home, a modest three-room house located in the rural village Sabaneta, Barinas State. The Chávez family were of Amerindian, Afro-Venezuelan and Spanish descent.”

Still, as you already know, those leaders above are of leftist origin in Latin America!

Which probably just reinforces my point here – those in Latin America with this mentality of discussing the negatives of the colonial legacy of Spain tend to be of leftist origin.

Otherwise, most folks down here aren’t talking about for that reasons as I said above (focused on living their own lives in the present).

Still, what does one make of all of this?

Is there a contradiction with an individual who, on one hand, celebrates Hispanic culture but, on the other hand, criticizes Spanish colonial legacy?

Of course, to be fair, I didn’t know any examples of Castro, Chavez or AMLO celebrating Hispanic culture.

I just assumed they probably have but really just wanted to show how the narrative against Spanish colonial legacy does exist down here and it’s not JUST American Latinos who talk this way.

Still, let’s break down my own thoughts on the matter as a non-Latino.

Not an American one nor one born in Latin America!

So I have no emotional investment into this – just my off the hip impressions.

Final Thoughts

First, as I said, I don’t have any emotional investment into the issue because I’m not Latino. I truly don’t care that much about the issue but I do see the mentioned contrast as slightly interesting. So anything I say after this sentence are just shooting from the hip thoughts that come to mind as I write this out right now.

Second, as we saw with the movie incident above, you do have some Latinos who, despite probably having some Spanish heritage in their blood, don't like talking about that or even acknowledge that part of their heritage.

Perhaps because they tend to not be very white and so they simply identify less with the European side of their heritage. 

Also, in their narrative, they dislike Spanish legacy for its atrocities but ignore the atrocities of the indigenous people in their heritage.

Because plenty of indigenous people did fucked up things also.

You’ve had other indigenous groups in Latin America who have also done fucked up shit like slavery, genocide, rape, etc.

They were just not as expansive with their shit behavior as the Spanish were.

Therefore, should anyone with heritage tying to some indigenous group of the Americas not celebrate that part of their heritage because of the fucked up things their ancestors did?

So going back to celebrating Hispanic Heritage or not...

Some months before, I actually touched on this subject previously in another article here discussing similar thoughts expressed online on this subject. One perspective I came across as how people shouldn't even speak Spanish in Latin America.

exactly! Spanish comes from Spain and I'll bet no one in these comments was born in Spain. Why be so proud of knowing a language that was forced on our ancestors?”

And someone else replied to that comment as you can see here:

“if you are Mexican our ancestors where Spanish too. The native population got decimated with desease, most of the Mexican population is mestizo, a mix between the natives and spinards. Mestizos spoke spanish, which is why its the official language in Mexico. I dont get why people act like they only have native ancestors.”

Third, can you celebrate Hispanic Heritage (and its legacy) in Latin America while denouncing the colonial aspect that also killed lots of people?

Obviously, if it wasn’t for the Spanish (and Portuguese) legacy, Latin America as we know it wouldn’t exist.

There would be nothing "Hispanic" about it to begin with.

It would be a very different region in my opinion if there were no European colonial powers coming by.

And the negatives of the legacy are obviously part of the package then practically speaking.

Without the colonial aspect happening, you wouldn’t have had as much or any cultural and linguistic legacy left behind realistically speaking.

Latin America, after all, is a mixing of various cultures through its long history of numerous peoples relocating to the region.

However, having said that…

I don’t think it’s wrong or even inappropriate necessarily to acknowledge the bad of the legacy.

Similarly, the US has had its fair share of bad shit and good shit in its legacy.

I can say the following sentence and it wouldn’t be hypocritical or even necessarily contradictory:

“Slavery in the US was terrible but the US has done many great things to that we can celebrate on 4th of July.”

Or for the Spanish legacy….

“Killing millions of indigenous people and promoting colonialism was terrible but there are cultural and historical aspects in the legacy of Spain left in Latin America that we can celebrate.”

You can acknowledge the bad while still celebrating the good that happened.

Especially because plenty of Latinos have some European heritage in their background.

At the end of the day, the Spanish legacy isn’t going anywhere!

Which is the last point – Spanish legacy is so infused into Latin America that you can’t ignore it.

You have plenty of Latinos who are white as fuck with strong Spanish heritage.

Like AMLO!

They can still celebrate their heritage also while recognizing that bad happened also.

Though, as I said, in my personal experience, I've only noticed left leaning American Latinos actually go as far into saying that the Hispanic part of Latin America should not be celebrated because of the bad.

Even though left leaning Latinos in Latin America recognize the atrocities of Spain, I never see them denounce anything to do with Hispanic cultural legacy in the region.

They tend to take an approach like anyone else that simply recognizes the mixing of cultures into the region like Castro here.

"Queremos seguir siendo esta maravillosa mezcla de españoles, de indios y de africanos. Nos sentimos privilegiados por eso. Es lo que nos dio la historia; es lo que nos dio Dios, para los creyentes; es lo que nos dio Santiago hace 2000 años."

Anyway, the paragraph below that I wrote summarizes my thoughts on this is the following:

“Latin America is a region with a long history and numerous cultural influences mixing together. Most of those cultural influences had ancestors who did fucked up shit. We can celebrate the positive aspects of the influence ALL of them had while also recognizing that they all did fucked up shit also.”

And that really captures my main sentiment on all of this.

Anyway, if you have any comments, drop them below in the comment section.

Follow my Twitter here.

And, uhhh, enjoy Hispanic Heritage Month.

Thanks for reading.

Best regards,



Dazza - October 2, 2021 Reply

The latest bright spark who is running the basket case called Argentina (Alberto Fernandez, the ‘Europeanist’ he should try running his country like a European then) tried to show solidarity with his fellow upper-class European – Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of Spain by paraphrasing a statement by the famous Mexican writer Octavio Paz who stated:

“Mexicans came from the Aztecs, Peruvians came from the Incas and Argentines came from the ships” whereas brain donor Fernandez said…

The words from Fernandez’s mouth came out a bit differently

“Mexicans came from the Indians, Brazilians from the jungle, but we Argentines came from boats, and they were boats that came from there, from Europe. And that is how we built our society.”

So the idea of a ‘pan-Hispanic’ identity is a long way off and thrives more in places like the United States (and I will explain my theories in the next post…) within their own countries – there is no particular solidarity or close kinship though I imagine most would feel they are fraternal countries based around language than culture because obviously – the cultures are distinct.. in Peru – Peru is widely referred to as ‘pais de Inca’ Mexico as ‘Pais de Azteca’ Paraguay ‘Pais de Guarani’ ‘Pais de Mapuche’ (Chile) the Latin Americans I know are very nationalistic and very proud of their countries and identities – there doesn’t seem to be much Hispanic fraternity in Peru at the moment as they vilify in their crappy media millions of Venezuelans (or Venecos) down to the actions of a minority.

I should imagine that Costa Rican fellow would be more apt to befriend other Spanish speakers in the United States as they would have more things in common than they would with some redneck from Ohio – similar clubs existed at my university as well – that glue of langauge and recogniseable culture might be enough in a wholly English speaking environment.

As for Spanish ancestry, most of us have it. I did a 23andme DNA test and on my mothers side – it came out about 24% Spanish and Portuguese, 23% Native American (Mapuche and Inca) and single digit % of African and Asian (Philippines) which I would say is a pretty typical Latin American from Peru I would say, from looking at other DNA samples from my relatives list – most of them have more or less half and half Spanish and Native American or Spanish, Native and African… depending on where they are from (I now have family from all over Latin America using this DNA test… from Puerto Rico, Spain, Chile and loads in Mexico). My mum is basically half Spanish, half Inca with bits of African and Arab thrown in.

It would be quite churlish for me to hate the Spanish and the nation, even today, we get benefits other nationalities don’t get if we decide to go and live there – we get Spanish nationality within two years, we can join their armed forces – and my mother still calls it ‘La Madre Patria’ and feels at home when she is there – she loves Spain! The main thing is though is that the people who hate Spain need to trace their family tree back and take a DNA test because if they find out – like me – their relatives were some of the first Europeans in the Americas (ahem…) and they have Spanish DNA then they’re the ones who caused the fucking problems – not some dopey Spaniard sat under an olive tree scratching his arse and dying of hunger who didn’t have what it took to leave that and try out his luck – it was our ancestors who left shitty Extremadura, Andalucia and Castile y Leon and went to find the riches in the Americas – we have to take responsibility for that instead of indulging in self hatred.

As for the proper natives who live in places like the highlands of Guatemala and speak their native languages – I am sure Spain is as far away a concept to them as Pluto – I am sure they do not give two shits.

Dazza - October 2, 2021 Reply

Post no.2 about pan identities – I worked in Saudi Arabia and I got to know a lot of the Brits of Pakistani heritage who went there thinking they were going to lead a pure Islamic life in an Islamic country and they would be welcomed by fellow Muslims – only to find out when they got there that the Saudis didn’t rate them all that much because they’re weren’t Saudis – that came second in the list of what mattered – first was tribe, second was nationality, third was if you were Arab and being a Muslim came a very very low fourth.

This disappointed a lot of the Pakistani-Brits who left Saudi Arabia disillusioned. A ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ exists in places like the UK, Netherlands, Germany etc where immigrants and children of immigrants can find solidarity amongst fellow worshippers from the same mosque in an alien land but go to an Islamic country then the tribal instincts become a lot more tight knitted and exclusionary.

And the same goes for ‘Hispanic identity’ there’s racism against Peruvians in Argentina, xenophobia against Venezuelans in Peru, xenophobia against Guatemalans in Mexico just like there was a lot of racism and xenophobia (until very recently) against the Irish in Great Britain – for all intents and purposes – a Brit and an Irish person are two people who are as identical culturally as you’re going to get but none of that stopped the racism.

Famous racist British comedian Bernard Manning of the 1970’s had a daft joke about solving the troubles in Northern Ireland between Catholics and Protestants within a day ‘I would send in 10000 Pakistanis, that would solve it’

    Matt - October 4, 2021 Reply

    Hey great comments here.

    I was going to respond sooner but I wanted to publish the latest bit and I was a bit drunk yesterday night.

    Before I dive in, can I ask you if you are limited in how many words you can put in a comment? Or why divide the two in half? For other blogs I run for affiliate money, sometimes comment space is limited. Never knew if that was an issue on this blog.

    Yeah I very much agree that living abroad can put you in a case of befriending people you maybe wouldn’t have normally. The hispanics in the US, muslims in thew UK, etc.

    It reminds me of this quote here from Doug Stanhope as it relates to folks from the US anyhow:

    ““Did ever go to another country and meet another American when you didn’t expect to? You’re down in Costa Rica, up in the jungle, trying to fuck a monkey so you have a friend, a story to tell your buddy… And you wind up meeting another American and you didn’t expect it, and you always talk to him, just on the trivia…”

    “Hey you’re from America! I’m from America, where are you from?” And there’s never more then three sentences before you realize “If I a was in America, I wouldn’t talk to this douche-bag if my air was on fire and he held the monopoly on liquid.”

    Actually wrote an article on the subject here.

    Still, what you are talking about is a bit different as it relates to ethnicity or religion versus nationality.

    When I lived in the US, I very much can remember the solidarity you speak of regarding Latinos up there.

    Though, in a sense, I also do think that sometimes Latinos in Latin America can sometimes feel a solidarity for each other — at least when it relates to the subject of immigration to the US and denouncing US efforts to deport illegal immigrants. Though, when it comes to illegal immigrants in their own country (like Venezuelans in Peru to Nicaraguans in Costa Rica), that solidarity fades fast as I wrote here.

    Either way, I get why they find solidarity with each other while abroad. For various reasons anyway. Perhaps a common experience with racism in the new country, finding a commonality with someone when you feel yourself to be an outsider, at least some cultural similarity compared to the locals, etc.

    When I was in college, I actually had a Pakistani roommate with a British accent named Khayyam whose dad supposedly had some involvement with English teaching in Saudi Arabia. Funny you bring it up. I never asked him what it’s like being Pakistani in Saudi Arabia. I would wonder too if the difference in Islam teachings also creates a divide between Pakistanis and Saudis while in Saudi Arabia. That I don’t know because I’m not sure which is which (if both tend to be Sunni, Shiite, etc.).

    Still, in college, almost everyone he hung out with was of Indian background (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc). Outside of me anyway since we were roommmates.

    Loved this paragraph anyway you wrote: “So the idea of a ‘pan-Hispanic’ identity is a long way off and thrives more in places like the United States (and I will explain my theories in the next post…) within their own countries – there is no particular solidarity or close kinship though I imagine most would feel they are fraternal countries based around language than culture because obviously – the cultures are distinct.. in Peru – Peru is widely referred to as ‘pais de Inca’ Mexico as ‘Pais de Azteca’ Paraguay ‘Pais de Guarani’ ‘Pais de Mapuche’ (Chile) the Latin Americans I know are very nationalistic and very proud of their countries and identities – there doesn’t seem to be much Hispanic fraternity in Peru at the moment as they vilify in their crappy media millions of Venezuelans (or Venecos) down to the actions of a minority.”

    Take care.

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