Latin America is a vast region with a rich and diverse history. From the Spanish and Portuguese conquests of the 15th to 18th centuries to the fight for independence in the 19th century, Latin America has seen its fair share of changes. Today, it is a vibrant and adventurous destination, full of natural wonders, dynamic cultures, and unique nuances. The European discovery of the New World in the 1500s led to colonization by Spain, France, and Portugal.
This colonization had a devastating effect on native populations, leading to war and disease. To meet their demand for free labor, European countries participated in the African slave trade, which resulted in a large African diaspora in Latin America. At the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century, Latin American countries began to fight for independence. By 1898, all countries had become independent nations.
Suriname is often grouped with Guyana and French Guiana for travelers, so visitors are likely to remain limited until their borders fully reopen. Latin American countries suffer from a variety of environmental problems, from air pollution in Mexico and Chile to deforestation in Brazil. Russia has played an important role in educating Russian diplomats in Latin America through institutions such as the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and St. Petersburg State University. Russia is also active in Latin America through arms sales, trade agreements, and high-level political reach. The United States has acted in concert with Latin American countries on issues such as Panamanian presidential elections within the framework established by the Organization of American States (OAS).
President Donald Trump's administration has criticized Mexico's position on NAFTA and called for a crackdown on immigration from Latin America. In general, Latin America is understood to include South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean islands whose inhabitants speak a Romance language. More than 30 ministerial leaders from Latin American countries visited Japan in 1988 to demonstrate their growing expectations for Japan. Like many Latin Americans, Colombians are hooked on mobile devices and social media, making them susceptible to efforts inside or outside the political system to confuse and manipulate public opinion ahead of election day. Russian President Vladimir Putin will want to be well positioned to highlight his ties with Latin America at the next G20 summit scheduled from November 30 to December 1 in Buenos Aires, Argentina - the first to be held in South America.