CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Caribbean

The Caribbean region comprises three main island chains that extend in a roughly crescent shape from the eastern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico and south-eastern Florida in the United States to the Venezuelan coast of South America. The Bahama Islands, in the north, form a south-easterly line. The Greater Antilles, comprising the islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico, lie in the centre. To the south-east, arching southwards from Puerto Rico and then westwards along the Venezuelan coast, are the Lesser Antilles, comprising the Leeward Islands and Windward Islands. Barbados, Trinidad, Tobago, and the Netherlands Antilles are often considered part of this third chain. The region has a land area of about 235,700 sq km (91,000 sq mi), and the total population (2000 estimate) is about 37.5 million. Christopher Columbus’s visits to the islands during his voyages to the New World between 1492 and 1502 proved to be the beginning of a long tradition of European intervention in the area. The strategic position of the islands along the profitable trade routes to Peru and Mexico, enhanced by their wealth of harbours and sheltered coves, made them a haven for traders, smugglers, and pirates alike. Many countries in Europe, including England, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Portugal, struggled for control over the islands. During the 17th century the Atlantic slave trade, and the sugar cane originally introduced by Columbus, steered the course of the region’s history. The colonial architecture and stone sugar mills characteristic of the islands remain as a legacy of that era. For further history see the entries for the individual islands.

MSN Encarta: Caribbean

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CIPR Fall Speaker Series

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Please join us Mondays at noon for our Fall speaker Series
Markets, the State, and Democracy in Latin America
October 14, October 21, November 11, and November 18.

In the 2019 fall series, Markets, the State, and Democracy in Latin America, speakers will discuss emerging issues that have surfaced as the result of the opportunities and challenges to democratic governance that markets have brought to the region. Latin America experienced a major influx of investment, particularly in the resource sector, over the past several decades. While this foreign investment helped hasten economic development, it also brought a backlash of resource nationalism and increased calls for redistribution. Moreover, Latin America is now a model in its own right, with other countries in the Global South adopting its state-sponsored development strategies in the resource sector. These presentations will also explore how Latin America is navigating a sea change in geopolitics, with China emerging as a challenger to the United States as the region’s main trade partner and ally.

For more information, check out our Fall Series Poster

Latin American Writers Series: Alberto Barrera Tyszka

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Ecuadorian writer and Tulane Visiting Scholar Gabriela Alemán interviews Venezuelan writer Alberto Barrera Tyszka about his life, interests, and influences. Their discussion will be followed by an open Q&A and an informal reception. This event will be held in Spanish.

About the Latin American Writers Series

This series brings together Latin America’s most representative creative voices and the editorial entrepreneurs that publish them. By way of interviews conducted by renowned Ecuadorian writer Gabriela Alemán and presentations of various editorial missions, the guests will shed light on a literary world shaped by the contemporary issues of the continent. Moving forward, their conversations will comprise the centerpiece of a digital archive that introduces their ideas to a global audience.

Este serie reúne a los autores más representativos de la escritura continental y los editores que los publican. A través de entrevistas con la reconocida escritora ecuatoriana Gabriela Alemán y presentaciones de proyectos editoriales, los invitados explorarán los vínculos entre el mundo literario y la realidad continental. Sus conversaciones se convertirán después en el eje de un archivo digital que busca llevar estas ideas a un público global.

About the Author

Born in Caracas, Alberto Barrera Tyszka has published over a dozen works of poetry, short story, chronicle, novel, and biography. His most recent publications include the novels Patria o Muerte (2015) and Rating (2011), the poetic anthology La inquietud (2013), the collection of chronicles Un país a la semana (2013), and the short story collection Crímenes (2009). In 2005, he collaborated with Cristina Marcano to write the definitive biography of Hugo Chávez, Hugo Chávez sin uniforme: una historia personal (2005). Patria o muerte won the 2015 Premio Tusquets de Novela, and his novel La enfermedad, translated into English as The Sickness (2010), received the 2006 Herralde Award. Barrera also writes for television and has scripted soap operas for Venezuelan, Mexican, Colombian, and Argentinian networks.