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Portal:Latin America

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Latin America was a name coined by "Emperor of Mexico" Maximilian I in an effort to gain legitimacy, since his patron, Napoleon III, spoke French, a Latinate tongue like Spanish and Portuguese. Maximilian did not last, but the coinage of "Latin America" is one of the most successful of all time. Latin America is traditionally defined as the regions of the Americas where Spanish, the language of Spain, and Portuguese, the language of Portugal, were spoken -- in other words, every part of the Western Hemisphere, with the exception of Suriname and a few small islands that speak Dutch, that was not Anglo America. (English is a Germanic language.) Therefore, virtually all of the Western Hemisphere except the United States, Canada, and the non-Hispanophone countries of the Caribbean and South America have tended to come under the heading of Latin America. Other areas where languages derived from Latin, such as Papiamento and Creole, predominate are sometimes included and sometimes excluded from Latin America, depending on the speaker.

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The Ruins of Sacsayhuamán
Credit: Martin St-Amant

Panorama of The Ruins of Sacsayhuamán, a main sight in the City of Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire and Peru. It is a major tourist destination and receives almost 1.5 million visitors a year.

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Battleship Moreno of the Argentine Navy
ARA Moreno was a dreadnought battleship (Spanish: acorazado) designed by the American Fore River Shipbuilding Company for the Argentine Navy (Armada de la República Argentina). Named after Mariano Moreno, a key member of the first independent government of Argentina, the First Assembly (Primera Junta), Moreno was the second ship in the Rivadavia class. Argentina placed orders for Moreno and her only sister ship, Rivadavia, in response to a Brazilian naval building program and border disputes, particularly in the River Plate area. During their construction, the two dreadnoughts were subject to numerous rumors involving Argentina selling the two battleships to a country engaged in the First World War, but these proved to be false. After Moreno was completed in March 1915, a series of engine problems occurred during her sea trials which delayed her delivery to Argentina to May 1915. The next decade saw the ship based in Puerto Belgrano as part of the Argentine Navy's First Division before sailing to the United States for an extensive refit in 1924 and 1925. During the 1930s the ship was occupied with diplomatic cruises to Brazil, Uruguay, and Europe until the Second World War broke out. During this time, Moreno was employed little as Argentina was neutral. Decommissioned in 1949, Moreno was scrapped in Japan beginning in 1957.


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A gaucho from Argentina, circa 1868
Credit: Library of Congress

Portrait of an Argentine gaucho, a term commonly used to describe residents of the South American pampas, chacos, or Patagonian grasslands, found principally in parts of Argentina, Uruguay, Southern Chile, and Southern Brazil.

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