Challenge and Opportunity: Central America

Challenge and Opportunity: Central America

Challenge and Opportunity: Central America

Challenge and Opportunity: Central America

Excerpt

M IDDLE AMERICA, roughly coincident with Central America, is the term I shall use for the family of contemporary nations which wait between the thresholds of South America and those of the United States. In a measure they are our doorway to the south. But they are more than portals. In many respects they are actually far more important to the United States than South America is. This premise will reappear many times throughout this book.

It is well at the beginning to make better definition of this encompassing term "Middle America." For purposes of this particular book it includes mainland Central America--the amazing countries of Guatemala (immediately south of Mexico); British Honduras, an imperialistic slice off the east seaboard of Guatemala; Honduras, which adjoins Guatemala to the south and east; El Salvador, a tiny, fertile, and densely peopled republic which separates most of Honduras from the Pacific; Nicaragua, the largest of the Central American states, which adjoins Honduras to the south; Costa Rica, immediately below Nicaragua; and last, Panama, the final and narrow link between two momentous continents.

Middle America includes also the islands of the Caribbean-- foremost among them Cuba, Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), and Jamaica--and the Lesser Antilles, the Bahamas, and several hundred other tropical or subtropical islands of varying degrees of importance or unimportance. This book does not attempt to cover the ever-astonishing field of Caribbean islands. It includes . . .

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