Chavez Wants to Rename Latin America?

I saw a news item today online (I think it was originally a report from Novosti), that says that President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela wants to change the name of Latin America to Indian America.

Is this a new official campaign he’s starting, and could the new name catch on?
Would there be enough popular support in Latin America to change the name to Indian America?

Do you want to tell him that “Indian” is also an entirely European-created term or shall I?

I usually call the place South America anyway. Can’t argue with that unless you’re Australian.

His first choice was Hugotopia.

Weird. The Term “Latin America” is not synonomous with “South America”. It defines those countries which predominantly speak a Romance hence Latin language . Hugo’s neighbour ,one little country over, Suriname, does not qualify.

Thus this doesn’t make any sense at all.

I opened this thread thinking it would be either Chavezia or Despotiland. :rolleyes: :smiley:

Greater Bolivia?

Here’s a story from El Universal–it says he likes Indo-America too.

That’s just totally bizarre. What’s the difference between a European name derived from the distant roots of the Spanish language and a European name that would come from a huge geographical mistake made 500 years ago?

Perhaps his beef has less to do with etymology and more to do with removing the Euro-centrism associated with a region named after the language family of long ago colonizers.

Hijack -

What about Haiti?

Or how about Native American America?

Wait… is Cahvez implying that no “Indians” ever lived in the U.S. and Canada?

So it came to be, Hugo’s cheese has finally slid completely out of the cracker.


Ale, born and rised in South America.

Political Geography isn’t your Mastermind specialist subject is it? :wink:

It’s to do with the fact that in places like Venezuela and Bolivia left-leaning governments have come to power by building support among the poor - which tend to be what are considered ‘Indian’ as opposed to European stock.

Once he stops SPEAKING one of those languages, it’ll make a lot more sense.

“Latin America” is at least partially accurate. “Indian America” or “Indo-America” is flatly wrong, like calling it “Asian America” or “Arctic America.”

Stuff like this is why Chavez is seen as a clown even in places friendly to his government, like Cuba. Fidel was and is, without a doubt as much a megalomaniac as Chavez, but his crazy pronouncements tended to be more or less serious proposals. Like when he declared that Cuba would produce 10 million tons of sugar in 1970, although it ultimately failed it brought the country together, and also gave name to one of Cuba’s best music groups “Los Van Van”.

From Chavez we get a time zone 30 minutes off from everyone else in the region and this name change crap.

Varies. In my Latin American literature class in high school (damn, 8 years ago), I had to read essays (translated from French into Spanish) from Haiti (curiously, none from Brazil). I would consider it, since after all Brazil is usually included.

BTW, in Spanish, I’ve heard the use of amerindio or indio for Native American. People from the Asian country (and the followers of hinduism) are (at least supposed to be) hindúes (hindú), although people still call them indios.

While I can see where he is coming from (tago’s explanation is right), calling Latin America “IndoAmerica” (which makes more sense if you see the comment about the word above in Spanish), is still not correct (and crazy). As much as you may deplore and despise the colonizers, for better or worse, without them, most of Latin Americans would not be around. We’re descended from Europeans and the Africans they brought as slave just as much (or more in some cases) as the natives that lived here during the conquest.

So Bolivia, Venezuela, and much of South America is mostly Native American. Fine… but don’t include then the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic)… nor Argentina. :wink:

Since no one has provided a link yet – link

Since nothing is officially “named” Latin America in the first place, I don’t see how it can be “changed” to something else. “Latin America” is just an informal descriptor, not an actual name for anything, so it isn’t possible to “change” it. If Chavez wants to use his own descriptor, what do I care? It’s not like anybody else has to use it.

This doesn’t even sound like it was particularly serious anyway, just something he was saying rhetorically during an address to an indigeonous community. if indigeonous people don’t want to call themselves “Latin,” I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. As far as I’m concerned, he has a point.

:confused: “Van” means “they go” – how do you get that from sugarcane?

Sorry should have explained. The motto for the 10 million harvest was “Los diez millones van, ¡y de que van, van!”, translated more or less: “The 10 million are going to happen, and they are really going, going!”.

The group picked up of the Van-Van as a name and there you go.