Latin America, in the first decade of the 21st century, remains as exciting, interesting and
unpredictable as ever. In 2004 Haiti, the first Latin American country to gain its
independence, celebrated its second centenary. But although the structure and
organization of government, politics, production, international relations and trade in the
region are by now well established, important changes are under way, and the Latin
American countries are becoming more important than ever before in world politics as a
bridge between the USA and the rest of the world.