The socially and environmentally devastating history of monocultures is not at all recent in our America.
So much so, that it has been on the continent for almost as long as its European "discoverers".
Although undoubtedly the motive that led to the conquest of the American continent at first was the abundance of gold and silver, on his second voyage Columbus brought with him some sugar cane roots and planted them on an island in Central America.
Bad luck for our continent, the wealth and fertility of the land caused such a coveted element to sprout and multiply rapidly.
During the next three centuries, the cultivation spread like an oil slick rapidly covering other islands and landed on the mainland, taking the Peruvian coast and northeast Brazil.
The preparation of the land, planting, harvesting and transportation of the sugarcane, demanded a large amount of labor that in the beginning was self-sufficient with the conquered indigenous peoples, but soon the deaths due to the subhuman living conditions that were given to them made it necessary bring slave labor from Africa.
The extensive production of sugar cane ate entire forests with ravenous fires, extinguishing all existing biological diversity in its wake. Lands that for many thousands of years had been fertile and rich in minerals, became worn and semi-desert soils as the “white gold” - which meanwhile produced fabulous profits to Holland, England, France and Portugal - extended its dominions with an environmentally catastrophic march.
The high price of this first experience with monocultures, even today - hundreds of years later - continues to be paid with the painful misery of the forced heirs of their fatal depredation.
King Azúcar had a daughter who with perfected tyranny, knew how to adapt to modern times, uses marketing through its media and the technological advances of a subordinate science, her name is Soja. History repeats itself right under our noses and if we don't stop it, the environmental and social consequences can be even worse than with its predecessor.
It is monocultures, patents, the depredation of natural resources and other issues no less important, which make the food sovereignty that we propose as necessary for our peoples. And it is these same issues that the governments of "developed" countries and multinational food companies are
trying to impose ourselves through free trade agreements like the FTAA, NAFTA, NAFTA and many others.
It is those things so great that we cannot see them in their full dimension, which deteriorate the present and destroy the future of our peoples.
By Ricardo Natalichio