(Republicans. When We Stopped Being Realists). Latin American independence was sealed by the Battle of Ayacucho (1824), where a creole army defeated a royalist army made up mainly of indigenous soldiers. Almost two hundred years later, Peruvian, Ecuadorian and Colombian soldiers again died wearing the uniform of the Spanish army in the Lebanon and in Afghanistan, while Honduran, Nicaraguan and El Salvadorian troops are on duty in Iraq under the Spanish flag. The Latin American republics became independent from Spain at the beginning of the nineteenth century but after two centuries of mistrust and resentment Madrid holds the same fascination for Latin America as Paris once held or the same influence as Washington. Meanwhile the Spanish multinationals strengthen their hegemony from the south of the Rio Grande to Cape Horn and Latin American immigrants integrate into all layers of society. What sense can we make of the paths taken by Spain and Latin America two hundred years after their political separation? Has there been religious, intellectual and literary independence? So, why do “liberators” still appear in Latin America and why does Spain keep talking about independence? Fernando Iwasaki offers answers to these and other questions in Republicans, an ironic, erudite and intelligent essay in relentlessly graceful, provocative and elegant prose.