Middle America is a fragmented geographic region, weak in relation to larger states, yet possessing a central and strategic location which attracts outside interference and authority. Originally inhabited by a variety of Amerid peoples, whose complicated immigration patterns still are seen throughout the area in isolated islands, jungles, valleys, and plateaus, the region later became exposed to an additional array of races and nationalities in the centuries after discovery by Europe. The Spanish introduced unassimilated African slaves to the Caribbean; the Dutch, English, French, and North Americans brought their own cultures and attracted immigrants from Africa, Asia, and elsewhere. A melting pot for unifying the fragmented parts was not feasible because formidable geographic barriers and rival colonial jurisdictions prevented amalgamation. Turmoil of subsequent centuries extended and solidified these cleavages, and today we continue to see Middle America disunited, exposed to outsiders' interventions, and consequently without an independent or neutral voice in international affairs.