‘The Open Veins of Latin America’, Eduardo Galeano
My latest amazon site will not be a natural site or a village but will be a book.
Travel is of course, taking pictures, see beautiful landscapes, meet people, but also understand and sometimes think…
Far away it is for me the idea of have a ‘sweet’ thought, but if you visit Bolivia, you will surely feel a sort of ‘malaise’ sometimes.
This unease I felt especially during my first trip to Bolivia. So I wanted to know. This book gave me some answers.
But as history and facts are always different if they are reported by the victors or vanquished, it will be up to you, draw your own conclusion…
Open Veins of Latin America, written by Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan intellectual, is considered as a South American classic.
He tells century after century, the relentless plundering of the Latin American countries by foreign powers as United States, but also Europe with a lot of great powers as Portugal, Spain, England and Holland…
Although obviously the book is a bit old (it dates from 1971), it remains an essential reference for explaining the genesis of the poverty and underdevelopment that today bear the brunt the countries of Latin America.
This long litany of pain and death that seems to have no end, Galeano tells us with guts. Someone had criticized for sometimes being so cruel, and with no academic style, too romanticized, as well as Marxist transparent bases (that means, it focuses mainly on the history of the poorest and most exploited), but the truth of the facts is nonetheless undeniable.
Eduardo Galeano, recounts the ‘fall’ of great civilizations: the Aztecs in Mexico, the Maya in Central America, the Incas around what is now Bolivia and Peru, the Mapuche in Patagonia, are quickly killed, brought into line. Then enslaved labor ideal (to which they will soon add the slaves imported from Africa) to extract the mineral rich of Latin America, that will make the wealth of the occident.
Eduardo Galeano saw firsthand the ravages of history on his continent. When he wrote this book in 1970, he has traveled a bloodless Latin America at the hands of the worst dictators on the planet, outlaw regimes funded by the CIA and many multinationals. He saw the mines of Potosi in Bolivia and in Guanajuato, Mexico, hospices as infernal that symbolize occidental imperialism in Latin America. He saw Venezuela rotted by foreign oil companies and Paraguay devastated by war of others and being a cemetery in open air.
Eight years later, in exile in Spain (the book made him an enemy to be destroyed for the authoritarian regime of Uruguay), when he updates his book, the record has worsened. There was the assassination of the Chilean president Salvador Allende, in September 11, 1973, with the blessing (and participation) of the U.S. administration. In 1976 there was the return to power of the bloody dictatorship of the generals in Argentina, after the interlude of Eva Peron. And, in his own country, Uruguay, a bloody military coup bringing the military in power.
This essential book is about the exploitation of man by man across the continent.
Must read, even if is only to better understand the political landscape of Latin America…