One of Latin America’s most outspoken leftists, Eduardo Galeano, whose work was often banned, died this month at 74. His 1971 book, Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, hit the US bestseller list years later when Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez (now deceased) gave a copy to President Barack Obama.
From that book: “The human murder by poverty in Latin America is secret. Every year, without making a sound, three Hiroshima bombs explode over communities that have become accustomed to suffering with clenched teeth.”
Galeano later said: “[It] was trying to be a work of political economics, but I just didn’t have the right training. I don’t regret writing it, but I’ve moved beyond that stage.” Nonetheless, the author Isabel Allende noted that it was one of the few possessions she brought when fleeing Chile’s military dictatorship in 1973 (find her work in Adult Fiction in both French and English, and in Young Adult). Galeano wrote dozens of books about social justice, history, love, and soccer (his books are available via inter-library loan).
– April 16, 2015