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Since Its US Debut A Quarter Century Ago, This Brilliant Text Has Set A New Standard For Historical Scholarship Of Latin America It Is Also An Outstanding Political Economy, A Social And Cultural Narrative Of The Highest Quality, And Perhaps The Finest Description Of Primitive Capital Accumulation Since MarxRather Than Chronology, Geography, Or Political Successions, Eduardo Galeano Has Organized The Various Facets Of Latin American History According To The Patterns Of Five Centuries Of Exploitation Thus He Is Concerned With Gold And Silver, Cacao And Cotton, Rubber And Coffee, Fruit, Hides And Wool, Petroleum, Iron, Nickel, Manganese, Copper, Aluminum Ore, Nitrates, And Tin These Are The Veins Which He Traces Through The Body Of The Entire Continent, Up To The Rio Grande And Throughout The Caribbean, And All The Way To Their Open Ends Where They Empty Into The Coffers Of Wealth In The United States And EuropeWeaving Fact And Imagery Into A Rich Tapestry, Galeano Fuses Scientific Analysis With The Passions Of A Plundered And Suffering People An Immense Gathering Of Materials Is Framed With A Vigorous Style That Never Falters In Its Command Of Themes All Readers Interested In Great Historical, Economic, Political, And Social Writing Will Find A Singular Analytical Achievement, And An Overwhelming Narrative That Makes History Speak, UnforgettablyThis Classic Is Now Further Honored By Isabel Allende S Inspiring Introduction Universally Recognized As One Of The Most Important Writers Of Our Time, Allende Once Again Contributes Her Talents To Literature, To Political Principles, And To Enlightenment


10 thoughts on “Las venas abiertas de América Latina

  1. says:

    When Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez presented President Obama with a copy of Eduardo Galeano s Open Veins of Latin America during a summit meeting in 2009 the intellectually gouty noise machine of the bourgeoisie began to flap its collective jowls, calling the gift an insult to America, and Obama s acceptance of it a sign of his acquiescence to communist influences The truths contained in the gift were essentially ignored by the right wind punditry, because truth and history have no place in the circus of sound bite chicanery, not when the mainstream media is little than a clown car of corporate maleficence, whose acquiescence in the plunder and economic repression of Latin America continues unabated the media s boosting of NAFTA, for instance, is an excellent example of imperialistic mechanisms at work.Originally published in the early 70s, Open Veins of Latin America is an eloquently written, vivid examination of five centuries of genocide, theft, and political interference by European and American economic interests And while Galeano writes with passion and artistry, his history is not the hysterical harangue the noise machine would have us believe The book is well researched and documented, but Galeano s intensity and skill as a writer adds gravitas to the irrefutable evidence he presents, a thing the noise machine cannot abide They fear his eloquence, but their attempt to invalidate the book through misdirection, using the threadbare histrionics of anti communism, failed Open Veins of Latin America is a powerful rejoinder to the stupidity and greed inherent in international corporatism, both past and present.


  2. says:

    Cuando era ni o le pregunt a mis padres por qu M xico era m s pobre que los Estados Unidos Me explicaron que el calor hac a a la gente m s perezosa y que en Europa y Estados Unidos, la gente es m s trabajadora, logrando un mejor nivel de vida despu s de varias generaciones.Mucho tiempo despu s, despu s de mucha indoctrinaci n, llegu a creer que lo que requer amos era un golpe de estado al estilo chileno, para avanzar como sociedad.Luego me percat que todas esas respuestas eran simplemente negaci n y auto enga o Eran el resultado de a os de propaganda oficial dentro de la clase media alta mexicana, que finalmente se destilaba a n entre los que participaron en los movimientos juveniles de finales de los sesenta y principios de los setenta.Y es precisamente durante este periodo que Eduardo Galeano escribi uno de sus libros insignia Las venas abiertas de Am rica Latina Libro que fue prohibido, censurado, ignorado en gran parte de Latinoam rica Basta decir que yo no conoc el libro sino hasta que me mud a Espa a.Galeano re ne vasta evidencia documental sobre la hip tesis de una Am rica explotada y exhibe dicha evidencia de manera brutal, sin fisuras aparentes.La hip tesis principal gira alrededor de que Am rica Latina, desde la conquista espa ola, ha sido, es y ser una colonia de las grandes potencias extranjeras Primero lo fue la Corona Espa ola una vez consumadas su respectivas independencias, pasaron a ser colonias no declaradas del Imperio Brit nico, y finalmente, somos el patio trasero de los Estados Unidos.Como colonias, todos los latinoamericanos somos ciudadanos de segunda categor a, sin derecho a decidir qu hacer con nuestros recursos naturales, a aceptar empr stitos forzados para afincar una industria y banca extranjera, que se llevar n las ganancias de vuelta a Europa y Estados Unidos, dejando a su paso deuda insaldable y mano de obra exhausta.En un inicio, las materias primas y su extracci n, eran el principal objetivo de las potencias colonizadoras agotadas stas, toc el turno a la mano de obra barata, sin especializaci n y sumisa Y ahora, cada vez que una transnacional instala una f brica de manufactura en nuestro territorio, debemos congratularnos y decir que el gobierno est haciendo bien las cosas C mo puede ser un pa s pr spero, si no se tiene control de sus propios recursos, si no se respeta su mercado interno ni a su poblaci n


  3. says:

    I read this book out of curiosity and interest in Latin America I was advised that it was just rant or left wing rant, but decided to see for myself I came away with this as the main idea in Latin America, free enterprise is incompatible with civil liberties as Galeano says in his commentary on the book in an afterward The book catalogues the exploitation of the people usually the indigenous people by South American oligarchies and by their European and North American affiliates.It s certainly been a controversial book First published in 1971 and often condemned and frequently banned in Latin America, I doubt it s been on the radar in North American very long The current edition was published in 1997 with a foreward by Isabel Allende It s been in the news recently when President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela gave a copy to Obama and then when commentators speculated on whether or not he would read it Actually, I hope he did My first impression was that Galeano s detractors were right, the book was just rant Galeano is a journalist and he knows how to use words to move readers My impression was that every sentence in the first chapter had emotionally loaded words If his ideas hadn t piqued my curiosity I might have put it down Ensuing chapters might come to emotionally loaded conclusions, but the presentation of evidence was impressive I can t endorse the ideas completely because I don t know enough to evaluate everything he says, but I was impressed.Galeano s thesis is that the first the European conquerors Spain and Portugal , later European business interests mainly the British and finally the US government and business have promised developmental assistance but delivered subservience largely by economic means by keeping production costs low using raw materials and cheap labor from Latin American and then selling products for large profits, even selling them back to Latin American countries at the same time as they prevent them from producing their own products In what seemed to me a telling comparison he contrasts conquistadors arriving in Latin American with the expectation of taking riches home to Europe with settlers in New England fleeing Europe and determined to grow their food and make the products they need for themselves and to stay, not seek treasure to bring home In what turned out to be an advantage for North America, there was no gold or silver, not even promising farms land so the British, in comparison to the Iberians, tended to ignore the colonies rather than plunder them In this idea, Galeano reminds me of Fareed Zakaria s thesis in The Future of Freedom where he explains that wealth in the form of natural resources is actually a deterrent to democracy because it leads to a ruling class that appropriates the resources and uses them to develop the country or to line their own pockets rather than depending on the population to supply funds for the government in the form of taxes Elections don t mean much if the people doing the electing have no power And clearly immigration to America took a far different path in the North than in the South The result was the development of a growing middle class of local producers in North America something that didn t happen in most Latin American countries which developed local oligarchies who themselves continued to be exploited by powerful patrons Galeano s text is colorful and impressive, even for someone like me for whom the names and historical events are not familiar He s a master at creating powerful and memorable phrases than sum up probably somewhat simplistically but I ended up thinking often right nonetheless the problem Underdevelopment in South America is a result of development elsewhere , a Volkswagen Republic is much like a banana republic , nationalization doesn t necessarily redistribute wealth Over and over again he talks about the wealth concentrated among an oligarchy and the widespread poverty at the bottom that has characterized many Latin American countries for centuries, making it clear over and over again that the outposts pay the price for the wealth of the centers The centers were usually the ports that grew up to serve the Europeans and later North Americans who needed to ship the gold, the silver, the meat, the rubber, the bananas or whatever.It s easy for a US citizen to agree with all the details about exploitation by Europeans, harder to deal with exploitation by North Americans Legacy of Ashes The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner 2007 confirms US involvement in supporting the governments and business leaders that supported the US companies It struck me reading about the maneuverings of American companies that, whether needing bananas or rubber or petroleum, they were operating not all that differently from how we re discovering they operate at home and it s abundantly clear at this point that the US is moving toward something like the Latin American republics with wealth increasingly concentrated among the few while the middle class which enabled the US to be different from its Latin American neighbors is dwindling Power in the US is increasingly in the hands of corporations often multi nationals with loyalties primarily to their own interests which may or may not be the people of the United States But perhaps I push this too far.I have to note that Galeano, as many other Latin Americans, deplores the fact that the US has even co opted the name America I had a hard time avoiding it in this review Bottom line This is a highly emotional book, but the logic and the evidence is quite definitely not lacking I tend to compare him to Michael Moore, who goes after public attention with emotionally charged rhetoric, but backs it up with facts and details that prove the need for drawing attention to the issue I cannot evaluate the detail and no doubt Galeano exaggerates and rants but it s still a compelling book that s worth the attention of a thinking person.


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  5. says:

    One of the best books ever written for a general audienceperiod This guy writes fiction likes it s non fiction and non fiction likes it s fiction He blends in and out better than anyone I know of What beauty, what poetry, what defiance, what anger, what celebration, what satire, what humour Sheer brilliance Oh, and he does his research too Recommended related readings Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Exterminate All the Brutes, Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, The Wretched of the Earth.


  6. says:

    1970 , , 1971 .


  7. says:

    Este libro es lectura obligatoria para cualquier latinoamericano Narra de una forma muy interesante la historia de nuestros pa ses, escencial para entender porqu Latinoam rica naci pobre y sigue siendo pobre Me gust m s la primera mitad del libro la segunda es un poco pesada y la cantidad de datos es abrumadora.


  8. says:

    Open Veins was a title in the Hugo Chavez Book Club the Venezuelan strongman surprised President Barrack Obama with a copy in 2009 Open Veins was written by a novelist in the vivid prose of a novel and the history takes many liberties, making it like historic fiction On pg 283, author Galeano cited Chilean dictator Pinochet leaving 30,000 dead , which didn t ring true to my memory A quick check of Wikipedia shows various reports and investigations claim that between 1,200 and 3,200 people were killed That is Galeano s Open Veins in a nutshell taking various misfortunes and admitted outrages and then, massively exaggerating them.How does one rate a book like this, which suffers from even a rudimentary understanding of economics e.g repeated assertions that individual corporations control prices, which is only true of monopolies and lays every conceivable ill of Latin America at the doorstop of capitalism, Europe, the IMF, the United States, and Latin American liberal advocates of market economies and free trade Score a 2 or 3 for Galeano writing in a lyrical way I think of this as a story, rather than history The first part, detailing the evils of colonialism and the European importation of millions of African slaves, is its best The story goes downhill, deep into 1 tierra, as it drones on about American and British companies and the dictators they back supposedly destroying Latin America Hence, Chavez s love of this book There is no attempt at balance Galeano gives individual names killed by a right wing military in Guatemala, yet, there is not one word about those killed by Che and Castro in Cuba This 1971 book and its 1978 update predate the worst of the Colombian FARC or the barbaric Communist Sendero Luminoso Shining Path rebellion that started in Peru in 1980 But, the author has not a word about Leftist killings in Colombia, Cuba, Bolivia, or anywhere else I place this tale at 1.5 stars.Galeano idolizes the Aztecs, Maya, and Incas They had their accomplishments, indeed, but they were warlike, practiced human sacrifice, and enslaved other tribes Cortez s and Pizzaro s tiny bands would have been forced into the sea if not for the ability to raise huge indigenous armies thirsty to overthrow Aztec and Incan hegemony Without question, the Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, and English mistreated the native peoples and African slaves The greatest value of Open Veins is in the early pages, which hold nothing back when vividly describing Spanish enslavement of Indians to work in the gold and silver mines and to work the haciendas The Spanish didn t bring wives and took Indian women, at gunpoint if needed Galeano fails to see the connection between early Spanish rule and the present, but other, thoughtful authors have fingered the mordida bribe culture of colonial Spain and authoritarian, caudillo rule as continuing today in many Latin American countries Open Veins is not shy in its Marxist economic critique Galeano gleefully flies in the face of mainstream economics with strident advocacy of protectionism He is practically the last person alive to think communism was a rousing success in Cuba The book suffers from a rudimentary understanding of economics I found the frequent Marx and Lenin quotes jarring Even the phrasing is Marxian Most of Latin America saw the back of colonial Spain two centuries ago In Galliano s view, nothing changed with new masters , imperial England and the USA There is, of course, great truth about Uncle Sam s involvement in Latin America Although, in typical fashion, Galeano exaggerates Marines here, there, everywhere I don t pretend to be an expert on everything that ever happened in Latin America, but Open Veins doesn t mesh with what I ve read elsewhere about the end of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, Ford in the , Mexico, the Panama Canal, Walker in Nicaragua, and the like In so many cases, there is a kernel of truth to European American heavy handedness, but Galeano is like a steam roller, using outlandish, emotional statements e.g seemingly voluntary economic transactions are actually plunder , devastation , and slavery There is absolutely nothing here about, say, Western medicine conquering malaria Yankee godless technology built a leisure class of a fortunate few in Lima, Caracas, Buenos Aires, etc Galeano s cluelessness shows through with statements like, of the Argentine capitalists, productivity is low because it suits them the law of profit prevails over all overs Actually, higher productivity drives higher profits I doubt Argentinian capitalists want low productivity Low productivity may exist, but not because of a devious plot He actually writes of 20 American aid organizations bringing birth control to the not to help the people no, but to depopulate it so American economic interests can conquer ia As I said at the outset, Open Veins is like a novel than a serious history.Given that Galeano s solutions of socialism and protectionism have failed, what is better He never even considers other developing nations, and even by 1980, a number of formerly colonized Asian nations were fast approaching developed world standards Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and liberalizing China are illustrative Even within Latin America, Chile, the nation which suffered the admitted human rights abuses of Pinochet, liberalized its economy under the Chicago Boys and has higher living standards today and is a functioning democracy.A much better thinker about Latin America, and a gifted novelist, too, is Mario Vargas Llosa, who ran for president of Peru His Sables y Utopias is infinitely nuanced than Open Veins, saying, La globalizacion no es, por definicion, ni buena ni mala globalization is neither good nor bad , it is the result of many factors including technological and scientific advances, international business and capital flows, and interdependent world markets pg 158 Vargas Llosa succinctly writes, Obstaculos al desarrollo nacionalismo, populismo, indigenismo, corrupcion Obstacles to development nationalism, populism, indigenism, corruption Indeed, Latin America has been ill served by its governments, often the legacy of colonial Spain and stillborn reforms of Juarez, Bolivar and well meaning others Latin America has had far too many right wing dictators and military juntas it also experienced Peronist and Cardenas style Leftist populism More recently we saw the failure of Chavez and Maduro in Venezuela, who incredibly, brought shortages and economic depression, during an era of record oil prices, to the nation holding the world s largest oil reserves For decades, rafts floated one direction in the Florida Straight away from Cuba Galeano never says a word about Latin Americans living in the United States Is there not a lesson in the economic success of America s 70 million Hispanics, who enjoy a higher standard of living than Hispanics anywhere in Latin America Take a Mexican or Cuban or Colombian and put him in New York City or Miami and he tends to thrive Same people, same culture, but a very different economic and political system Vargas Llosa thought Peru could learn from Asian Tigers democratic capitalist engines like South Korea I do not quibble for a moment about the horrors of early Spanish colonization Yet, Latin America is not the only place that was colonized, even brutally, and dwelling on 500 years ago won t improve today Korea succeeded despite Japan s far recent colonialization of that peninsula.Latin America needs the rule of law The mordida lives and breeds cynicism, allowing narco cartels and criminal gangs to thrive from Venezuela to Tijuana Mexico needs to stop scaring its entrepreneurs into migrating to the United States Mexican Americans are about 25 times likely to own their own business, at least a legally registered one, than their relatives back in Mexico Latin America needs property rights another Peruvian, Hernando de Soto has written interestingly about the virtual impossibility of poor squatters in taking out even the most modest loan, which helped lead to the current popularity of microloans in developing nations Latin America needs better education and learning focused in STEM science, technology, engineering, mathematics The continent has produced many great novelists and muralists, but Latin America would benefit from its own Bill Gates, Michael Dells, Jeff Bezos, and Sergey Brins It is telling that Latin America s richest man, Carlos Slim, while a skillful businessman, succeeded in the shadowy world of Latin American telecomm privatizations Latin America has a few notable colleges, but it cannot even begin to compare to United States RD e.g., Caltech, Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and most any large land grant university India, by comparison, created an excellent STEM program in the campuses of its Indian Institute of Technology.Galeano s solutions to Latin American problems are Marxism and protectionism Sadly, filling the continent with socialist strongmen like Hugo Chavez would lead to another 500 years of pain and backwardness in Latin America.


  9. says:

    This is an agonizingly lucid account of the of colonisation and depredation of a continent Beginning with the continuing genocide of the native population, seguing into the advent of slavery and its replacement with hunger wages for the same back breaking or in the case of the mines, lung destroying work as the slaves were forced to carry out, and concluding with the neocolonial extraction of Latin American resources by the USA and Europe whatever Latin America makes, he argues, its main export is cheap labour Corporate vampires and their helpers the US government, local dictators, the IMF and World Bank are thoroughly indicted Galeano also takes care to mention the many uprisings and resistance fighters and the violence they were met with, and also success stories like Cuba Essential reading.There are always politicians and technocrats ready to show that the invasion of industrialising foreign capital benefits the area invaded In this version , the new model imperialism comes on a geuinely civilizing mission, is a blessing to the dominated countries, and the true love declarations by the dominant power of the moment are its real intentions Guilty consciences are ths relieved of the need for alibis, for no one is guilty , today s imperialism radiates techology and progress, and even the use of this old, unpleasant word to define it is in bad taste But when imperialism begins exalting its own virtues we should take a look in our pockets We find that the new model does not make its colonies prosperous, although it enriches their poles of development it does not ease social and regional tensions, but aggravates them it spreads poverty even widely and concentrates wealth even narrowly it pays wages twenty times lower than in Detroit and charges prices three times higher than in New York it takes over the internal market and the mainsprings of the productive apparatus it assumes proprietary rights to chart the course and fix the frontiers of progress it controls national credit and orients external trade at its whim it denationalises not only industry but the profits earned by industry it fosters the waste of resources by diverting a large part of the economic surplus abroad it does not bring in capital for investment but takes it out.


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