[News] Eduardo Galeano, leading voice of Latin American left, dies aged 74

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Apr 13 11:17:59 EDT 2015

  Eduardo Galeano, leading voice of Latin American left, dies aged 74

Best known for his 1971 book Open Veins of Latin America, the Uruguayan 
writer and journalist was one of the region’s noted anti-capitalist voices

Ashifa Kassam <http://www.theguardian.com/profile/ashifa-kassam>

Monday 13 April 2015 10.25 EDT Last modified on Monday 13 April 2015

The Uruguayan author and journalist Eduardo Galeano, one of Latin 
America’s leading anti-capitalist voices, has died of cancer at the age 
of 74 in Montevideo.

His death on Monday was confirmed by the weekly publication Brecha, 
where he was a contributor.

Galeano was best known for his 1971 book Open Veins of Latin America, 
which rocketed to the top of US bestseller lists after the Venezuelan 
leader Hugo Chávez presented a copy to President Barack Obama in 2009.

Subtitled “Five centuries of the Pillage of a Continent” the book argues 
that Latin America has been consistently impoverished in order to feed 
the prosperity of Europe and the US.

In his chronicle of centuries of economic exploitation, Galeano wrote: 
“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.”

The book, which established Galeano as one of the region’s most 
prominent writers, became a rallying cry among leftist circles, and was 
banned during periods of military leadership in Chile, Argentina and 
Uruguay <http://www.theguardian.com/world/uruguay>. A recent edition 
included an introduction by novelist Isabel Allende, who once said the 
book was one of the few items she brought along when she fled Chile 
after the military coup in 1973.

However, Galeano himself later admitted to mixed feelings about the 
book. “[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.”

When asked by reporters about Chávez’s gift to Obama, Galeano noted that 
the late Venezuelan president had presented his US counterpart with a 
Spanish edition of the book. “He gave it to Obama with the best 
intentions in the world, but he gave it to Obama in a language that he 
doesn’t know. So it was a generous gesture, but a bit cruel,” he said.

  Eduardo Galeano: 'My great fear is that we are all suffering from amnesia'

Read more

During a career that spanned half a century, Galeano wrote dozens of 
works of fiction and non-fiction, with several of them being translated 
into as many as 20 languages.

Galeano also won acclaim for his book on another of his passions, 
football. His 1995 celebration of the Beautiful Game, Football in Sun 
and Shadow, led the Guardian’s Richard Williams to laud him as “the Pelé 
of football writing”.

In 2013, speaking to the Guardian about his latest book Children of the 
Days, Galeano detailed a world where power and wealth were becoming 
increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, weaving in examples 
from the 15th century to the present day. “History never really says 
goodbye,” he said at the time. “History said, see you later.”

It was a stance that permeated his writing, he told reporters, 
describing himself as a “writer obsessed with remembering, with 
remembering the past of America and above all that of Latin America, 
intimate land condemned to amnesia”.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
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