[News] on his passing - Eduardo Galeano: Bolivar with a Pen

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Apr 14 11:34:27 EDT 2015

April 14, 2015

History Written as Poetry

  Eduardo Galeano: Bolivar with a Pen


My friend and comrade Eduardo Galeano had been ill for some time, but 
the treatment worked and he would recover and put pen to paper again. 
Asked to comment on him in a TV interview with Telesur, this is what I said:

What Bolivar sought to accomplish with sword, Galeano did with his pen. 
He sought to unite the continent against US imperialism. He spoke for 
the underground voices of the continent when US-backed military 
dictatorships had crushed democracy in most parts of South America; he 
spoke for those who were being tortured; he spoke for the indigenous 
people crushed by the dual oppression of Empire and creole oligarchs.

Was he optimistic or pessimistic? He was both and often simultaneously, 
but he never gave up hope. That remained strong all his life. It is 
visible in his lyrical works on South American history. History written 
as poetry. It is there in his journalism from /La Marcha/ in the Uruguay 
of the 60s to /La Jornada/ in Mexico today. He was never dogmatic, 
always open to new ideas.

After the tyranny of the dictatorships he realised like many others that 
the armed road had been a disaster, that the Cuban Revolution could not 
be imitated blindly. The birth of new social movements and the 
Bolivarian victories were a source of inspiration and concern. He did 
not want to see old mistakes repeated. Whenever we met this was strong 
in him. We were not simply defeated by the enemy, he would insist, but 
also to a certain extent by ourselves.

He wrote with a biblical simplicity, strong and political with history 
as his teacher.

Read Galeano is what I would advise every aspiring young radical 
journalist today. Don’t mimic him. Learn from him.

/*Tariq Ali* is the author of //The Obama Syndrome 
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1844677575/counterpunchmaga>// (Verso)./

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