Mar 31, Susan rated it it was amazing I read this book out of curiosityand 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 peopleby South American oligarchies and by their European and North American affiliates.
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Mar 31, Susan rated it it was amazing I read this book out of curiosityand 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 peopleby South American oligarchies and by their European and North American affiliates. Its certainly I read this book out of curiosity—and interest in Latin America. The current edition was published in with a foreward by Isabel Allende. Actually, I hope he did.
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. Ensuing chapters might come to emotionally-loaded conclusions, but the presentation of evidence was impressive.
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. And clearly immigration to America took a far different path in the North than in the South.
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. 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 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.
Open Veins of Latin America Quotes
Phil Mongredien Published on Sun 21 Jun Detailing "five centuries of the pillage of a continent", this economic history of post-Columbus Latin America tells how its inhabitants have in turn been the victims of genocide, exploitative trade deals and, more recently, a string of murderous US-backed dictators. A continent blessed with bountiful natural resources has been systematically stripped of its gold, silver, tin, copper, oil, nitrates, manganese and rubber, while its people remain among the poorest on earth, with high levels of infant mortality, illiteracy and child prostitution. Although the colonial crimes of the US and Spain are not glossed over, these countries are far from the only culprits. Galeano shows how Portuguese naivety made Britain the biggest beneficiary of the 18th-century Brazilian gold rush.
Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent