Author repudiates socialist bestseller that Venezuela’s dictator gave to Obama

Remember when the late South American dictator Hugo Chavez startled President Obama by handing him a copy of socialist Eduardo Galeano’s popular bestseller, The Open Veins of Latin America?

The title explains its central theory: The open veins of Latin America have been drained of life by exploitive imperial powers, most notably the United States, leaving the region poor and underdeveloped.

“Now the 73-year-old Uruguayan writer has backed away from his landmark book,” writes Carlos Alberto Montaner for National Review, ”saying at a conference in Brazil that the leftist rhetoric of the book is ‘awful’ and shows how little he knew at the time about economics and the way the world really works.”

Chávez presented it to Obama when the two met in Trinidad in 2009.

“At that time,” writes Montaner, “Chávez declared that Galeano’s book had helped him understand Latin American reality. Now it appears that ‘reality’ was a fiction, spawned by immaturity and ideology.”

Montaner is an exiled Cuban journalist and author. He is also an adviser to the Center on Global Prosperity at the Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif.


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