14 thoughts on “Chavez makes Galeano book bestseller

  1. Apr 18, 8:16 PM EDT

    WHITE HOUSE NOTEBOOK: Obama may not read book gift

    By BEN FELLER
    Associated Press Writer

    PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) — Blame it on an overcrowded presidential nightstand.

    President Barack Obama’s advisers cited a long reading list and the fact he doesn’t read Spanish as reasons the U.S. leader might not read the book Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave him. The socialist leader on Saturday offered Obama “Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent,” by Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano.

    White House spokesman Robert Gibbs wouldn’t say if Obama planned to read the book, which argues Latin America “continues to work as a servant.”

    “It continues to exist to serve the needs of others as a fountain and reserve of petroleum and gold, copper and meat, fruits and coffee, raw materials and food destined for rich countries that benefit more from consuming them than Latin America does from producing them,” according to the book.

    Gibbs said the Spanish language would be a barrier to the president, who does not read the language.

    “I think it’s in Spanish, so that might be a tad on the difficult side,” Gibbs said.

    For his part, Obama said he was ready to reciprocate with one of own best-selling books.

    “I thought it was one of Chavez’s books,” Obama said. “I was going to give him one of mine.”

    St. Lucia’s Prime Minister Stephenson King already had his own copy of Obama’s best-seller. King asked Obama to sign his copy of “Dreams From My Father” during the summit.

    The publicity about the gift of the Galeano book helped propel it from relative obscurity to No. 13 on the Amazon.com list of best-sellers by Saturday night.

  2. I hate to break it to you… How can you knock the book without knowing what it says?

    Avoiding studying the texts, that are popular in Latin America and that may explain attitudes in Latin America, may be the biggest mistake we continue to make here in the USA… We avoid to see hour our actions affect others simply because we know how those actions affected us.

    Two people can see the same action and take two widely divergent views on what that single action meant. Look at how far apart the Democrats and the Republicans are on the current administration’s policies.

    If we can take opposing views, why can’t they?

    If we ignore the views of the “other side,” how do we enter into a “meaningful discourse?”

  3. Hi Counsel, I think this is a misunderstanding (I hope you did not confuse this blog post with another post on another person’s blog?). I did not “knock” Galeano’s book at all. Neither did the video reviewer, the AP item, or the Monthly Review link. Though I have not read this book personally, I did read reviews of it, and I did read shorter articles on this by Galeano; which tend to make me think that this is probably a good book.

  4. Chavez plans new book for Obama

    VENEZUELA: President Hugo Chavez says that he may follow up his gift of a book to US counterpart Barack Obama with Vladimir Lenin’s classic work What is to be Done?

    Asked during a Caracas call-in show on Friday whether he knew if Mr Obama had read the copy of Eduardo Galeano’s The Open Veins of Latin America which Mr Chavez gave the US president in April, the Venezuelan president said that he didn’t know.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/world/world_in_brief__41

  5. Nationalisations and workers’ control in Venezuela: ‘When the
    working class roars, capitalists tremble’

    By Federico Fuentes
    June 1, 2009 — Addressing the 400-strong May 21 workshop with workers
    from the industrial heartland of Guayana, dedicated to the “socialist
    transformation of basic industry”, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
    noted with satisfaction the outcomes of discussions: “I can see, sense
    and feel the roar of the working class.” “When the working class roars,
    the capitalists tremble”, he said.
    Chavez announced plans to implement a series of radical measures,
    largely drawn from proposals coming from the workers’ discussion that
    day. The workers greeted each of Chavez’s announcements with roars of
    approval, chanting “This is how you govern!”
    Chavez said: “The proposals made have emerged from the depths of the
    working class. I did not come here to tell you what to do! It is you who
    are proposing this.”

    * Read more http://links.org.au/node/1088

  6. US ambassador returns to Caracas

    VENEZUELA: The US ambassador to Venezuela has returned to his post nine months after he was expelled by President Hugo Chavez.

    Patrick Duddy said on Wednesday that he hopes his return will be “the first step toward more productive relations.”

    Mr Chavez expelled Mr Duddy in solidarity with Bolivian President Evo Morales, who had kicked out the top US diplomat for allegedly inciting violence.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/world/world_in_brief__67

  7. Caracazo minister to face justice

    Venezuela: Prosecutors have charged a former defence minister with crimes committed two decades ago during the Caracazo riots.

    The lawyers said yesterday that they had charged retired General Italo del Valle Aliegro with ordering murders during the 1989 unrest over rises in petrol prices and bus fares.

    Mr del Valle Aliegro was defence minister under former president Carlos Andres Perez.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/world/world_in_brief__82

  8. Monday, February 23, 2009

    10 years under Chavez (a mainstream economic report card)

    While I am of the opinion the revolution in Venezuela must continue to move forward and end current property relations or it is doomed to fail; I’m certainly not against enacting progressive reforms along the way. The following report gives an idea of what has been accomplished so far. (Obviously, at least from my point of view, not everything is positive. Many of these programs show their limitations within the confines of a capitalist system.) It was done by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a research institute with Nobel laureates Joe Stiglitz and Robert Solow, among others, on its advisory board.

    http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/venezuela-2009-02.pdf

    Key points (as taken from the report):

    * The current economic expansion began when the government got control over the national oil company in the first quarter of 2003. Since then, real (inflation-adjusted) GDP has nearly doubled, growing by 94.7 percent in 5.25 years, or 13.5 percent annually.

    * Most of this growth has been in the non-oil sector of the economy, and the private sector has grown faster than the public sector.

    * During the current economic expansion, the poverty rate has been cut by more than half, from 54 percent of households in the first half of 2003 to 26 percent at the end of 2008. Extreme poverty has fallen even more, by 72 percent. These poverty rates measure only cash income, and does not take into account increased access to health care or education.

    * Over the entire decade, the percentage of households in poverty has been reduced by 39 percent, and extreme poverty by more than half.

    * Inequality, as measured by the Gini index, has also fallen substantially. The index has fallen to 41 in 2008, from 48.1 in 2003 and 47 in 1999. This represents a large reduction in inequality.

    * Real (inflation-adjusted) social spending per person more than tripled from 1998-2006.

    * From 1998-2006, infant mortality has fallen by more than one third. The number of primary care physicians in the public sector increased 12-fold from 1999-2007, providing health care to millions of Venezuelans who previously did not have access.

    * There have been substantial gains in education, especially higher education, where gross enrollment rates more than doubled from 1999/2000 to 2007/2008.

    * The labor market also improved substantially over the last decade, with unemployment dropping from 11.3 percent to 7.8 percent. During the current expansion it has fallen by more than half. Other labor market indicators also show substantial gains.

    * Over the past decade, the number of social security beneficiaries has more than
    doubled.

    * Over the decade, the government’s total public debt has fallen from 30.7 to 14.3 percent of GDP. The foreign public debt has fallen even more, from 25.6 to 9.8 percent of GDP.

    * Inflation is about where it was 10 years ago, ending the year at 31.4 percent. However it has been falling over the last half year (as measured by three-month averages) and is likely to continue declining this year in the face of strong deflationary pressures worldwide.

    http://www.graemesblog.com/2009/02/10-years-under-chavez-mainstream.html

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