Modern Latin America
Open Veins of Latin America Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, written by Eduardo Galeano is a thorough and appealing historical account based on the robbing of the Latin American continent for its resources by foreign nations throughout history. This well written account by Galeano is well renowned and highly praised due to its relevance since its inception all the way to some 40 years later in our present time. Eduardo Galeano counteracts the credence that foreign dignitaries no longer have interest in Latin America by stating that people who argue that Imperialism no longer has an interest in Latin America “forget that a legion of pirates, merchants, bankers, Marines, technocrats, Green Berets, ambassadors and captains of industry have, in a long black page of history, taken over the life and destiny of the most of the peoples of the south." This novel expands over a 500 year timespan , referencing all the way back to the Renaissance in the opening paragraph with the phrase, “ Our part of the world, known today as Latin America, was precocious: it has specialized in losing ever since those remote times when Renaissance Europeans ventured across the ocean and buried their teeth in the throats of the Indian civilizations.” This book gives rise to the people’s frame of mind and their side of the story about a land that once belonged to their ancestors but was robbed and how they have come to reap the benefits of such an ill transaction.
The book opens with Christopher Columbus traveling to the new world and his ships being sunk in the ocean. The reader is then made to understand that Christopher Columbus did not discover America, as it had been populated long before him, but even so, the Norse men had ventured there first, not knowing they did. Columbus would arrive in the West Indies where he noticed the people and this foreign land had an abundance of both silver and gold. Columbus’ lust for both gold and silver would cause him to activate a time of exploration in this foreign land that would later cause the annihilation of millions of indigenous people.
Capitalizing capitalism was the name of the game early in Latin America. Since their arrival, early Europeans’ monarchies, empires, and strength was built on the backs of the exploitation of Latin America and its people that have been dispersed and enslaved out the continent. Galeano indicates that before the arrival of African slaves in the Americas, thousands of native people were forced to the mines in Bolivia. The brutality and racism that helped fuel this slavery would...