Latin American Veins are Still Open and Wounded Essay

1597 Words Dec 19th, 2013 7 Pages
Martina Brauer
October 4, 2013
Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
Book Review

Latin American Veins are Still Open and Wounded

Open Veins of Latin America is the book to remember. Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano is responsible for the creation of this relevant and controversial masterpiece, which follows the history of Latin America and the Caribbean through centuries of struggle against poverty and those imperial powers who abused of Latin American resources and created inequality. With a leftist political point of view, magic realism and historical events, Galeano epitomizes a Latin America craving redemption and progress. He illustrates his ideas by laying out the story from 1492
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These two reasons are what Galeano argues as the explanations of why Latin American progress was and is being delayed. Galeano’s arguments are further enhanced by the structure in which he writes his book and the magic realism he implements to exemplify a glowing Latin America which was stripped off of identity and wealth. Galeano describes 1492 by stating: “When Christopher Columbus headed across the great emptiness west of Christendom, he had accepted the challenge of legend. Terrible storms would play with his ships as if they were nutshells and hurl them into the jaws of monsters; the sea serpent, hungry for human flesh, would be lying in wait in the murky depths”.14

By the use of magical realism in this statement, a sense of catastrophe waiting to happen is portrayed. Through the use of this literary device he also effectively explains Latin American destiny by saying, “The story… is a good illustration of Latin America’s illusory fortunes in the world market: how transient the blissful breezes have always been, how crushing the catastrophes”15. His choice of words simply makes the writing enjoyable and easy to read. Another aspect of the books structure that makes it easier to follow is the fact that Galeano creates ONE Latin America. Even though he speaks of Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Caribbean and all the other countries separately, it is easy for him to jump from one country to

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