Eduardo Galeano – Novels about Pirates

eduardo_galeano_efeEduardo Galeano:  03.09 1940-13.04.2015

Should you have some connection with Latin America, the Spanish speaking world, history, Uruguay, literature, oppression, exploitation, IMF, then you are aware of the humble giant who possessed a prose that was profound yet on the surface, easily accessible.  His history of the milking of Latin America by the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, the US, Canada etc. were first contained in ¨Las venas abiertas de América Latina¨  (The Open Veins of Latin America),  was written in a six week period when he was twenty-seven years old.  He would later say he was too inexperienced to have written such a book, however it reading it now, as I have recently done again, it still holds as an insight into manuals of operations that have been played out by corporations, dictators, governments, business etc. aka well-organized crime.  This was the book Hugo Chavez presented to Obama, on the latter’s first conference down south. “Read this, then you will understand, what we are saying.”

Upside Down is another personal favourite, his style now infused with a humour that was not present in his opening salvo.  He was raging then, quite rightly so.  However with Upside Down, I found myself breaking out in a laugh as I followed the lines with my eyes.  Shit like this ain’t supposed to be funny, It eases the pain momentarily though, and we are in need of relief, and he was a medicine for a continent and beyond.

Below, his long-time translator and friend, Mark Fried talks with Sharmini Periest of The Real News Network about Galeano’s life.

We can kill you. It’s good for business

Rapier missile system, London

In today’s Guardian,  a piece  by Andy Beckett on the British arms industry, the excuses used to justify government involvement, “it supports 300,000 jobs”, and often used quote that doesn’t add up. It’s ties with government. Quite interesting that is these years of free market theories and “orthodoxies, how pivotal the state is.”  Maybe in a somewhat humorous point, “There are only a few other businesses – such as pharmaceuticals and pop music – where Britain is still so internationally prominent.”  Bomb them with arms, pop music and drugs. Class.

Where is Mark Thomas when you need him?

Afghanistan – Time capsule

The comments of the British Minister for Defence Liam Fox that Afghanistan is “a broken 13th-century country” fit neatly alongside the images and general information / propaganda that we have been consistantly fed over the last thirty years.  Mohammad Qayoumi, president of California State University, is from Afghanistan, and he has something to share with us, a photo essay over at the site of Foreign Policy:

“Stirred by the fact that news portrayals of the country’s history didn’t mesh with my own memories, I wanted to discover the truth. Through a colleague, I received a copy of the book (that he previously had) and recognized it as a time capsule of the Afghanistan I had once known — perhaps a little airbrushed by government officials, but a far more realistic picture of my homeland than one often sees today.”

I’d love to get my ears around some of them tunes on the shelves in the foto above, although could I assume not much local music?

(Spotted at Dangerous Minds)