Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Novelist who started his career as a journalist, making a name for himself due to his excellent writing. One of the pioneers of "magic realism," he was a prolific writer. A mild-leftist, he was a personal friend of Castro, although generally his works were non-political and avoided social issues.
Manlio Argueta: Leftist novelist and poet. Was involved with a progressive literary group in El Salvador that counted among it's members the great Roque Dalton. Forced into exile for over twenty years for opposing the authoritarian government. His most well-known novel was One Day of Life.
Roque Dalton: Communist poet, his short life was made up of exiles and imprisonments while he continued to produce poetry of the greatest value, artistically and politically, which showed his commitment to ending injustice forever. Incapable of living a calm life in exile he returned to El Salvador to join a leftist guerrilla group and was executed on command of the leadership of the group for his criticism (from the left) of its tactics.
Otto Rene Castillo: Communist poet. Went into exile in 1954 after a CIA-orchestrated coup and returned clandestinely in 1966 to join the guerrilla struggle against the regime. In March 1967 he was captured by government forces, taken to their barracks where he was tortured for four days, and then burned alive. His poems are filled with his strong belief in a better future, and his principled opposition to oppression and exploitation in all of their forms. The beauty and consciousness of his poems is a tribute to a great revolutionary who died too young.
Walter Rodney: Marxist historian and revolutionary. Wrote extensively on Africa and was involved politically in Africa, especially Tanzania. Wrote penetrating economic and historical works using simple language while never forgetting to put the downtrodden first. Supporter of racial equality always and everywhere, he formed a leftist group in Guyana called the Working People's Alliance which aimed to unite the multi-ethnic working class in Guyana against their true enemy: capitalism and it's puppets in the government. Assassinated by car bomb in Guyana in retaliation for his political involvement.
Miguel Leon-Portilla: A historian and intellectual his works focused on the per-columbian civilizations and peoples of what is now known as Mexico and Central America. He wrote extensively on native language, literature and culture as well as in defense of indigenous rights. His most famous book was Vision of the Vanquished written about the heroic Aztec resistance to European colonization.
Sergio Ramirez: Writer and politician who participated in the Sandinista struggle, and after it's victory participated in the new Sandinista government.
Hugo Blanco: Militant and trade-unionist. Blanco attended university in Argentina where he became a Trotskyist. After his return to Peru he became involved politically on the left and returned to his native region where he began organizing the peasants, eventually leading a peasant revolt against the landowners and government. Blanco was subsequently captured by the military and spent years in prison before he was deported to Chile two years before pinochet's coup. Wrote an autobiographical book about his experiences.
Mario Benedetti: Leftist writer with an impressive repertoire of plays, short stories, and novels, as beautiful and progressive as the brilliant poems for which he was most famous. He worked many different jobs when he was young, and later began to write for different Uruguayan cultural publications. After the 1973 right-wing coup in Uruguay, he was forced into exile, only returning in 1983. Remained a principled progressive to his death.
Eduardo Galeano: Leftist journalist, novelist and writer. In his youth he worked in various humble jobs before working as a journalist in the 1960s. After the 1973 right-wing coup Galeano was imprisoned and forced to leave the country. He then settled in Argentina, where he continued his journalistic and cultural work. In 1976 a right-wing coup took place in Argentina and Galeano's name was on the lists of fascist death squads, leading him to flee the country for Spain. Galeano was able to return to his native country in 1985, where he continued to live until his death. A life-long passionate opponent of the right-wing fascist governments in Latin America, he also was a committed and principled anti-imperialist.