Uruguayan 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.
Open Veins of Latin America (1971): 318 pages. Banned by many right-wing dictatorships in Latin America, it is the most well-known and popular of Galeano's works. Galeano makes the case, true in other parts of the world as well, that Latin America is impoverished and underdeveloped because of it's natural wealth. In other words the desire of the colonial and imperialist countries to plunder the resources of Latin America for itself has understandably led to the resources not being available for use in Latin America, as well as focusing the economy on extraction of these resources and not industrial/technological development. Further, this leads to a massive economic interest of said countries to crush any political attempts to stop the looting. An intelligent, comprehensive history of the plundering of Latin America from the beginning of Spanish colonialism until the 1970s. Galeano also focuses his attention on the many attempts throughout Latin American history to "nationalize" the wealth of the land and generally to oppose imperialist plunder, and the repression, invasions, and wars the imperialist powers used to crush such attempts. A call to resist imperialism, it also shows clearly the materialist, economic factors behind much of Latin America's history.