The Open Veins of Latin America

Author: Dr. Bill // Category: , , , , , ,
The 13 American colonies weren’t exploited and subjugated like Latin America was because they weren’t as resource-rich and economically important to the European powers, says the book presented by Hugo Chávez to President Obama over the weekend.

Among the Uruguayan writer’s points in “Open Veins”:
– Europe’s exploitation of the southern hemisphere’s natural resources thwarted development: “The truth is that the economic insignificance of the 13 colonies permitted the early diversification of their exports and set off the early and rapid development of manufacturing. Even before independence, North American industrialization had official encouragement and protection. And England took a tolerant attitude while it strictly forbade its Antillean islands to manufacture so much as a pin.”

– The North’s victory in the Civil War solidified this protectionist, industrialized American economy, insuring what Galeano characterizes as a modern hypocrisy: “The United States, which itself operates an enormous protectionist system — tariffs, quotas, internal subsidies — has never earned a glance from the I.M.F. Toward Latin America, however, the I.M.F. is inflexible.”
– Modern licensing arrangements are exploitative too: “What should we say of the gratitude Latin America owes to Coca-Cola and Pepsi, which collect astronomical industrial licensing fees from their concessionaries for providing them with a paste that dissolves in water and is mixed with sugar and carbonation?”

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