Tuesday, April 14, 2015

News from the Indigenous Americas: Castro on Obama; the transition of writer Eduardo Galeano of Uruguay

President Obama and Raul Castro shake hands

Raul Castro Goes Off on U.S. Policy Towards Cuba, Then Apologizes to Obama

Cuban President Raul Castro went off on U.S. policy towards Cuba in his Summit of the Americas speech today, before apologizing to President Obama and absolving him of any blame in the matter.
According to reports from the summit, Castro went on and on about grievances Cuba has had with the United States for decades, bringing up military invasions, occupations, the Bay of Pigs, et cetera.
And then, for some reason, Castro ended up apologizing to Obama. He said, “I apologize to Obama for expressing myself so emotionally. President Obama has no responsibility for this. There were 10 presidents before him; all have a debt to us, but not President Obama.”
He even pointed out that Obama was born after the conflict originally began, a point Obama himself made when he spoke.
Castro also took some time to personally praise Obama and call him an honest man.

Eduardo Galeano speaks during the closing march to support a referendum to abolish an amnesty law for those involved in human rights violations during Uruguay"s dictatorship. October, 2009.

Uruguayan author and left-wing intellectual Eduardo Galeano has died at a hospital in Montevideo aged 74 after suffering from lung cancer.

His 1971 book, Open Veins of Latin America, became a classic of leftist political literature in the region.

It chronicles the deep injustices of Latin America and its exploitation by capitalist and imperialist forces.

Mr Galeano's trilogy "Memory of Fire" also received wide praise when it was published in the 1980s.
It is a three-volume narrative of the history of the Americas which starts in the pre-Columbian period and ends in 1980.

He was best known for his book, Open Veins of Latin America, which gained popularity again after the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, gave it as a gift to US President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas in 2009.

Mr Galeano also wrote fiction, essays and journalism and, before becoming one of Latin America's best known writers, had many other jobs.

He worked at a factory, as a bank clerk, a painter and a political cartoonist. Mr Galeano was also known for his drawings and political cartoons.

Mr Galeano went into exile when the Uruguayan military took power in 1973 - first to Argentina, where he founded the literary review Crisis, and then to Spain. He returned to Uruguay after democracy was restored in 1985. Local media are reporting that Mr Galeano left a new text to be published after his death, according to the BBC's Veronica Smink in Argentina.

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