The famed Uruguayan writer and journalist authored over 35 books, including the “Open Veins of Latin America.”
Internationally awarded Uruguayan author and journalist Eduardo Galeano died Monday of lung cancer at age 75 in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, according to local newspaper Subrayado.
The writer of about 35 books, including the “Open Veins of Latin America,” which became a bestseller overnight after the late President Hugo Chavez handed the book over to his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama during the fifth Summit of the Americas in 2009, was born Sept. 3, 1940.
The confirmation of his death was also covered by Spanish daily El Pais and Europe Press.
Galeano is considered to be one of the most notable authors of Latin American literature.
Among his many works are “Memory of Fire Trilogy,” “The Following Days,” and “Guatemala, an Occupied Country.”
Galeano distinguished himself as a writer by transcending orthodox genres and by combining documentary, fiction, journalism, political analysis and history.
He once proclaimed his obsession as a writer, saying, “I’m a writer obsessed with remembering, with remembering the past of America and above all that of Latin America, intimate land condemned to amnesia.”
“I’m a writer obsessed…with remembering..above all Latin America, intimate land condemned to amnesia” #EduardoGaleano dies
— najeeb mubarki (@najeebmubarki) April 13, 2015
NOOOOOOOOO! Que trieste! What sad news! “@BAHeraldcom: BREAKING: Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano dies at 74″
— Fergal Browne (@fergal365) April 13, 2015
Uruguayan writer and intellectual Eduardo Galeano dies at age 74. Best known for “The Open Veins of Latin America.”
— Stephen Woodman (@Stephentwoodman) April 13, 2015
.. in this end of century world, whoever does not die of hunger dies of boredom.” – Eduardo Galeano, Soccer in Sun and Shadow
— Gonzo (@theevilp) July 25, 2014
He began his career at a very early age. At 14, he was already drawing political cartoons and began his career as a journalist as an editor for the weekly Marcha and later for the daily Epoca. After the 1973 coup in Uruguay, Galeano was briefly jailed and immediately after fled to Argentina, where he founded a cultural magazine called Crisis.
According to The Most Famous People website, Galeano is one of Latin America’s most cherished and admired literary figures, particularly because he raised his voice incessantly for human rights and social justice.
He was a severe critic of globalization and highlighted the dehumanizing facets of globalization in the contemporary world, the website added.
He was a severe critic of globalization and highlighted the dehumanizing facets of globalization in the contemporary world, the website added. “One of South America’s most renowned writers, he has been an ambassador of Latin American history and has provided the world an insight into their culture, heritage and struggles, through his passionate and honest writing,” they said.
On July 23, 2013, British newspaper The Guardian wrote an extensive story on Galeano, saying he had “become the poet laureate of the anti-globalization movement by adding a laconic, poetic voice to non-fiction.”
The Guardian quoted him as saying that, “This world is not democratic at all. The most powerful institutions, the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and the World Bank, belong to three or four countries. The others are watching. The world is organized by the war economy and the war culture.”
His 1971 book “Open Veins of Latin America,” which is considered fundamental to understand regional politics, was translated to over 20 languages.
Many critics have said his books are a distinctive balance of Latin American history, while his fictional stories also have elements of Latin American culture and antiquity.
In 1978, he published the award-winning book, “Days and Nights of Love and War,” which revolves around the dictatorial regime in Uruguay in the 1970s.
Between 1982 and 1986, he came up with the “Memory of Fire Trilogy,” a collection that consisted of the books “Genesis,” “Faces and Masks” and “Century of the Wind.”
He latest book, “Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History,” was published in 2012 and was shaped like a calendar and had a story for each day. The objective of this book is to reveal moments from the past while contextualising them in the present. According to the Guardian, with this work he achieves “a kind of epigrammatic excavation, uprooting stories that have been mislaid or misappropriated, and presenting them in their full glory, horror or absurdity.”
His entry for July 1, for example, is entitled “One Terrorist Fewer,” and it reads, “In the year 2008, the government of the United States decided to erase Nelson Mandela’s name from its list of dangerous terrorists. The most revered African in the world had featured on that sinister roll for 60 years.”
His entry for Oct. 12 is entitled “Discovery” and starts that, “In 1492 the natives discovered they were Indians, they discovered they lived in America.”
Eduardo Galeano received many prizes for his works throughout his life. His book, “Days and Nights of Love and War” was the recipient of The Casa de las Americas Prize, which is one of the oldest and most prestigious literary awards given in Latin America.
Galeano was also a strident critic of Obama’s foreign policy. However, when he was voted in as president of the U.S., the Uruguayan author said, “I was very happy when he was elected, because this is a country with a fresh tradition of racism.”
In 1976, when he married for the third time to Helena Villagra, the regime of dictator Jorge Rafael Videla (1976-1981) took power in Argentina in a bloody military coup and Galeano’s name was added to the lists of those condemned by the death squads, forcing the Uruguayan writer to flee again. On this occasion he went to Spain, where he wrote his famous trilogy: “Memory of Fire.”
In early 1985, Galeano returned to Uruguay and founded yet another publication, the weekly Brecha. And following the victory of Tabare Vazquez (who recently won the presidential elections again) and the Broad Front alliance in the 2004 Uruguayan elections marking the first left-wing government in Uruguayan history, he wrote a piece for The Progressive titled “Where the People Voted Against Fear.”
Following the creation in 2005 of TeleSUR, a pan-Latin American television station based in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2005 Galeano along with other left-wing intellectuals such as Tariq Ali and Adolfo Perez Esquivel joined the network’s 36 member advisory committee.
His anthology “Women” is scheduled to be publicly presented in Spain on Thursday.