Think back to 2009. This was Venezuela President Hugo Chavez' "favorite book," which he presented President Barack Obama when they first met.
Indeed, leftist ideologues across the globe--and, in the United States in particular--for decades trumpeted Galeano's faulty analysis about why Central and South America were poor and underdeveloped nations while the United States and Western Europe weren't. They've incorporated it into college and seminary courses as well as speeches, pamphlets, and placards. Galeano's explanation was straightforward Marxism: Western capitalist imperialism. That is, the region's social, economic, and political woes were all due to the policies of the United States and Western European governments, deliberately designed to shackle Latin America in poverty.
Montaner believes Galeano's retraction, difficult as it may have been, was the result of Galeano simply opening his eyes. After all, take a look at Chile...and South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Then there's Israel and Estonia. Each of these nations has demonstrated how nations shackled by poverty--but now with democratic governments that don't blame other nations for their woes and enforce property rights, cut red tape, and pursue free trade policies--have lifted themselves out of poverty. But, guess which region continues to be shackled by poverty whose goverments continue to blame Western capitalist imperialism?
It’s hard to overestimate the significance of Galeano's conversion and retraction. Some of the leftist true believers will account for it by claiming Galeano is elderly, ill, and/or mentally incompetent. Some others will re-examine his concepts that have propped up their failed ideology, claiming that they've progressed beyond those now decades-old concepts. What those leftist true believes won't do is to identify honestly what caused Galeano to give up his belief that the United States and Western Europe were trying to stifle Latin America through Western capitalist imperialism.
Even thought it took Galeano only 44 years to open his eyes to the misery people were continuing to endure due to his flawed analysis, Montaner credits Galeano for his intellectual and personal honesty:
As a political writer myself, I know it took real courage--even gallantry--
for Galeano to publicly correct himself. It's not easy to admit when you
are wrong. And it is even more difficult when you are a hero to so many,
as Galeano has been.
The Motley Monk doubts whether Galeano's retraction will cause any change of mind on the part of his leftist devotees. After all, they're Marxist ideologues and won't be confused by the facts...because they've already made up their minds.
But, if you're interested in learning what Montaner calls “the idiots” don't want to learn--the authentic causes of Latin America's social, economic, and political woes--The Motley Monk highly recommends reading Alvaro Vargas Llosa's "Liberty for Latin America: How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression."
Let the discussion begin...
To read Carlos Alberto Montaner's article in the National Review, click on the following link:
"The Idiots Lose Their Religion."
To purchase Alvaro Vargas Llosa's Liberty for Latin America: How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression, click on the following link: