“The vicious circle is perfect: foreign

debt and foreign investment oblige us to multiply exports that they themselves devour. The task can’t be accomplished with gentlemanly manners. To fulfill their function as hostages of foreign prosperity, Latin American workers must be held prisoner, either inside or outside of the jails.”

–Eduardo Galeano, Open Veins

of Latin America

Since the age of 14, Eduardo Galeano, author of the Open Veins, was contributing political cartoons to the socialist paper El Sol.


Eduardo Galeano authored Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. The book first published in 1971. The book is an attack on assumption that capitalist notions of development. The book is a key text in popularising what became known as the dependency theory. Contrary to the traditional narrative of development that all countries progress through a series of stages on their road to modernity, the book’s underlying argument is “Underdevelopment isn’t a stage of development, but its consequence”.

Galeano, in his book, argues that the case of underdeveloped countries of latin America shows clearly how countries at the core of capitalism feed off raw materials pull from dependent economies in the periphery, thus stunting their capacity for modernization. The book mentioned above and other dependency theorists note that the wealth of the North and the poverty of the Global South go hand in hand. Open Veins is considered Galeano’s masterpiece.