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Eduardo Galeano: A Prophet Who Looks Backward

Source: The Nation

Eduardo Galeano, one of Latin America’s most beloved writers, died on Monday in a hospital in Montevideo, after a long battle against lung cancer. His first book, Las venas abiertas de América Latina, which the late Hugo Chávez famously presented to Barack Obama as a present, appeared in 1971 (published in English by Monthly Review Press in 1973 as Open Veins of Latin America). In 1973, Galeano was driven out of his home country of Uruguay following a US-supported coup. Then, after yet another US-supported coup in Argentina, he found exile in post-Franco Spain, where, in 1978, he published Días y Noches de Amor y de Guerra (Days and Nights of Love and War, in English) and began his famous trilogy, Memory of Fire. These books are the highest expression of a genre that Galeano perfected. He somehow managed to be at once fragmentary and meta, impressionistic and expansive, weaving together fact, pre-Columbian myth, and snippets from everyday life into sprawling people’s epics. read more

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Europe’s Revolt Against Austerity

Source: In These Times

Syriza is part of a wave of anti-austerity leftism in Europe, much of it led by young people.

The Great Recession had political consequences across the world, but nowhere greater than in the periphery of Europe. The debt crisis the recession helped trigger allowed elites to impose severe austerity measures in Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal. These measures only worsened economic conditions—in Greece alone, GDP fell by more than one fifth and youth unemployment rose to 50 percent. read more

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Washington Frets as Beijing Steps Up Multilateral Initiatives

Source: TeleSUR English

“With friends like this, who needs enemies.”  This must be what Washington policymakers muttered to themselves following the decision of London, Paris, Rome, and Berlin to join a new development bank proposed by Beijing.

The anger in Washington most likely mounted when its main Pacific allies, Japan, Australia, and South Korea, also gave strong indications that they would join the bandwagon.  By the end of March, more than 35 countries are expected to be enlisted as founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). read more

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Four reasons Quebec is on the streets fighting austerity


Night demonstrations — a fixture in the 2012 Quebec student movement — were held on Tuesday in Montreal and Quebec City, and again on Friday in Montreal, with thousands filling the streets as well as hundreds of armoured police.

The mobilization against austerity measures was met by strong police reaction. On Thursday of the same week, the Quebec Liberal government tabled a budget “balanced” by large cuts to education, health care and other social services spending. read more