Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chavez Gives Obama an Idiotic Book

A decade ago, Independent Institute Senior Fellow Alvaro Vargas Llosa called the book that Hugo Chavez gave Barack Obama at the recent Summit of the Americas, "the idiot's bible." Vargas Llosa criticized the 1971 book--Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano--for its fallacies and far-out predictions. Notwithstanding Chavez's enthusiasm for it, recent years have not been kind to Galeano's book.

The developed countries of the Northern Hemisphere have not drained Latin America--precisely the opposite is true. In the past six years, strong exports have lifted about 40 million Latin Americans out of poverty. Foreign investment has boosted the demand for labor and increased the standard of living. "In the last seven years alone, Latin America has benefited from $300 billion in net capital flows," writes Vargas Llosa, whose latest book, Lessons from the Poor: Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit, celebrates entrepreneurship in Latin America and Africa.

Galeano even argued that greater economic freedom for businesses would require more prisons to incarcerate those who "suffer from business." Writes Vargas Llosa, "Actually, the greater (though still insufficient) freedom given to business in the era of globalization has resulted in increasing prosperity in developing nations. This decade, the pace of economic growth per person has been four times higher in developing nations than in rich nations."

"The Idiot's Bible," by Alvaro Vargas Llosa (4/22/09) Spanish Translation

Lessons from the Poor: Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa

Liberty for Latin America: How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa

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