Diplomacy

Chávez's Obama Gift Becomes Bestseller

Obama may not have appreciated Hugo Chávez’s gift at the summit of the Americas—but booksellers have. During a meeting over the weekend, Chávez rushed over to the President to present him with a paperback copy of Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, a 1973 work by Eduardo Galeano. Since then, the book has catapulted from 54,295th place on Amazon's bestseller list to No. 6. Open Veins, which was banned in Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay during periods of military rule there, is a famous left-wing history of the uneven relationship between Europe and the U.S., and portrays Latin America as a region largely exploited for its natural resources. But will Obama actually read it? According to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, "I think it's in Spanish, so that might be a tad on the difficult side.”