As we reported here, Venezuela’s Communist leader Hugo Chavez shook hands with President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad. It is now being reported by ABC News that during their brief meeting, Chavez presented Obama with the book “Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent” by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano.

Open Veins Latin America

The Open Veins of Latin America: Obama’s New Reading Material

Presenting an American President with such a gift might be considered insulting to any other President.

“Open Veins of Latin America” was written by Eduardo Galeano (then a professor at the University of Montevideo) in Uruguay in 1971. For promoting left-wing views, the book was banned in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. Since we live in a free society, the book is available in the United States through, despite the fact that it pretty much denounces everything that America has ever done south of Texas. The book describes how the United States is responsible for the exploitation and oppression in Latin America for the last hundred years or so. The author blames the United States and European colonization for Latin America’s poverty.

Presenting Obama with a book like Open Veins of Latin America is akin to presenting a Russian leader with a copy of “Red Dawn,” or the Japanese PM with a copy of “The Rape of Nanking.” Basically, Chavez was telling the United States that it is an evil and exploitative nation, and that he hopes Obama changes the country’s course. As we reported here, Chavez seems to have taken a liking to our new President. Perhaps he has high hopes that Obama will read the book and turn America towards socialism.

In Obama’s defense, the book presented to Obama was in Spanish, not a translation, so Obama did not know what he was accepting when he took it.

I have to wonder though, will he return the the book now that he knows what it says? Any President with any sense of patriotism would “Return to Sender.”

President Obama, if you disagree with the book’s message, send it back! Accepting it means that you tacitly accept Chavez’s insult to America.