- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 19, 2009

The English translation of the book Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave to President Obama on Saturday has become a sensational seller on the Internet, jumping to No. 2 on Amazon’s sales list by noon Sunday, after being No. 54,295 just a day earlier.

“Las Venas Abiertas de America Latina,” or “Open Veins of Latin America,” by Eduardo Galeano describes centuries of invasions and other attempts to influence Latin American affairs by outside powers, including the United States.

Mr. Chavez handed the Spanish-language version of the book to Mr. Obama after the American president spoke at a Saturday-morning meeting of leaders from the Union of South American Nations, which was taking place on the side of the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad.

“I think it was a nice gesture. It gave me a book. I’m a reader,” Mr. Obama said Sunday when asked about it.

On Saturday the White House said Mr. Obama was not likely to read the book since it was in Spanish.

The Spanish version was printed in 1971. The English translation was printed in 1973 and the copyright renewed in 1997 for a 25th-anniversary edition.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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