The New Frontiers


  • Eduardo Galeano





A year ago, in a Baltimore living room, several North American students questioned me closely about the conditions of life in the Brazilian Amazon; Manaus, a city I did not know, seemed to be El Dorado for them. The greatest jungle of the world, cut in half by the mightiest river in the world and watered by its thousand tributaries is, in fact, the theme of a new "American dream": the new Far West that the United States has decided to give to its young, red-blooded, Anglo-Saxon pioneers, to the eager coupon-clippers on Wall Street, and to the Pentagon generals concerned about continental security. The Amazon basin, embracing more than half the total territory of Brazil, a gigantic tropical area lending itself to legend and adventure, not only promises quick fortunes to the foreigners who are treading its soil on the way to conquest, but it also contains, in the words of General Vernon Walters, "vital points for the defense of the Western Hemisphere."

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