10 October 2016

Christopher Columbus: The myth that keeps on giving

Al Jazeera English

On October 12, 1492, a geographically misguided voyager by the name of Christopher Columbus happened upon the so-called New World. 
Five centuries later, famed Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano would refer to the day as the one on which "America discovered capitalism" as Columbus, "financed by the kings of Spain and the bankers of Genoa, brought this novelty to the Caribbean islands".
In his journal, Columbus enthusiastically "prophesied that ‘all Christendom will do business here'". Galeano remarks: "In that [prediction] at least he was right".
And a violent business it was, as meticulously demonstrated in the now-deceased Galeano's masterpiece Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent.
Open the book to any page and you’ll find passages like this:
"The massacres of Indians that began with Columbus never stopped … The Yaqui Indians of the Mexican state of Sonora were drowned in blood so that their lands, fertile and rich in minerals, could be sold without any unpleasantness to various US capitalists."
Indeed, the European pastime of physical and economic decimation of the territory and its peoples was deftly inherited by the United States, which has also managed to develop such subtler forms of imperial devastation as drug wars and free trade agreements. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA ENGLISH.