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View Diary: Street Prophets Coffee Hour: Columbus or Indigenous? (6 comments)

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  •  I just wish to quote Howard Zinn (9+ / 0-)

    and show everyone the real Christopher Columbus:

    And so Columbus, desperate to pay back dividends to those who had invested, had to make good his promise to fill the ships with gold. In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where he and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their
    necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death.  
    The Indians had been given an  impossible task. The only gold around was bits of dust
    garnered from the streams. So they fled, were hunted down with dogs, and were killed.  

    Trying to put together an army of resistance, the Arawaks faced Spaniards who had armor, muskets, swords, horses. When the Spaniards took prisoners they hanged them or burned them to death. Among the Arawaks, mass suicides began, with cassava poison. Infants were killed to save them from the Spaniards. In two years, through murder, mutilation, or suicide, half of the 250,000 Indians on Haiti were dead.  

    When it became clear that there was no gold left, the Indians were taken as slave labor on huge estates, known later as encomiendas. They were worked at a ferocious pace, and died by the thousands. By the year 1515, there were perhaps fifty thousand Indians left. By 1550, there were five hundred. A report of the year 1650 shows none of the original Arawaks or their descendants left on the island.  

    This passage is from the People's History. A free version can be read here

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