A people without true knowledge of their history or culture is like a tree without roots.
Marcus Garvey

One Culture's Glory, Many Culture's Pain

By Cudjoe Browne
In October, western christian civilization will begin celebrating the five hundredth anniversary of Columbus. For those who study civilizations, here is a prime example of how myths are made and a man becomes a giant.

Columbus died in 1506, penniless and forgotten just two years after he made his final voyage. Today we have presented to us, a giant of a man who "discovered the new world" and opened it up to be civilized.

The entire world is now aware that Christopher Columbus discovered nothing. That, however, has not stopped the textbook writers from stating, or the school teachers from teaching, that Columbus discovered.

Afrikans were in the "Americas" two thousand years before Columbus, and Afrikans were trading in the Antilles during the era of Columbus.

Christopher Columbus grew up on the adventures of Marco Polo. At age fourteen, Columbus was already sailing on the Mediterranean and by sixteen he had taken a fulltime job as a crew member on a pirate vessel. By the time he was eighteen, Columbus joined Portugal's mercenary army and had no qualms about going to war against his own country, Genoa.

The European man of the early sixteenth century was the end product of seven hundred years of Roman Catholic indoctrination and seven hundred years of war against people of color with an opposing religion. The economy of the entire region revolved around war and the social fabric was laced with the religious interpretations of the Roman Catholic Church.

Humanity linked to Christianity was already deeply impressed in their psyche. Killing a non-christian came as easy as killing a roach. Soldiers of fortune could be found throughout the entire region as the Christian forces continued their onslaught against the last stronghold of the Moors/Afrikan Moslem empire in Spain.

There was no doubt in the minds of these soldiers that they had the right to destroy all people who were not Christians. The church sanctioned it, and the state rewarded it. In order for the sixteenth century man to gain riches in his lifetime he had to be willing to go out into the world and take what he wanted by any means necessary.

Christopher Columbus was a man of his times and he wanted fortune and fame more than anything else. At the age of twenty two (1478) Columbus was trafficking between the west Afrikan coast and the Madeira islands for his wife's brother. By this time the sugar industry was already flourishing and the trafficking of captured Afrikans had already begun.

It was a habit of the ships' captains when they did not get enough cargo to make their trip profitable, to go along the coast and kidnap Afrikans. A major part of Christopher's cargo were Afrikans bound for the slave markets of the Europeans.

In 1492, the war for control of Spanish territory between the Moors/Afrikans Moslems and the Roman Catholic Christians came to an end. After eight hundred years of domination by a civilization that far outclassed anything in Europe the last Moslem stronghold in Spain surrendered to Ferdinand.

When the war ended, there was mass unemployment in the region for the large numbers of soldiers of fortune who made their living by the sword following the armed camps to whatever region the next campaign was taking place. These were the men who would become the vanguard for the destruction that was to follow.

On his first voyage into the Antilles, upon seeing the Arawaks, Columbus noted in his diary, "As soon as I arrived in the Indies on the first island which I found I took some (6) of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of what there was in these parts. .... They should be good servants. .... They are good to be ordered about, to work and sow and do all that is necessary. .... Once they have got rid of the habits to which they are accustomed they will be better than any other kind of slave. .... These people are very unskilled in arms. With fifty men they could all be subjected and made to do all what one wished."

His report to Queen Isabella stated that he had found India and that he would provide for the crown as much gold as they needed and as many slaves as they asked for.

With the enlargening of the Europeans scope as to the size of the world, Portugal and Spain, the two seagoing powers of the Holy Roman Empire, were on a collision course for world domination. To avoid a clash between the two countries the Pope had on several occasions issued edicts. As the adventurers and profiteers returned home with more merchandise and profits, Spain and Portugal became even more antagonistic toward each other.

In order to prevent a war that had a ready market of unemployed mercenaries waiting to be hired, which would have rent the Holy Roman Empire asunder, the Pope called the heads of state together in 1494 and divided the world into two. He gave one half to Spain and the other to Portugal.

With information gathered from Afrikans on the west coast and from the Arawaks that Columbus had kidnapped the King of Portugal was able to determine that there was a large land mass to the west of Afrika. Based on this information he insisted on where the demarcation line should be drawn.

Information given to the Spanish crown by Columbus made them confident that there was nothing to be lost by placing the line where the Portuguese insisted because there was nothing there. When it finally became clear that the southern land mass was indeed a continent and not Asia as Columbus insisted, Brazil, the largest country in the region became a Portuguese possession.

The island of Espanoala had an estimated 300,000 inhabitants when Columbus and his fifteen hundred soldiers of fortune arrived there in 1493. Finding nothing to load on his ships and his fort burnt to the ground, he did what was customary.

He attacked the natives and captured fifteen hundred of them. From those captured he chose six hundred of the best and shipped them back to Spain, a cargo of slaves to be sold by the archdeacon of the city.

Columbus required the Arawaks on Espanoala to pay a tribute in gold which they (the natives) could not. There was no large quantity of gold to be found on the island. As Columbus had noted in his diary on his first voyage, the natives had told him that the gold tip spears that they had were obtained through trade with Afrikans who came to their shores regularly.

All of the natives who could not supply their quota of gold had their hands cut off.

By 1498 when Columbus was returned to Spain in chains, the population of Espanaola had been reduced by half. Over the 5 years since they first arrived, Columbus and his soldiers killed more than 150,000 Arawaks. By 1508 there were fewer than 60,000 of the original residents left alive and by 1548 fewer than 500 Arawaks were left on the island.

Bartolemew de la Cassas was a Bishop of the Catholic church who came to the Antilles to bring Christianity to the natives. The church which had approved of and profited from slavery owned slaves and had them working on church properties. La Cassas left Cuba and went back to Spain to plead with Charles V, then Emperor of the western world. La Cassas told the Emperor "he had seen with his own eyes cruelties more atrocious and unnatural than any recorded of untutored and savage barbarians, all for the greed and thirst for gold by Spaniards."

La Cassas' plea caused the Emperor to issue an edict freeing all the natives from labour. The new law received so much protest from the populace that the Emperor was forced to repeal it. In desperation, La Cassas again returned to Spain and suggested that in order to save the few remaining natives in the region that Afrikans be used as slaves for the labour force.

By 1540 over one hundred thousand Afrikans had been forcibly removed from their Motherland and enslaved in the Spanish settlements of the "new world." For the next three hundred years the agony and anguish of Afrikans in the "new world" would fall on deaf ears as every nation in Europe filled its treasury time after time from the raping of the Motherland and the sale of Afrika's children.

When the carnage finally came to an end, more than fifty million of Afrika's finest had paid the price with their life's blood for the "civilized" Europeans' progress. All protest mounted against the enslavement of Afrikans was banned and suppressed by the Catholic church. The genocidal practices Columbus started on the people he met in the islands of the Antilles, were continued on the Aztecs by Cortez, on the Incas, by Pizarro, and completed on the nations of the northern land mass (America) by the English.

Hernando Cortez went into Mexico in 1519. What he saw when he arrived at the capital city of Tenochtitlan amazed him. A city of two hundred and fifty thousand people. A market square in the city where sixty thousand people shopped daily. Temples of worship, libraries, a flourishing civilization. In an audience with Aztec King Montezuma, Cortez told the ruler, "I and my companions suffer from a disease of the heart that only gold can cure."

Two years after his arrival (1521) Cortez had destroyed the entire civilization to acquire its riches for the glory of Spain, for himself and for his soldiers. The destruction was completed when the bishops of the Roman Catholic church burnt all the books and libraries of the Aztecs. Since they were not able to understand them they reasoned they must contain things of an evil nature.

Today there exists only fourteen books from the Aztec empire. Almost any history book written by the European will boast that this was one of the greatest military victories ever won by a European soldier.

In 1531 Pizarro, and his four brothers, all soldiers, along with their soldiers of fortune went into the Inca empire of Peru. After arranging a meeting with the Inca ruler, Pizarro stationed his men out of sight around the meeting place and calmly destroyed the royal entourage. With the blend of greed for gold and religious fervor, Pizarro and his soldiers systematically pillaged and destroyed the Inca empire. After two years of brutal and murderous warfare the Inca empire was no more.

The English entered America (north) with their desire for gold, land, and their manifest destiny. Through open warfare, germ warfare, deceit, overt and covert acts of genocide, wanton destruction of food sources, the English systematically reduced and removed the natives from their lands and territories. While they were eliminating the original inhabitants with one hand they were enslaving Afrikans with the other.

It took them a little longer to complete the job but when they were finished the natives of America (north) were practically decimated. Today the original inhabitants of America are tourist attractions in their own land residing on reservations.

Within twenty years of the coming of the Europeans a population of thirty million in the Antilles and America (south) was reduced to three million. Flourishing and growing civilizations on the three land masses of Afrika, America north and America south have been destroyed beyond repair and recognition.

This then is the legacy of the myth we are about to celebrate.

If this man-made giant of western christian civilization is a hero to the Europeans, can he be a hero to the descendants of the vanished or vanquished empires of the Incas, the Aztecs, the Caribs, the Arawaks, the numerous nations of the northern land mass (America), the numerous nations and empires on the continent of Afrika and over fifty million Afrikans who gave their life's blood to make the western christian civilization the richest and most powerful military industrial complex extant?

What History says about Columbus

By Cudjoe

Seventy five percent of the information recorded here can be found in any good encyclopedia. Approximately forty percent of this can be found in the average text book. History can no longer be studied or taught in a vacuum. The end result of this practice is the perpetuation of a massive misinformed public who can only draw improper conclusions due to the lack of pertinent information.

Christopher Columbus was born in the fifteenth century (1456-1506). His true name is Christobal Colon. He had an older brother, Bartholemew, and a younger brother, Giacome, also known as Diego. He had two known sons, the eldest, called Diego.

He was born in the city state of Genoa, in Italy. His early career before leaving Genoa list him as a wool weaver, and a clerk. He left home about the age of sixteen to follow his brother who had left home earlier to seek his fortune. In 1472 he began his apprenticeship on the sea by becoming a pirate. About two years later, he was shipwrecked along the coast of Portugal and found his way into the Portuguese mercenary forces as a soldier of fortune.

In 1474, the King of Portugal launched a major offensive against the Republic of Genoa to break the merchants of Genoa's control of the rich trade routes from the East to the Mediterranean. Christopher was a soldier in the mercenary forces of Portugal.

Christopher married a Portuguese lady in 1478 and became the Captain of one of his Brother-in-law's ships which traded between the Madeira islands and the kingdoms of West Afrika. From that marriage, his first son Diego was born in 1479.

Information gathered in his trading on the West Afrikan coast along with new knowledge filtering out of the European reawakening convinced Christopher that there was another route to the riches of the East, which up to that point, could only be reached overland through a hostile Moslem Empire.

From 1480 to 1492 Christopher spent his time at the royal courts trying to convince any head of state who would listen that he could provide them access to the riches of the East by a sea route. His price for the venture was-:

He was to be named Viceroy for all territories claimed for the crown. This title would become hereditary and be passed on to his heirs. Once he claimed any new territory for the crown he would automatically be promoted from Captain to the title of Admiral of the Sea. One third of all spoils from the voyage would be his. A further one eighth of all profits were to be his and one tenth of all goods shipped back on the ships returning were to be his.

No royal house at the time could afford such a deal. Not only was the investment high in terms of cost, it would also, if successful, make a commoner richer than most of the Dons in the various kingdoms.

In 1492 the last Moslem stronghold in Spain was overcome by the combined Christian forces of Aragon and Castile. The Moorish/Afrikan kingdom of Granada after being under siege for more than one year surrendered and Ferdinand and Isabelle incorporated Granada into their combined kingdoms of Aragon and Castile. Isabelle, in whose court Christopher had spent the larger part of those twelve years, decided to invest in Christopher's venture.

In August of 1492, Christopher Columbus took his first voyage across the sea with three ships and about one hundred men. It took Christopher seventy days to cross the ocean before he came upon the island of Guanahani occupied by the Arawak people.

Christopher claimed the island for the crown of Spain, renamed it San Salvador and took six Arawaks as prisoners to be interrogated. He then went on to two other islands one, which the natives called Cuba and which he insisted was Cipango or Japan and the other, which he renamed Espanoala.

In Espanaoala, the Santa Maria ran aground. The wood from the vessel was brought ashore and a fort was built called Navidad. Christopher left the crew of the Santa Maria to gather the riches of the island and store it for his next trip.

On his return voyage to Spain a storm forced Christopher to stop in the port of Lisbon. Don Juan, the King of Portugal would not allow his subjects to destroy Christopher and his crew as he was seeking additional information about lands to the west of Afrika.

Christopher submitted his report to Queen Isabelle upon his return to Spain. In it, he said that Cuba was India and Espanoala was an island off the coast of Indo-China.

Having convinced the court of Spain that he had found a sea route to India and all the riches of the East, Christopher had no trouble financing his second voyage. In 1493 he started his second voyage. This time he had seventeen ships and fifteen hundred men. He went again to Cuba and Espanoala calling the region Asia.

Upon reaching Espanoala he found his fort burnt to the ground and all the crew of the Santa Maria dead. After searching the region for the treasure that he was sure the crew had gathered and finding nothing, Christopher lost no time in attacking the Arawaks. He captured 1500 of them from which he selected 600 of the best and shipped them back to Spain to be sold as slaves.

Further exploration took him to an island that the natives called Xayamaca. Christopher renamed it Sant Jago. While still in the region, the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) was signed between Portugal and Spain. The pope of the Holy Roman Empire (Roman Catholic Church) divided the world into two and gave one half to Spain and the other to Portugal.

In 1498 Christopher and his brother Bartolemew were taken back to Spain in irons. Court intrigue and misunderstood instructions were the reason given by Isabelle who had him released. That same year he made his third voyage. Taking a different route which took only thirty three days, he came upon an island with three peaks which he renamed Trinidad. He then came upon the mainland of the southern continent for the first time and renamed the area Venezuela.

In 1502-04 he made his fourth and final voyage. He came upon the central area in the Mexican Gulf and renamed them Nicaragua, Panama, and Honduras. There is no record of Christopher setting foot on any of the mainland areas or many of the islands of the Lesser Antilles that he renamed. In his report upon returning to Spain he claimed Honduras to be Indo-China.

Columbus died in 1506 at the age of fifty. Right up to his last days, in spite of information supplied by other European explorers for profit, Columbus insisted that he had found a sea route to the East and that the region where he sailed and settled was India, mainland China and islands off the coast of the Asian mainland.

Two years after his death, a German cartographer named the northern and southern land masses America. Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher's countryman and associate who in 1501 sailed to Brazil for the Portuguese, recognized that the southern continent was a land mass and not Asia. The misnomer of the West Indies is a tribute to Christopher's insistence that he had reached India.