The doctrine of discovery

The doctrine of the “discovery” led to the Papal Bull of 1493 that declared that Spain owned every inch of the Western Hemisphere and all the people contained within it had no longer any rights to their land. It belonged to the king and queen of Spain. That presumptuous and arrogant Papal Bull became the basis of European international law. So it’s a serious matter, not just a caricature of Columbus as a mercenary who thought he was going to Indonesia.

With the Reformation in the 1500s and 1600s there was the breakdown of the Holy Roman Empire in England and the Netherlands and part of France. After the wars of the Reformation, these countries that are no longer under the rule of the Pope, they adopt that law. They say, ‘This applies to us too.’ One of the resolutions of the wars of religion was the Holy Roman Empire to concede that Protestant kingdoms can also have that right. That was the basis of international law, to arbitrate these conflicts among Europeans –with no protection whatsoever for all the native peoples concerned.

We always see 1492 as the beginning of an era of exploration, but actually it was the end of the first era of European exploration that led up to this international law. That was the six centuries of the crusades of the Holy Roman Empire, after the founding of Islam in the 6th Century. Those bloody campaigns built the basis for the dehumanization of the other, and particularly the darker other. It was the beginning of white supremacy at the same time, because of dehumanizing the so-called enemy, the adversary. This is particularly pointed in the Iberian Peninsula.

When Columbus sailed out of the harbor of Seville* on his first voyage that ended up in the Western hemisphere, another ship was leaving loaded up with rounded up Jews to deport. Two years later they deported all of the Muslims.

Native people have been calling for the end of celebrating Columbus ever since it was instituted.

–Interview to researchers Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker authors of the book “All the Real Indians Died Off” and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans.

–Consuelo Varela encontró en el 2005 info con la que no se contaba antes sobre Colón.

*He actually departe from Puerto de Palos.