New releases in History/Latin America . Jeffrey D. (); El Saqueo Cultural De America Latina/ The Cultural Plunder Of Latin American: De La Conquista A. The period of Conquest of Latin America and the Caribbean – roughly ..  Fernando Baez, El saqueo cultural de América Latina, Random. Báez is considered a world authority on the history of libraries. From the plundering of the cultural heritage of all Latin America beginning in the sixteenth .
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I come to talk about some horrific things bae have befallen Latin American and Caribbean people, but I also will talk about some extraordinary things that are making our America the most hope-filled region, a beacon for the planet’s future. Today is the last day of the month of October – the month in which many countries celebrate “Columbus Day”, the day supposedly Europeans “discovered” the misnamed continent of America, and tonight is Halloween when tradition says that spirits of the dead may roam.
I dare to answer for them: Their spirits would tell us all the cruelties that these barbaric Europeans perpetuated upon them. During the II World War, the German Nazi government carried out a deliberate and organized genocide against Jewish people in Europe and it included eliminating all sorts of “misfits” such as mentally ill people, homosexuals and indeed, any dissenter to their empire.
It is good that even now, 64 years afterwards, the memory of that holocaust is kept alive so the world may not forget that state terrorism, that horrific genocide. An estimate of six million has been calculated died in the Nazi concentration camps. We must never forget.
However, an even greater genocide against the indigenous peoples of this continent is “controversial” or denied, instead of outwardly repudiated. It was that cultueal European massacred other “civilized” Europeans that was found so shocking about the Nazi atrocities. Not so when those massacred are dark people from beyond. Centuries before the Nazi, there was this other genocide, one that has been largely forgotten, hidden behind a masquerade called naez or “civilization”.
The period of Conquest of Latin America and the Caribbean – roughly between was an organized, deliberate, physical elimination of entire peoples through brutal torture and death. It included their enslavement “for their own good”the suppression of their culture, history, and languages.
They systematically destroyed their original records, the learning, dee music, the theatre, and dance of the original peoples throughout the vast region. In other words, it was also a cultural genocide. As the brilliant Latin American scholar Fernando Baez  demonstrates, it is this destruction of our history that lies at the heart of the contradictions, the dependency and the exploitations that continues today in Latin America and the Caribbean: Let us remember some of that history because, in fact, it continues to impact us to this day: That same Columbus, whose name is celebrated in streets, schools, monuments, even an entire country, personally led the massacre against the Taina Arawak people of Haiti with a few cavalry, foot soldiers and trained dogs.
A very small number of Europeans during the Conquest were able to exterminate an indigenous population culrural between 70 to million people. None of the genocide of the 20th century can compare to this carnage, not Hitler, not Stalin, indeed, one cannot think of any historical genocide of this magnitude. There are distinct indigenous peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean but not one group has more than 5, members.
They are among the poorest of the poor, excluded, marginalized, suffering misery, and hounded by landowners, miners, and multinational companies that covet their lands and resources. The history of our America is the history of land and freedom – the struggle to defend one and to exert the other.
The genocide of the Mexican people was unbelievable, unprecedented: This is a key example of the cultural looting, the destruction of a culture and all its artifacts, symbols and history.
Francisco Pizarro, carried out the conquest of the Incas through butchery and treachery. It is documented that he invited the best Inca warriors and their wise men to visit him and callously poisoned their drinks with arsenic.
Lope de Aguirre, another sanguinary conqueror, one of the great destroyers of indigenous cultures, went thorough eastern Venezuela leaving such a wake of murder and destruction that his name is still synonymous with all that is vile about the Conquest. He was obviously insane, as in the end he killed his own companions and his only daughter.
One can speculate that perhaps the blood lust of all these barbaric men of conquest was a sign of their madness. The great nation of the Caribes in Venezuela, who ferociously defended its land and freedom, was laid waste by men such as these. Fray Diego de Landa wrote what the conquerors did to the Mayas: The Spaniards excused themselves by saying that they could not subjugate so many people unless they filled them with fear of terrible punishments.
The ancient Spanish sought gold in our lands. One historian of the time said they “were like hungry swine lusting after gold”. Seventy years after Columbus landed, the Spanish Monarchs – Isabel and Ferdinand -had obtained more thankilos of gold and 16 million kilos of silver.
This fortune was the fruit of the slave work of indigenous peoples and African people.
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It is estimated that 15 million Africans were kidnapped and transported to the Latin America and the Caribbean – with 5 or 6 million dying on the way at sea.
The Spanish Monarchy was overjoyed with Columbus’ exploits that came at the most opportune moment to save the aristocracy from the ruin of their racist wars that had driven the Arabs and the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula.
This they carried out so efficiently, killing or expelling many thousands of them, and destroying as much of their cultural books and artifacts as possible, that they spent their royal amegica, ruined their agriculture and economy and were facing a dire decline of their fortunes, when Columbus fernnandez them the wealth of a new continent and new peoples to oppress.
Spain had the upper hand in the colonization of our America but, it was not the only country. Guilt is shared by half of Saqeuo. The Portuguese, English, French, Swedish and Danish ran slave trades and took over many of the Caribbean islands to turn into sugar plantations.
Ironically, the immense fortune that Spain obtained from the Americas was spent -not on industry or investment in the development of Spain itself- but by the idle aristocracy on conspicuous consumption, and huge estates. They all had a stake in Spain’s looting of our America. In Venezuela, for example, to pay off debts to the Fugger German bankers, huge tracts of land and authority were given to them and in to the German Welsers, both who proceeded to wage a bloody war against the original peoples of Venezuela in search for gold.
Spain, its productive capacity stunted, had to import most of the manufactured goods it needed, and so the manufactured goods Spain sent to its colonies were not made in Iberia, but in other European countries.
As the famous economist John Maynard Keynes stated: I trace the beginnings of British foreign investment to the treasure which Drake stole from Spain in Ameirca period of Colonization – from the lateth to the midth centuries- was a time in which Spain carried out a methodical process of substituting cultures of our America for a European one.
The racist mentality predominated, but they would not have recognized it as such, but just as the natural, logical way of things. The colonial elites that emerged took their cue from the Spanish aristocracy. They had little interest in developing naez or industry ferbandez in as much as it allowed them to live in opulence.
Its racism, of course, dampened any interest in the human development of the indigenous populations, except that which would serve to subjugate it, by eliminating amerida language, denying worth to their, traditions, art, history, all to be substituted by European values and an instrumental Christianity. Venezuelan elites today have a profoundly racist complex that has even led intellectuals to refer to the Colonization as a positive event “the golden legend”.
They have considered the system of “encomiendas” -enslavement of Indigenous peoples to work for particular landowners- simply as a way of “taking care of ” them, and, many have glossed over the role that African slaves had on our economies latinna culture. To this day, many deny that inequality has roots in racism. Yet Colonial society was based on latna rigid racial system that pervaded all its workings.
There was a legal classification according to racial mix: All the rest, mixed people, were called “inferior peoples”, or pardos and legally classified by their racial mix; mulattos were white and black, Tercerones were mulatto and white; Cuarterones were Terceron and white; Quinteron were white and Cuarteron; and Zambo were Indian with mulato or black. The colonial rules micro-managed all social life and any education or fernqndez expression were those approved by the elites.
But even the elites suffered Spanish censorship which was ubiquitous in literature, history and the arts. Throughout Colonial times indigenous and Black people were considered lazy, unreliable, and even wicked and Spain justified their subjugation to itself and the world, as part of the evangelization of otherwise savage peoples.
Two objectives were foremost: More than 1, indigenous languages disappeared in years – that is two per year. There were many rebellions and conflicts but I would like to tell you about two instances against Colonial rules carried out by Venezuelan women. By law, only white women were allowed to wear mantillas or mantos shawlshence they were called Mantuanas. From then on mulatas took en masse, to the use of shawls. She was considered a woman of scandal for this.
A few years later, the mulata women of Coro – in the eastern part of Venezuela- openly rebelled against the white women’s exclusive right to the use of rugs and carpets in the churches. There were no pews. This was considered “abominable dissolution” and “detestable abuse” and was not successful, but they made their point.
The mix of the races has been held up historically as something positive, as proof that the Spanish were not racist since ameria procreated with Indigenous and Black people. Sasueo covers up the horrible historical truth of the rape and sexual abuse of millions indigenous and African slave women, by their oppressors.
It was not white women who married culrural procreated with indigenous men fernndez Black men; it was the white dominant male who took women, mostly as concubines, from among the indigenous and slave population.
I myself am a direct descendant of a mulato slave, my 3X great grandmother, frnandez Felipa Lucena. After giving birth to a lighter coloured son, she won her freedom from my landowning ancestor, who- to his credit made him- his heir.
For his efforts, he was savagely murdered by the local aristocracy of Carora. In the 19th Century, during the wars of independence, it is not surprising that the “pardos” and indigenous peoples flocked to the revolutionary armies. Not all, but significant numbers. Therefore, the upper classes persisted in their emulation of all that was European and later from the USA, and all that was “Indian” or “Black” was necessarily, inferior.
However, the sad reality is that after Independence, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean fell under the latiha of another empire, the USA. The first decades after Independence from Spain, was via gunboat diplomacy, then by co-opting the region’s armed forces thorough the infamous School of the Americas in Georgia, USA, that trained the Latin American and Caribbean military in torture and to wage cultura, against their own people, all under the justification of fighting communism.
Its instruments are a plethora of USA scholarships, internships and jobs in corporations, cultural associations, and NGO’s. Nowhere was the cultural ffernandez of the USA more intense and more successful than in oil-rich Venezuela.
US Oil companies and corporations and associations, acted as a socializing agent to produce leaders for Venezuela in business, politics, the armed forces, and the police. Venezuela’s elites lost the capacity to operate as instruments of national affirmation the more they became partners with US foreign capital and multinationals.
Spanish Monographs in: Global Studies Directory
One sociologist described this elite as having a perspective that was totally devoid of a role for the mass of the people; that had little or no sustained contact with them and in no sense felt pressured to meet the needs of the population.
US hegemony was not easy and did not come without a price for Latin America and the Caribbean. Since the end of the 19th Century, the USA invaded, overthrown, and destablized governments in the region about 90 times. Indeed, in order to successfully grab power, it has been the sine qua non that the putative dictator must have the okay of the local USA embassy.
When Fidel Castro had the audacity to overthrow the US backed dictator Batista, and after the failure of the US invasion of Bay of Pigs, then Operation Mongoose authorized by President Kennedy, befell Cuba with all manner of covert operations to overthrow the government. It was a prelude of greater crimes to come. The peoples of our America then suffered another wave of genocide, an ideological one.
Ina diabolical plot emerged with the direction of the CIA, to unite the dictatorships of Latin American in a “War on Communism”.
It was the infamous Operation Condor that murdered, tortured or disappeared thousands of social reformers, socialists, and communists, from the various countries, noticeably Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. The inhuman men who carried out this Operation, invented “rendition” whereby people were snatched off the streets in one country and then transported to a second country where they would be tortured and disposed of without leaving a trace.
Venezuela, then supposedly a model of democracy, had a secret police trained and led by CIA agents such as the criminal Luis Posada Carriles who blew up a Cuban airliner and is today living freely in Miami.