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‘End Columbus Celebration’

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Sir Ronald Sanders

ANTIGUA and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the Organisation of American States, Sir Ronald Sanders, has called for an end to the celebration of “The Encounter of two Worlds”, an annual event promoted by the Government of Spain to mark the so-called discovery of the new world by Christopher Columbus.

Saying Antigua and Barbuda would not be a true friend of Spain if it “were to pretend that this occasion is one that we welcome and support”, Ambassador Sanders said: “The native peoples of these lands were not in need of discovery; they already had a civilisation, a rich culture, and knowledge that suited the sustainability of their environment. All that was either destroyed or desecrated by the arrival of Columbus and his crew who stumbled upon these lands in the mistaken belief that they had navigated a new route to the Indies.”

He added that apart from genocide and enslavement of the native peoples of the Americas, “the encounter threw open the gateway for centuries of brutal slavery of African people and the exploitation of Asian indentured labour in some Caribbean countries”.

The occasion, he said, “should not be celebrated; it should be lamented”.

Sir Ronald argued that “It was an encounter contrived on the ideology of European superiority that is today commonly called – racism,” adding that “the freedom that the European settlers sought in these lands now called ‘the Americas’ came at the expense of the lives, land, labour, blood and resources of non-white people.

“That is what we remember; it is what we recall; it is what we see every time this so-called ‘Encounter of two worlds’ is celebrated and not lamented.”

Ambassador Sanders called for the discontinuance of the event that re-opens wounds and re-enforces the strong desire for reparatory justice.

He said, “We congratulate Spain on the positive role it plays today in global affairs, and we welcome its efforts to make its present-day encounters with our nations mutually beneficial for all.”

“In our relationship, we would like to stride forward to a bright future, not look backward at a dark past.”

Ambassador Sanders concluded: “The encounters, upon which we should all concentrate, are those which proffer a better future for our common humanity in our One World.”

Comments

Baha10 2 months ago

Oh Boy … what does Sir Intellectual Elitist Genius propose … Lucayan/Taino/Arawak/Carib Day (can’t insert Indian as that would be racist) as these are the only “true” ancestral inhabitants of these Islands … the rest of us … White, Red, Bright, Yellow, Brown, Black, Blue … European, North/South American,African, Indian, Chinese …are “all” New Comers … but irrespective, can trace their presence here today back to “Discovery” by Columbus!?!

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SP 2 months ago

Sir Ronald Sanders, call for an end to the celebration of “The Encounter of Two Worlds” not being celebrated, but lamented” is way behind time!

This should have been done decades ago as the world realized Christopher Columbus was nothing more than a government-sanctioned murdering thief that took advantage and enslaved naive people that made the huge mistake of trusting and welcoming Caucasians to THEIR country!

They would have faired better and very possibly survived to the present day had they slaughtered Christopher Columbus and his entire crew of invaders first before they had an opportunity to do it to them.

Moving forward. In our relationship, as much as we would like to stride forward to a bright future, not looking backward at a dark past, It Is unquestionably imperative that we remember, teach our youth, and celebrate our past so we never repeat it.

Caucasian descendants of the Christopher Columbus era still hold the Caribbean peoples in bondage today by making us bend to financial restraints that they themselves do not adhere to!

Peoples of the Caribbean need to rid themselves of Caucasian rules imposed by former Colonial dictators that do not have our well-being at heart.

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themessenger 2 months ago

@SP, having already divested ourselves of just about all of our colonial dictators trappings, the wigs and gowns ain gone yet, it’s pretty obvious that our native dictators of the last fifty years don’t have our well-being at heart either.

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joeblow 2 months ago

... this is as unwise as doltish American students pulling down Confederate statues because they were offended by them, instead of seeing them as reminders how not to let history repeat itself.

How about Antigua and Barbuda do what's best for them and we do what's best for us! You still can't change history!

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GodSpeed 2 months ago

So woke, I'm sure all those dead conquered people from 500 years ago are cheering you on 🤣

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sheeprunner12 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Columbus landing is unique to us. We have an opportunity to feast off it. Check out what Cuba does and promotes cultural tourism off it.

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