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The first Americans by Eduardo Galeano

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In Cuba, according to Christopher Columbus, there were sirens with human faces and chicken feathers. In Guiana, according Sir Walter Raleigh, the natives had their eyes on their shoulders and their mouth in the chest. In Venezuela, according to the friar Pedro Simon, Indians had ears so so long, they dragged them on the floor when walking. In the Amazon, according to Cristóbal de Acuña, the natives' feet were backwards. Heels forward, and toes on the back. According to Pedro Martin de Anglería, who wrote the first history of America, but of course he was never there Native Americans had tails, and tails so very long that they needed seating chairs with holes. This is how the saw us. And so the Europeans during Renaissance thought of Americans. Today I will tell you, in my own way, how they wanted to see us in their stories, how they portrayed the original Americans, the first of all, how they were and how they are. Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America failed because he did not have either a visa or a passport. Pedro Alvarez Cabral was not allowed to land in Brazil, because he could spread smallpox, measles, influenza and other pests unknown in the country. Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro were left with the desire to conquer Mexico and Peru, because they lacked work permits. Pedro de Alvarado, bounced in Guatemala and Pedro de Valdivia in Chile, because neither of them had a certificate of good conduct. And the Mayflower pilgrims were returned to the sea, since the coast in Massachusetts did not have any open immigration quotas. The ‘official’ history tells us that officer Vasco Nunez de Balboa was the first man to see both oceans from a summit in Panama. Those who lived there, were they blind? Who gave their names to the tomato, potato, corn, chocolate, rivers, and mountains of America? Those who lived there, were they dumb? Mayflower pilgrims heard it and since then it has always been repeated. God said that America was the promised land. But those who lived there were, were they deaf? The grandchildren of those pilgrims in the North seized the name "America" and everything or almost everything else. Now they are Americans. We ,who live in the other Americas, what are we?

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 11 seconds
Country: United States
Language: Spanish (Spain)
Views: 106
Posted by: danielmrls on Oct 6, 2012

Canal Encuentro presents "Life according to Galeano", a cycle in which Eduardo Galeano tells us his particular way of seeing the world and Latin America. The Latin American intellectual shares his ideas, stories and several of his texts that recover the history and stories of our continent to see what past we have raised and what future we are building.

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