Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent - Lust for Gold, Lust for Silver Summary & Analysis

Eduardo Galeano
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The Sign of the Cross on the Hilt of the Sword

Loss of precious metals and discontent in dealing with intermediaries in trade for spices, tropical plants, muslins and sidearms drove Spain to sponsor Columbus on his 1492 trek. That year, however, represents more than the discovery of America. It was the year of a Holy War, a Christian war against Islam led by soldiers wielding swords with the Sign of the Cross on their hilts. Although America was considered the vast kingdom of the Devil, there was a cynical side to its conquest. Cortes noted that the "conquest of Mexico was to serve God and His Majesty and also to get riches."

The Gods Return with Secret Weapons

The dispensation of land in the Americas was by Papal proclamation. The Pope awarded America to Queen...

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