Sloop John B / Waylon Jennings
Leaving the Presidential Palace we head Downtown.
We had to park about 3 blocks from the main plaza where we were headed and hoof it.
Large vehicles cannot navigate the narrow Santo Domingo streets.
As has been said: History is written by the victors.
We discover that this plaza is called Columbus Park and has a huge monument to Columbus right in the middle.
I have to wonder if things will change due to the recent revelations about how he actually behaved over here. It won't come easy. They've been celebrating him as a hero for 500 years and feasting on this past image for Tourism for quite a while. This country is run by the descendants of the conquerors - though it now has democratic elections. And there's that other very big elephant in the room - the Catholic Church. These guys were all good Catholics weren't they??? It's going to be interesting.
Here's a little Columbus anecdote for you: See that native gal on the statue?
(from St. John Beach Guide): "Bronze statue of Columbus, pointing northward, and a native Taino climbing up to reach him. According to an other description the native Taino is the Cacica, Anacaona, the first Indian to learn to read and write. Anacaona was captured in an act of trickery whereby her village was burned and all the inhabitants slaughtered by troops under the command of Nicolas de Ovando, then Governor of Santo Domingo. Ovando was under orders by Columbus to wipe out the remaining unsubjugated Tainos who were beginning to rebel against the Spanish. Anacaona was subsequently hung in a public square in Santo Domingo."
Plaque on the monument reads:
"In honor of the great Admiral Don Cristóbal Colón (Columbus)
discoverer of the new world - first viceroy and Governor of AMERICA.
made by artist Ernesto Gilbert / Inaugurated on 27 February 1887"
Next: Punta Cana Cowboys / Day Trip to Santo Domingo 5