THE EDITOR: This is the first time I am hearing the nonsense that Christopher Columbus was a murderer.

Where were the detractors and haters all these years? Did it not occur to them to remove the Columbus statue before today?

And why do they believe the timing is right to call for the removal of the statue in Port of Spain? Is it the pandemic? Is it a copycat trend sparked by the action against police brutality in the US following the killing of George Floyd? Did it have anything to do with slavery?

The ones who oppressed, whipped and subjected us to slavery were the English and if we want to abolish memories, we should consider removing the English names like Frederick Street, Park Street and Victoria Square. These are the painful memories of the British who brought slavery and indentureship to our country, not Columbus.

And when Columbus discovered la santa Trinidad (the holy Trinity), he took pride in pronouncing it is a symbol of the Holy Trinity and naming the island Trinidad. We ought to be proud of him.

He introduced us to the Catholic teachings which are widely promoted and cherished among our people. Are we to abolish the Catholic faith and all the Spanish names including Port of Spain, Chacon Street, Santa Cruz, Santa Flora and San Juan?

I believe it is a misconception that Columbus came to murder the Caribs and Arawaks. In every expedition he had to deal with the indigenous people and up to this day he is admired in Santo Domingo and San Salvador.

So to suddenly see this uproar is certainly a copycat move which has absolutely no significance. In my opinion, these copycats are looking for recognition.

JAY RAKHAR

New York

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