“Columbus spent 7 years planning an expedition that took him almost 70 days to ‘discover’ an archipelago”
Bethel proposes naming waters of The Bahamas and Turks Caicos Islands the “Lucayan Sea”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — In his newly released book, Commodore Tellis Bethel, head of the Security Forces Inspectorate and former commander of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), unfolds unique aspects of The Bahamas’ and Turks and Caicos Islands’ geography, history and the culture of these islands’ inhabitants.
The book, “The Lucayan Sea: Birthplace of the Americas (2nd Edition)”, is the second of his three-part series and is published by Inspire Publishing and available on Amazon.com.
Although there is a widespread belief that Christopher Columbus discovered a “new world”, history reveals that the Italian navigator happened upon an ancient world in the western hemisphere that was transformed into a new world by the old world of Europe. These historic events find their beginnings in the lap of the tranquil waters of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The indigenous inhabitants Columbus met called themselves Lukku Cairi, meaning “island people” in their native tongue. Today, they are known as Lucayans; and the chain of beautifully scattered islands forming The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands is called the Lucayan Archipelago, a reminder of the days when Spanish explorers and conquistadors roamed these islands’ waters more than 500 years ago.
“What is ironic,” the former naval officer explained, “is that Columbus spent seven years planning an expedition that took him almost 70 days to ‘discover’ an archipelago consisting of 700 islands, spanning almost 700 miles.”
A press release announcing Bethel’s book read: “After returning to Spain, Columbus received a hero’s welcome. Centuries later, countries celebrated Columbus’ historic feat as an annual event named Columbus Day.
“However, Columbus’ celebrity status ended after gruesome details of the theft, murder, enslavement and genocide of the indigenous peoples engendered by Columbus and his contemporaries came to light.”
Today, many throughout the Americas and other parts of the world no longer celebrate Columbus Day. Instead, the enslaved indigenous people who died in the wake of European colonization of the Americas are memorialized.
Memories of Columbus have since become an annual bashing affair, not to be outdone by the removal or defacing of every vestige reminiscent of the colonial eras of genocide and slavery — as in the recent case of the destruction of his statue at Government House.
The press release read: “Rather than expending time and energy on beating a dead horse, in ‘The Lucayan Sea: Birthplace of the Americas (2nd Edition), Commodore Bethel proposes that the waters of The Bahamas and Turks Caicos Islands be named in honor of the annihilated Lucayans, their indigenous counterparts and the enslaved Africans who suffered a similar fate throughout the Americas.”
Bethel, who has spent more than 30 years protecting the territorial waters of The Bahamas as a naval officer in the RBDF, proposed that these islands’ waters be named the Lucayan Sea.
He is a proponent of promoting this body of water as a symbol of peace such that the millions who encounter them would be inspired to do their part to make the world a better place.