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                    Bartolome de las Casas


Spanish Dominican Friar, Bishop of Puebla famous for defending the Indian from Spanish abuse in Cuban and Santo Domingo. Although paternalistic in his attitude toward the Indians, Las Casas defended their right as human beings, a fact throughly denied by the colonial authorities. Las Casas debated Archbisho Sepulveda, one of the ideologues of the Conquest who defended the notion that Indians were irrational and immoral, thus the justification for their harsh treatment. Las Casas, interesting enough, defended the Conquest if it only had been carried out with a religious telos, i.e., the evangelization of the natives. He wrote Brevisima relacion de la destruccion de las Indias (1552) which began the Spanish Black Legend (about Spanish wanton behavior in the Americas).