A lot of media attention has been spent demonzing him based on things he had nothing to do with. He was a brilliant navigator (mother fucking brilliant) but a shitty leader. Yes he wanted to discover a trade route to make money like everyone else on the planet. He did not kill off the indians, we did.
And honestly, how bad are you going to fault a guy for thinking he'd found india? The plants and wildlife had similarities and so did the climate (remember he landed in the tropics). It's not like people knew this giant chunk of land existed. For all they knew, europe/asia/african was the entire planet. This is the late early 1500's we're talking about.
I have a word limit on my cynicism