Jana K. Lipman

in Guantanamo

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780520255395
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942370 | DOI:

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Spain divided Cuba into three provinces: Occidental, Central, and Oriental. In 1878, it redivided the island into six provinces with Oriente being the largest. Santiago de Cuba was Oriente's capital, and Guantánamo was a smaller provincial city fifty miles farther to the east. Spain depended heavily on Havana and in western Cuba's sugar industries in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Guantánamo region also hosted a flood of French colonial elites who had fled the Haitian revolution in the early nineteenth century although Spanish influence dominated the island. These counterrevolutionary Creoles brought their designs for coffee plantations and their commitment to labor. This created a more diverse but less profitable economy, which included coffee, cattle, and chocolate dispersed among small sugar plantations. Eastern Cuba as a totality has been characterized as “Caribbean,” a not-so-subtle reference to its black population, as opposed to Havana's “European” and presumably whiter culture.

Keywords: Spain; Haitian revolution; Caribbean; Havana; Creoles

Chapter.  3730 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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