Chapter

The Tyranny of Nearness

MIGUEL A. Bretos

in Matanzas

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780813038100
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041568 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813038100.003.0010
The Tyranny of Nearness

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Nearness to the United States has long been one of the main forces shaping Cuban history. A strong movement with a large presence in Matanzas sought annexation to the United States but anexionismo—in effect a strategy to preserve slavery in Cuba, detach the island from Spain, and apply for membership in the Union as a slave state—did not long survive. It was confounded by military defeat and by its increasingly political impossibility. Anexionismo's legacy was nonetheless important in Cuba's national visual symbology. The Cuban flag, the first national flag to feature a triangle, was designed by Miguel and Emilia Teurbe Tolon, a Matanzas couple. It was a novel design concept that has been widely imitated. Nearness to the United States can be credited with the introduction of Protestantism and baseball to the island.

Keywords: Anexionismo; Cuban flag; Miguel Teurbe Tolon; Emilia Terbe Tolon; protestantism; baseball

Chapter.  6804 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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