Cuba in the world, the world in Cuba : essays on Cuban by edited by Alessandra Lorini, Duccio Basosi ; with a preface

By edited by Alessandra Lorini, Duccio Basosi ; with a preface by Ronald Pruessen, Rick Halpern, Max Guderzo.

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If we think of the history of slavery globally, we see that its destruction in SaintDomingue as a result of revolution coincided temporally with the entrenchment of slavery precisely in places like Cuba, southern Brazil, and parts of the United States South. In Cuba, slaves living through and embodying that entrenchment heard news of revolutionary Haiti and appear to have thought about it in relation to their own enslavement and their own prospects of freedom. In this final section of the paper, then, rather than focus on routes of transmission for revolutionary news, I experiment with thinking about the ways in which enslaved people in Cuba consumed and invoked the Haitian Revolution.

46 Balmaseda, Los confinados, 146-147. 47 Holt, The Diary. 44 45 50 Cuba in the World, the World in Cuba In particular, the organization and realization of the 1862 expedition illustrates the difficulties caused by the growing number of emancipados in Cuba towards the second half of the 19th century. This new class of Afro-Cubans represented a powerful threat to the maintenance of the slave order since they had lived much of their lives outside the strict control of that system, therefore Cuban authorities tried – illegally – to reduce them again to the condition of slavery.

Subsequent expeditions from Cuba to the African island, in 1866 and 1869, would no longer carry emancipados but instead political prisoners accused of being involved in the battle for independence. In 1867, the failure of the Junta de Informaciòn – formed to discuss proposals to reform the island – marked the failure of reformism in general and gave new impetus to the independence movement. Moreover, Spain sent to Cuba Francisco de Lersundi, a reactionary captain-general who prohibited public meetings and clamped tight political censure over reformist literature.

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