The Deep-rooted Cuban Connection To Africa2 min read

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We should know that Cuba isn’t out of touch with other Caribbean nations contraryer to how it’s portrayed. It’s almost as if those of us on the western hemisphere grew up with a fear of Cuba. Does anyone remember little Elian Gonzales? Back in 1996, Elian Gonzales created a lot of buzz when he landed on the humble shores of Miami, Florida. I think that was the last piece of excitement we got from them since the Bay Of Pigs, I can remember for weeks as a child looking to see if they would send Ellian back, hey did.  That’s the Cuba America knows. However, there is more to Cuba than drama, Fidel and Embargo.

A very brief history of Black Cuba

Between the years 1780 and 1857, an estimated 400,000 Africans were brought to the island.  Long before Africans and the Spaniards came, Cuba was inhabited by three native groups, The Tainos, The Gumimeyes and the Guananhatabeyes.

Currently, Afro-Cubans populate the eastern parts of the island, however, Havana is Cuba’s most populated black city. In recent years Afro-Cubans make up over 60% of the population. 

It’s obvious that Cuba has a very large African influence but it’s also important to from where.  The Bantu, Yoruba, Ibo/Ibibio/Ijaw, and Ewe/Fon are the four major ethnic groups that accounted for most of the Africans brought to Cuba.

 

Group Number of Africans landed in Cuba during the slave trade

Bantu 400,000

Yoruba 275,000

Ibo/Ibibio/Ijaw 240,000

Ewe/Fon 200,000

The Angolan Civil War and Cuba

During the Angolan Civil War, Fidel Castro sent over thousands of Cuban soldiers to aid the country and to date, you have a small community within Angola of Spanish speakers and more frequent migration to Cuba from Angolans since 1975.

Cuba and Education

According to the World Bank , Cuba has the best educational system in Latin America and throughout the Caribbean.

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