Chinese presence in Cuba
Mariela Perez Valenzuela
Havana, Oct 17 (Prensa Latina) The full moon flooded the waters of the Amoy port in the Chinese port city of Fujian. Some 300 native farmers boarded the Spanish ship 'Oquendo' bound for Cuba, an unknown land in the Caribbean, hired by slave traders who replaced the oppressed Africans with Asians. The black trade was in decline.
Only 206 survived the crossing. They admired the narrow entrance to the bay of Havana. It was June 3, 1847. Nine days later a second group of 330 saw the largest of the Antilles for the first time, this time on the transporter 'Duke of Argyle'.
Little men, who after eight years of carrying out heavy labor in rural areas, without receiving a penny, were poorer than when they arrived.
Freed from Spanish slavers, many stayed in rural areas, but most of them preferred to move to Havana. The spirituality of those Asians was integrated into that of the island, where they lived with Hispanics and Africans.
Married to white, black and mulatto women, Chinese descent continues to this day. They brought their meals, their dances and songs to Cuba. A culture of industry and patience.
Their love for the Caribbean nation led them to fight for its independence from Spain. They gave arms and blood to the freedom of the territory that welcomed them.
This 2020, when 60 years of the establishment of relations between Cuba and the People's Republic of China is celebrated, the traits of an ancestral heritage in this land are shown with satisfaction. The descendants of those coolies walk with pride through the mestizo national culture.
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