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Amerindian genes confirmed in Cubans’ genetic information

Havana, Jun 25 (Prensa Latina) A study of 27 families in eastern Cuban provinces confirmed 20.2 percent of Amerindian genes in their DNA, which corroborates the descendants of aborigines who inhabited the Caribbean island before the conquest.

The research and subsequent book “Cuba indígena hoy. Sus rostros y ADN” (Indigenous Cuba Today. Its faces and DNA) recently deserved the National Award of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba in 2023, in the category of Social and Humanistic Sciences, and points out that even in some individuals of two specific families such evidence in the genetic component reached 38 percent.

The group of families involved in the study live in nine municipalities in Holguin, Granma, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo provinces, whose members showed phenotypic traits remarkably similar to those of Cuban aborigines.

According to Dr. Beatriz Marcheco Teruel, director of the National Center of Medical Genetics and a member of the multidisciplinary team of specialists in charge of implementing the project, other research prior to this project had shown the existence of aboriginal communities in the eastern mountains of Cuba, but they were based mainly on anthropological analyses.

“In previous explorations with a sample of more than 2,000 people from all over the country, we had found that, on average, eight percent of the current genetic information of Cubans comes from Amerindian ancestors and is transferred, fundamentally, through the maternal line,” the expert specified in an interview with Granma newspaper.