• English (United Kingdom)
  • Español(Spanish Formal International)
cuba history .org - History of Cuban Nation

Slavery and Rebellion in Cuba

The first authorization of the king from Spain to introduce black slaves in Cuba, took place in 1512. The fundamental cause to bring them was their strength and performance at work in comparison with the aborigines.

Spain introduce black slaves in Cuba

Gradually the introduction of Africans were increasing, in the measure in that indigenous manpower went diminishing.

There are news that toward 1555, about 700 black slaves already existed in Cuba, they were dedicated to all type of tasks, as the agricultural and domestic work, gold-bearing sands and the constructions, among other.

Since Diego Velázquez transferred his residence for Santiago de Cuba, Baracoa was practically isolated and with very few Spanish inhabitants, this situation stimulated the indigenous uprising.

The Indians directed by Guamá (a Taíno rebel chief who led a rebellion against Spanish rule in Cuba in the 1530s) dominated the mountains of the region from 1522 up to 1533, and they attacked the Spanish properties more and more frequent. The roads became dangerous for the Spaniards, the farmland were destroyed and the town of Baracoa was set on fire in an opportunity as well.

The Spaniards were able to penetrate in the mountains looking for Guamá and their men, had to request help to Santiago de Cuba and to form very armed neighbors' gangs with iron lances, crossbows, arquebus and the impresindibles tracker dogs.

The Indians with wooden and stone lances resisted during several years the implacable persecution, but they were defeated by the superiority of armament of the Spaniards.

The region of Baracoa was pacified, but not for a lot of time. The hate to the exploitation, the love to the freedom and the examples of Hatuey and Guamá, continued living in the mountains of the region.

The dragged black Africans away from their lands, to serve as slaves in America, they also manifested their rebelliousness before the cruel exploitation to that they were subjected.

When a black man or Indian was able to escape and he went into in the mount, it was said that he had transformed into runaway slave. The runaway slave aspect became, for which could achieve it, in a means of reaching the freedom.