Mariana and Edouard Fall in Love

Don Edouard D’Estrade, in his early twenties, was from a family of French farmers, refugees from the French Revolution. A dozen years after finding safe haven on Hispaniola, in the midst of the Haitian upheaval, Edward saw his parents slaughtered. He was able to flee, with a cadre of slaves …

Alejandrina’s Story

Her father was a refugee, an immigrant, twice. When Thomas Jefferson bought Louisiana from Napoleon in 1803, many French and Spanish families left the suddenly U.S. territory, to resettle in Cuba.  They were joined by thousands of poor Spanish settlers fleeing the eastern end of Hispaniola.  Within the year, French …

Rita Luisa gets to Panama

Rita Luisa did not want to leave Cuba and missed her father terribly. Her mother and she stayed at the home of friends in Panama City, pleasant enough for an interim visit. But the time came for Consuelo, her mother, to go to Santiago de Veraguas to start teaching at …

In 1845

1845: Antonio Maceo Grajales, nicknamed the Bronze Titan, is born in Santiago de Cuba. Second-in-command of the Cuban Army of Independence, he is one of the most noteworthy guerilla leaders in 19th century Latin America.

In 1844

1844: An uprising by black slaves, known as the Conspiracy of La Escalera (Conspiracy of the Ladder), is brutally suppressed.

In 1839

1848: James Polk floats the idea to Spain of buying Cuba for a hundred million or so. The idea is rebuffed.

Rita Luisa

Rita Luisa leaves Cuba after 1945, accompanying her mother, Consuelo, on her odyssey through Panama, Mexico and finally the United States, where she learns about Jim Crow, racial stereotyping, and misshapen ideas in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

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