“A Post”

There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills!

Cuba has a history of mining that dates back to 1520, when the Spaniards opened the previously mentioned Jaguar gold mine. In 1533, the Jobabo mine was the site of a four-slave uprising which lead to their deaths. To intimidate the slaves and calm the colonists’ fears, the bodies of the strikers were decapitated and put on display in Bayamo. Although the number of strikers was small, the ramifications of this strike were lasting. For the remainder of the 16th Century, a number of confrontations continued between slave owners and their indentured servants consisting of Indians and African field workers. In most cases, their slaves just simply ran away. In 1550, needing replacement workers, Spain granted a group of merchants the right to import additional African slaves into Cuba. Working conditions under Spanish rule were generally unregulated. For the mineworkers conditions were deplorable and continued to be unsafe and unacceptable for another 400 years.