Coffee & Sugar Plantation from “The Exciting Story of Cuba”
….When the Planters fled from Haiti, they established coffee farms or cafetales, as part of their newly formed Plantation. Generally, coffee profits were about 5%, whereas sugar gave them a 10% return, but much was dependent on the economy and local conditions. Cafetales were easier to start and with as little as 10 slaves, a planter could begin his enterprise. Most of the French plantation owners took great pride in their holdings and beautified their plantations with magnificent palms lining grand entryways and spectacular wrought iron gates. The eastern end of Cuba was still available for development and many big plantations started in this modest way, but eventually the coffee plants were replaced with sugar cane due to the greater profit margin. Though blamed by many as the sole cause for the decline of Cuba’s coffee industry, the U.S. Import Tariff of 1835 was only partially to blame for the fall in coffee production.
From the beginning, the prices of sugar fluctuated and prevented the Cuban economy from ever becoming stable. The first time was when the prices reached a high, during the Peace of Amiens in 1802. The treaty only survived for a year and shortly thereafter prices plunged, when the supply exceeded demand. During the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, the price of sugar soared again, until the British conquest of Martinique and Guadeloupe brought the price tumbling down. The following year during the War of 1812 prices rose again, and by 1814 they reached another all-time high. This continued into modern times, creating a feast or famine economy.
Photo Caption: Old Coffee Plantation located on the north shore of the island of Cuba in the sector called the King’s Gardens, Cayo Cruz/Cayo Romano is an exceptional fishing area, (Visit Captain Hank Bracker Facebook).
Captain Hank Bracker, who served with the U.S. Military Intelligence Corps, is the author of the multi-award winning book, “The Exciting Story of Cuba” has now written “Suppressed I Rise.” This book is for anyone interested in a very personal human view, of the history of World War II. A mother’s attempt to protect and raise her two young daughters in hostile NAZI Germany challenges her sensibilities and resourcefulness. Both books will be at the NYC Book Exhibit this summer between May 31st & June 2nd at the Jacob Javits Center, but are presently available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, BooksAMillion.com and many Independent Book Stores.