Starting in 1847, workers were imported from China to Cuba, to replace the rebelling black slaves in the sugar fields. It was just three years before, in the Year of the Lash, that an uprising of black slaves had been suppressed in what was known as the Conspiracy of the Ladder (Conspiración de La Escalera). The abolition of slavery in 1886 left many plantations and industries with a labor shortage. To fill this deficiency during the decades that followed, additional hundreds of thousands of Chinese were brought into Cuba. Since the overwhelming majority of these workers were men, they cohabitated with both white and black women, leaving very few pure Chinese behind. The majority of these workers had eight-year contracts but most of them continued on as settlers. Many moved to Barrio Chino de La Habana, Havana’s Chinatown, although in recent years the ghetto has diminished in size as its inhabitants continued to intermingle and assimilate with the general Cuban population.
Photo Caption: Chinatown in Havana (visit Captain Hank Bracker Facebook)
Captain Hank Bracker, served with the U.S. Military Intelligence Corps and is the author of the multi-award winning book, “The Exciting Story of Cuba.” Available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, BooksAMillion.com and Independent Book Stores.