Speech by Ramiro Guerra entitled "El Latifundo Azucarero y la Poblacion de las Antillas" or "West Indian Sugar Plantatio...

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Material Information

Title:
Speech by Ramiro Guerra entitled "El Latifundo Azucarero y la Poblacion de las Antillas" or "West Indian Sugar Plantations and Peoples" (includes cover letter from H. Harold Hume to Dr. C.L. Crow)
Physical Description:
Unknown
Language:
Spanish
Creator:
Guerra, Ramiro, 1880-1970
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Folder: Ramiro Guerra Speech (MS Group 112 1/1)

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Plantation life -- West Indies
Sugar trade -- West Indies
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Alachua -- Gainesville

Notes

Scope and Content:
Typescript of a speech and correspondence. Manuscript and translation of "El latifundio azucarero y la poblacion de las Antillas" ("West Indian sugar plantations and peoples"), as presented before the Atheneum Club of the University of Florida on October 19, 1934. Also, there is a letter from H. Harold Hume to C.L. Crow, Professor of Modern Languages, dated November 2, 1934, indicating that Crow is the translator. Both paper and translation were discovered in records of the Institute of Inter-American Affairs (Series 23a, University Archives Public Records). Original document is in Spanish, and the translation is in English.
Biographical:
Ramiro Guerra: Author, economic historian, and Cuban nationalist. Born 1880, died 1970. Author of the influential work, Sugar and Society in the Caribbean: An Economic History of Cuban Agriculture.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
sobekcm - AA00003139_00001
System ID:
AA00003139:00001

Full Text


AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS
OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
WILMON NEWKLL, DEAN AND DIRECTOR ,
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA

OFFICE OF
ST,4 oDIRCTon November 2, 1934.








Dr. C. L. Crow,
L-215,
Campus.

Dear Doctor Crow:

Herewith I am returning the paper presented before
the Athenaeum Club, October 19, 1934, by Sr. Ramiroquerra
Y Sanchez, entitled "West Indian Sugar Plantations and
Peoples."

I have had three copies made, one of which I am re-
taining and one I have sent to Miss Miltimore for the U-
niversity Library.

Thanking you for the opportunity of securing a copy
of this interesting address,

Sincerely yours,



H. kAROLD HUME,
Assistant Director,
Research.






EL LATIFUNDIO AZUCARERO Y LA POBLACION DE LAS ANJILLAS





Cuando se observe un *apa de las Antillas y se estudia la


composicion de la poblacion de cada isla, so advieTte un hecho


singular. Las islas que permanecieron en poder de Espaia hasta

e
41 siglo XIX, constituyen comunidades en las ouales predomina

.1 otras naciones europeas,
la poblaci6n blanca; las colonizad s por p)*e ataLa*e*r**I

se hallan habitat casi exclusi4%amente por negros, aun cuando


se trate de Haiti y Jamaica, que al principio fueron pobladis


por blanoos, pero en las cuales predomin6 la rtza negra despues


que pasaron a poder de Francia e Inglaterra, respectivamente.


Cuba, con cuatro millones de habitantes, tiene el 28% de negros;


Puerto Rico, con 1,400,000, tiene una proporcion de negros menor


que Cuba; Santo Domingo, con 900,000 habitantes, sousa un alto


tanto por ciento de blanco. En cambio, Barbados, posesign in-


glesa, cuenta 15,000 blancos y 180,000 negros; Jamaica, 14,600
/
blanoos y 817,000 negros, y Haitk, que fug colonial fransesa, tione


2,000,000 de negros y ninguna poblaoin blaAoa Aatbva' Si se


continue el studio, se observe el mismo heoho on todo el Caribet


las islas ocupadas por franceses, ingleses, holandeses, etc., en




(2)




el arohipiglago antillano. estmil pobladas por negrosm las que


Espafa poseyo duran toe siglo XIX, por blanoos.


De prjaera intenoi6x, se piensa que el clima antillano es m&s
T
tolerable para los espajoles que para 1~s estates europeos. Es la


opinion mar general, y el a4tok de estas linea4 tambi4n lo oreyo


asI durante alg'uufn thampo. pero un estudio4 mg oCikdadio del asunto


le ha hecho variar de paAecer. CuAndo Haitf y Jamaioa pasaron a poder

e-
de Francia Inglaterra, contaban con una poblaci6n blanca do origen


espaeol may bien aclimatada; sin embargo, no tado en desapareo.

ev ja.
Esto nos 1146 a pensar que ademas de influencia del alima, existan

o b
otras fuerzas icultas que contribulan a la sustituoi6n de la poklaci6n.


DespuAs de *itdadooos es tdiiA eamparati:vt* hemos llegado a poner
o

en clart el misterio de la sustitlucion de los blanco por los negros


en las Antillas no espafolas, y a establecer las siguientes conolu+-
o
Siones: Primera, el latifundiok azucares es el responsible de esa

de la pollaoidn blanca por la negra; segunda, el prooeso de substici6n
sustitucin rse desaoll1a on un ciolo siempre igual, reuiere una


transformacion previa de la propiedad rural y se complete en tiempo

am
iAersamente proportional a la extensioA de trritorio; teroera, en




(3)



Cuba, el fenomeno ha vuelto a produoirse con much intensidad on


el pesenteosiglo, de manerf quo no se trata de un peligro de la

ya.
Spoca colonial \ desapareidido sino de una amenaza del present para


los cubanos; ouartf, lo fundamental del hecho eoon&mioo e historic
e
no consist tanto in substituir una poblacign por otra, sino en oreaT

Is
unk organinacign social y economioa inferior, de expkktadores y

J-1
explotados. Lak question racial es secundaria e indirecta. El


blanco emigra ouando las cotdiolones de vida se le hacen insoportables

S
en las isias; el negro, mi indefenso socialmente, so que y acaba


per dominar en la poblacion. No estamos 4 presenoia de una cuesti6n


eIBf racial fundamentalmente, sino de un regimen de explotacion


de la tierra que divide la poblacion en dos grupos; un oorto ntmero


de capitalist que dirigen y administran la siembra de la cania y


la fabrioaoiin y embarque del azucar de Ia ladp, y de otro, unA

8.
masa de trabajadores askariados, de la raza a la oual la neoesidad


obliga a conformarse con un salario minime y a tolerar un nivel de

b u
vida mks bajo, negros en Jamaica y Barkados, negros e indis en


Trinidad y la Guayana inglesa: negros y blancos en Cuba y Pu to Rico.


La historic, se ha dioho muchas veces, carece de valor proatico




(4)


on relacioa a los problems actuales de la sooiedadt es material

M v
de erudicion, de nombres y de fechas, a lo su o, de una laga y


discutible ejemplaidad moral. De cierta clase de mal ilamada


historic, que solo tiene que ver con heroes y batallas, no lo negamost


pero do aquella otra ms oientifioa y profunda, aun que menos


brillante y aparatosa, que se oonsagra a descubrir y iacar a plena


Slos factors que han determinado y determi nan el desa ollo


dw las comunidades y les pueblos, no pt ede deoirse lo mTsmo. Esta


ultima explica ciertos hechos eoon&~icos y sociales que, aparentemente,


se deben al azar o al uego de fuerzas ooultas fuera del dominio del


hombre, pone a slte e+osesi6n de les datos necesarios y la coloea


on condiciones de intervenirvoluntaria y previsoramente, en process


que, a la larga, cambia la faz yA el destiko de la sooiedad.


De las oienoias historical, sooiales, y pol.tioas, se ha di oho

que ineriores en relaoion a la qi unia, la f sioa y la fisiologia
quen4ra


porque no son experimentales. Ciertamente, en historic no pte#den


haoerse experiments. Pero hay casos en que una causa de transformaoion


historic opera aisladamente en tal forma,que sus efeotos pueden


se uirse paso a paso, como si oontempl44os el desa4ollo de una


cinta olnatografioa. si un hecho social, politico, o eoon6mioo
cinTogsfo.. i mhch oil




(6)



so reproduce y repite en circumstanoi4 iguales on diversos pauses


y lugares, siempre on la misma form, podemos aplicar el i* metodo

o
e*pqt oomparativ a um cierto miaero de casos y establecer genera-


.izaciones de valor cientifico. Esto oourre en las Antillas respect

del hecho que estudiamos. Se trata de numerosas iSas, oada una de


las oulles se ha destollado apart oomo si fuera un miotocosmos, un


reduoido teatic de observaci6n y de investigation historical. Giertos

faotores oonstantes de transformaoi6n social, oomo son el regimen

de la propiedad rural y el latifmudio azuoarero han fperado en
S
cada una de ellas aisladamente en .pocas distinta y han produoido


un ciolo de heoho siempre idintico, en ualdad do oircumstafcia .

u
Las islas constifttyen, per consiguiente,un campo de observaoion

oasi unico en el mundo. Asi como se inocula un virus a un oontjo,

y el investigadok anota cuidadosamente __fen"i4os que se produce

AAV eW
^ el animal, los o4mpara y 11ega a deduoir principios de valid,


oientifioa, establtoido suoetia$esonte on mnohias de las Antillas el

latifundio azucarero, se puede seguir tapa por etapa la asei de

alteraciones del grupi social, ano tando los cambios y recogitndo las

conolusiones que anojan los hechos. Este ea un estudic4 que hemno

realizado, alguit# de cuyos aspects procuramos resumvui 3 AtA




(6)


en este ppael. El caso de Barbados es uno de los zas signiftcati j s. Lo


expondemos brevemente.


La isla de Barbados ea la Rsa oriental de las Antillas Menores. Su area


es I4S redo da, 166 millas cuadadas, y su poblacion 195,000 habitantes;
d-
15000 blancos, y 180,000 negros. A virtual. de la corta extension/ de Barbados,

el pro eso de transformation social y econmaica, tipico del latifundio azucarero,


se produji en la isla con gra4 rapid y complete su ciolo evolutivo en cortas Pa -s


Sas pues, puede estudiarse desde el prinoipio hasta el fin en condi nes ex-


ceptionalmente ventajosas.


La historic de Barbados es may senoilla. En 1625 un mar$4o ingle t~ao


ea Barbados encont o la isla desierta y tomo posesion de ella on aambre de


Inglaterra. Dos 4/ anos despues, una company a comeroial presidida por


Sir William Courteen, con una conoesioM eb enida de Jaokbo I, y comenzo la


celonizaoion. La poblacia creoi con rapid. En 1628 Barbados contaba 1,400
0
habitantes; on 1635, 6,000; en 16431 37,200, todfs ingleses. Las prinoipales

C.
produciones de estos primeros ados eran tabaco, algod6n, indigo, pimienta,


frutas cftrioas, ganado vacuno y de ce da, corral y otrfs artfculos do consume.


El azdcar no comenzo a produoiase sino despu'e de 1640.


La poblacion so componia de un oreoido ntmero de eultivadores, no pooos


de ellos de la nobleza, quo hufan de Inglaterra o eran dester dos a oausa de




(7)


loa y las guerras oc miles de la epoca, y de una cifra much

de "indentured servant" contratados generalmente por ouatto anos.

Paia atraer a 6stos a la colonial, la oompafi a les entregaba, al veC-aC- 'x" -
o o e,
el. *<4v*t cnttatft f un lto. do tierra, con lo cual se convlt ttfan'lt

pequeoos propietarios y oultivadores independientes. De esta manera, la

pequefa propiedad so multiplic A loAs quinoe asoi de fundadf la oolonia,

Barbados era unJ de las mif prosperas, fuertfs y pobladas de cuantas poseiaa

Inglaterra.

La introduction del oultivo de la oana cambio rapidamente esta situation,

una de realidades y de ptomesas.

Un vecino de Barbados eA coronel Holdip, plants las primeras oaias en

1640, e inici la fabrioaci"n del az~car. La caea, los utensilios de fao -

kricaoibn y las instruooiones para/erealizar el trabajo, los obtuvo de los

holandeses, on 1 Brasile Los primeros resultados fueron desalentadores,

por falta de experienoia, pero los plantadores #as avisados se trasladaron

al Brasil y al regreso implantaron mejores a todos* En 1647, los ingenious

eran aumerosos, y ea 1650, ya oon la suficiente experiencia, se oomenzS

a exporter excelente azucar a lIs mer\a os europeos. Al crearse esta nueva

fuente do r queza, se produjo un perido de gran prosperidad. En 1666,

'7 s
personas experts calculaban que Barbados era veces mai rica quo antes
personI




(8)


de comenzar a producir azdear. Una plantation, valued n 400 lib


esterlinas antee de introducirse el oultivo de la oasa, fug vendida en


14,000 libras en 1648. Hubo un *boem azuoarero, durante el oual las fortunes

1 4-
se hicieron con gran rapid. Illaterra, sunia en lo orrores de la gurra

@/ o
ciril, no podia ayudar a la sAbita expansion do \ oolonia; pero lia oap4-


talistas ~'*a**6* y los meroadores holandeses proporoionaban los implemented

agrfoolas y el material para los ingenios, as{ como los negros esclarv/os,


que cometfzaron a ser introducidos en gran numero. Sue anticipos los cobraban

/ "- a,.s
oportunamente en azucar. Si el est A4o del cap tal extranjero,

P.
la isla hubiera desarlollado con sus escasos recursos una industrial tan

considerable en tan breve tiempo.

Per es dif el caso extraeio de que esta busca prosperidad, 4ntajosa


como pareofa desde el punto de vista econ&mico, probo ser la causa de la


decadjocia social y polftica de la isla. En log aiie en quo habfa habido una


variedad de produocio- es, la tlj* estaba ocupada, en granjas de oorta

extension, por un gran nuaero de pequeffos propietarios. Este sistema era


/
el resultado de la distribution de pareelas l1mitadis a los primeoros po/-


)ladores, y de la praotioa de conceder heredades de 10 o 20 acres a oada


"indentured servant," al o\npl]irse Vl1 plazo de su o nt4i to. De esta manera,

la isla poseia una clase agriculture inde pendiente, que llenaba las filas




(9)


\ o
de la milioia y era la oolumna vertebral de la colonia. Con el advent nient


de la industrial azuoarera, est sano estado de oos quedo alterado. La


plantadores de a a deso rieron pronto que 1 produooion on grade escala


y la mano de obra rata, eran el secrete de r uxito, permitiendoles reduce r


el oosto de fabrioaoi&n. Los mis rieos se dedioaron a escaparar tie as y a

o
sustituir 1 a "indentured servant" por negros esolavos. El sistema de


oreditos a largo pla o de los hiandeses faoilaba la manera de realzar ambas


oosas, pero solo al plantador con garantia\ lidas. El pequeffo cultivador


oon un reducido numero de aores y un oorto orudito, no podia haoer fIente a


1s oreoidas gastos de un ingenio grande oon numerous esolavos. La oon-


centraoion de la propiedad rural empe a produoirse oon gran rapid; la


tierra oay6 mi y maI n manos de un oorto np'mero de rioos plantadores,


ouyas apropaiaciones despoblaron la isla de blancos, porque los pequefos


culti\adores, al vender sus tierras, neigraban a otrk passes y la oorriente


iinigratoria de "indentured servant" so detuvo. Como unaj ilustraoi6n del


process, puedeW oitarse una plantation de 80Oores del oapitan Waterans


antes de la fiebre azuoarerk habia estado ocupada por ouarenta families de
-

pequefos propieta as; despues s61o por oentenarea do negros y pooos admik-


VWistradores blanoos. Con lo que un plantador pagaba a un "indentured servant"


en cuatte aios, oompraba un negro para today la vida. La poblacion esolava
/




(10)


una fuente do asiedad de austead de debilidad on las colonia dande-


qpiera que fut introduoida, en 1645 sumaba 5,680 personas; en 1667, el
dl-
nuero se habfa elevado a 82,023. El double prooeso, a virtu de al


engrtgioa colonia inglesa fus convertida on una faotoria azuoarera, poseiada


por un orto numero de oapitalita radioados en Inglaterra y trabajada pot
per
una masa de proletatos negros, constitgue el heoho fundamental de la historic


de Barbados.


La poblaoigno blanoa, desaaigada del suelo por el latifundio azuoarero,


empezo a decreoer dde 1645 1165 1653 se habia reduoeido a 30,000 habitantes,

de 37,200; en 1668, a 20,000;- en 1786 a 16,116; posteriorment ha quedado


estaoionada an 15,000 hasta nuestros Ilas dias. El historiador ingles


Har tra a el siguente ouadfos "No menos de 12,000 pequefos propietarios


han emigrado, eoha-dos de sus tie as, por sus ricos veoines.... Entre


1645 y 1647, a Nueva ngllaterra, 1,200: a Trinidad y Tobago, 600; entire


1646 y 1658, a Virginia y Surinam, 2400; entire 1650 y 1652, a Martinioa,


Guadalupe, Mari Galante, Granda, Tobago, y 1600; oon el oeronel


Vetables a Jamaioa, 3,300.Mgs de 5,000 dejaron a Barbados on varia\ expedi-


ciones para las islas de Barlooento. A part de 1667, el xodo de'indnatured


servant" que oumplian y se marchaban por alta de tieoas, soabrepasaba al de


los que llegaba de Inglaterra. En 1670, no menos de 2,000 pequefios pro-




(11)


0- S
prietarios dejaron a Barbados para traisladarse otras colonial tropicales.*


PaNalelo al deo~ieoiento de la olase social de les pequefos prop ietarios


blanoos, se prodio el afmento rpido y constant de la poblaoion negra esclava.


En 1656, no consta que en Barbados hubiera esclavos africanos. En 1643,


*eale tres asinoespu6 de la introducoio1ieo la industrial azucarera,


habia 6,000;: en 1655, 20,000; en 1668, 40,000, duplicando ya a la pollacion


blanca; en 1782, sumaban 64,000 y en 1835, 82,000*


Podri pensa se que la olase de los pequefos prop ietarios pudo


permaneoer en la Isla como una clause asalaria da, pero la misma oausa


eoonoimica que desarraigo a lea blanoos del suelo, lea impedla hallar trabajo.


El negro es a era ma barato que el obrero blanco, y el plantador azuoarero


lo p~bw*t preferia. Al principio, hubo que emplear oierto nimero de blancos,

/w e
on trabas que exiglan habilidad manual o teonica, pero ouando los esclavos


se adiestraron on toda ol se de ooios el obrero blanco tuvo que tcmar el


oamino de la emigraoion. No se estaba flente a un problema de razas, kati sino
S
ante el empleo de un trabajador mi barato per otro de #ayor oosto. No era


una cuesti6n de negros y de blancos, de eunpeM s y de africanos, sino de


trabajo depreoiado fente a trabajo de mayor cost. El problema no era


social, ea rigor, sino social y eoon6mioo. En 1685, el process de sustitucign

de una poblacion por otra estaba terminado./A partir de ento Es, Barbados




(12)


oasi no tione historic. Los descindientes de los negros esolavos


son oivilmen~lblbres, pero pfroiben un salario do 25 oentavos y viven
*9
miserabl1nente.



La historic de oada una de las Antillas inglesas, francesas y holandesas,


impossible de resumir en este moment, reproduce, en lo fundamental, la


historic de Barbados. Todas, al principio, i*&sm.a.en mayoria de habitantes


blanoos, y en todas, el latifundio azuoarero, al ser introduoido, produjo


les mismos efeotos. Haiti, *ida por Espa a a franoia, a fines del siglo


XVIII, contaba con mayoria de pobladores blanoos, pero en el o4 so del siglo


XVIII, ase cubri6 de #o3 y so transformS en una oolonia negra, ooa 60,000


blanoos y 500,000 negros. Durante la Revoluoi6n ancesa, el gobierno de la


metropoli no pudo amparar la colonia. Los negros so sublettaron, aniuilaron a


los blanoos y constituyeron el primer pal independiente on America despues


de los Estados Unidos. Jamaica, con ayoria de espafoles blancos al pasar
2--
a manos de Ingleterra en 1655, desarrollo su industrial aluoarera y se


convirtib v~4damente en una colonia negra takbign. No hay una sola exoepoi6n


en contrario.


Pero, se pregunta, naturalmente, la persona que estudia estas cuestiones,


Lopor que en las oolonias espafolas, Cuba, Santo Domingo y Puerto Rioo, no




(13)


IjL
s0 produjo el mimo fe noeno econufin o y social? La razon es obvia,


porque en ellas el latifundio azuoarero no encontfo facilidades para des-

arrollase, aunque la industrial azucarera fuN introducida desde los primeros

aios. Las oausas que se lo impidieron fueron:varias y de inconstrastable

fue zas Primera, el monopolio meroantil quo Esapfa ~.Me en sus oolonias, las

ouales tuvieron oerradas puertas comerolo de los passes extra eros durante


los siglos WHiIl* XVI,XVII,XVIIIr segunda, la falta de un meroado en


Espafia para el a loar;: teroera, el monopolio y la restricign del coaeroio

de esdavos hasta 1790;; y cuarta, la falta de capital espafol.

El oaso de Cuba es tipico. La oafa de azucar fue introducida en la


Isla desde prinoipios del siglo XVI, pero a causa de la falta de capital


y del aislamiento meroantil, no pudieron fundarse ingeaios durante oohenta
0
asos. En la deoada de 1590 a 1600, a petioibn de los veoin s de la

/ ^T
Hab aa. el rey Felip II orden que se press rse oierta cat idad de dinero

de las cajas de Mexico a les petioitonariks, y los primeros ingenious quedRron

fundados en e6naem que hy est1a ocupados por la oTudad. Sin embargo,


durante mi do siglo y medio, la industry azuoarera oreoig iqy lentamente,

a virtud de la rajones antedichas. Baste deoir que la Isla se comeunioaba

oon Espafa sali una o dos veces al afo, por los buses de la Flota, ouyos

fletes eran prohibitivos. En estas condioiones, la industrial no podia oreoer,




(14)


, ni habia diner ni facilidades pars comprar esolavos. La poblaoion


crecio lentamente dedlcada a la gfafderia, el cultivo del ttbaco en


pequeSas vegas, el corte de maderos y la construooi n de baroos para las


escuadras espafolas, y la fabrioacion del casabe, sustituto del pan para el


consume, y la de les llamados f *rutos menoresm en Cuba, pars el


asustnto de los habitantes. Lee blanoos, desoendientes de los primeros


pobladores, formaban la imaensa mayorla.


El primer impulse de la industrial azucarera se produjo en 1762. Los
^ S
ingleseS opn el apoyo de las tropas colonials do sue treoe colonial de la


Amerioa del Norte, se apoderaron de la Habana y ocuparI durante un alo.


Abrieron el puerto al comeroio oon I terra y sus coloni deolararon
0
libre la importaoien de esolavos. La industrial azuoarera t m6 impulse y en


menos de un afo so introdujeron af de 10,000 esolavos.


Despues de la retirada inglesa, Espaea no estableci su rIgido sistema


mercantil con el mismo rigor que antes. Carlos III y sus ministros aflfjaban


un poco las ligaduras de la omercial de 1s ooloniaf, y los


habaneros, que habian conocido las ventajas del comeroie libre durante la


ocupacion inglesa, reclamaron conoesiones Isistentemente. Las ol 1vieron,
C- >
pero de reducide aloan e, de manera que la industrial continue V desa4 ollan-


dose con bastante lititud. A cause do elle, la poblaci'n negra creei6 poco




(16)


10
tambien. Los ingenjis on corto nmmero y de extension reducida, otcupaban


poca tief. En 1774, cuando se tom. el primer censo de Cuba, habia 96,440


blanoos y s6lo 44,3555 ese4vos negros, a pesar de los muchos q~ee so in-


trodujeron durante la breve dominacitn inglesa. En 1791, la poblacion se


habia elvad a 272,00;: 153,000 o ea mas del 56% eran blanoos.

%t
En 1790, so pro xo un cambio fundamental. La subletvaci6n de los negros


de Hati., a que ya IDs hemos referido, destr 6 el pais productor de qzucar


mas important. Los precious saltaron, com en la a mundal de dos


y tres reales, la unidad monetaria de la epoca en Cuba, a 25 y a 50 reales.
a, C.a
Los habfneros expusieron a la eorbe espafola la ventaja de sustituir a


Haiti* como pais abastecedir de azucar, y solicitaron para l1grarlo ibertad


commercial, libre importaciam do esc vos y licencia pars importer maquinaria


y fundar aigws4s, sin pagar derechos advwnenren ni impues 4*4 durante


cifto tiempo. Espaa, obligada por circuestanoias que no podemos detemrnI


a enumera accedi a las pleiciones, y Cuba so lanz6 a producer azdoar


en grande escala. La importacin de negros fug direotamente proportional

al crecimiento de la production azucarera o vioe ersa. Treinta anos mas


tarde, Cuba era much mas rica, pero los blancos oonstitulan shlo el 44%


de la poblaoion, y les negros el 56%.




(16)

Desde el 1830 hasta f~es del siglo XIX, la industrial azucarera creoil

con lentitud en Cuba. EN azmcar de remolaia comenz a disputat los

meroados y so orearon menos centros de producoiga en otr a passes.

La situaci6m interior de la Isla se habia hecho muy insegura a causa del

gran numero de esolavos, y el progress social y politico estaba detefido

por la misma raz6n. La opinion cubana liberal se pronunci contra el

comercio de escilvos y empez6 a ocmbatirlo rudamente. Espasa establecit

un arancel protecoioi~S para la metr6poli, que restitIga el comercio

cubano. La importacign de afat*emik afrioanos comenze a deoreoer y al fin

ful sup mhda totalmente, al abolirse la esctevitud en 1880. La pollacion

blanca volvie a ganar teoreno lentamente, entonoes. En 1899, cuando el

iobierno Militar dd los EstAdos Unidos tom+o un censo, algo 1if del 68%
O-
de la poblaoign pertenecla a la razf blanoa. Part del terreno perdido

habia sido recuperado.

Los a 4luimos anos de la historic de Cuba, ya en plane siglo XX,

han presenciado una menu importaoion de negroa, produoida por las mismas
01 0
causes. El Tratado de Reciprocidad Comercial e~bano-american de 1902,

crei un fuerte estiulo para la industry azucarera de Cuba, al otorgarle

una rebaja arancelaria de un 20% en este pal. Ademis, al amparo de les
1 b b
garantia que brindaba la Eln ienda Platt, el capital extranjero americant




(17)


principalmente, afluyo a Cuba, y los gobiernos cubanos favoreoieron la


industrial en diversas forms. Los centrales azucareros comenzabon a


adquirir proporciones gigantesoas y a acaparar tietas en aomer-4a escala,


para asonurarse la material prima de la industrial, la oaifa de az4car.

Come en Barbados en el siglo XVIII, ha& destruido la pequefa propiedad
O9 o 0o
en sus zonas respetivjs y han uilad la close rural de 14i colony
c.4t A I v O-A et ,JL Alt O c( 4. a AlC4. /A 0A
de Cuba. La poblacion canpesina blanca, reducida a un proletariado rural,


ha emigrado de las zonas de los grande ingeros o ha cesado de crecer.


Desde 1911, la escase8 de whevs comenzo a h~cerse sentir en las moftee*


nuevas zonafs azucareras de los grande ingenios en la region media y


oriental de la Isla, y los azucareros hen preferido importar trabajadores


negros de Hait(y Jamaic que estan muy proxi as, a pagar un salario mAs


alto atraer trabajadores bOncos, durante el corto pereodo de la zobra.


La guerra uandial, con N|alto* precio del Az.oar, est&wemel, junto con


el creciemiente de la industrial, el acaparamiente de tierras y la intro-


ducein de fbes negros. mas de un 25 por ciento de todas lea


tieoas laborables de Cuba, han pasado a manos de M**** menos de un


ointemar de empresas rsuca eras, y mas de i4a mil negros han sido in-

sS
troducid en las dos grande provincial orientales, algunos do oayos mu-


o.Licipios tienen ahora mayoria de pobladores negros. La gran crisis azucarera




(18)


producida en Cuba por las altas tarifas de Fordney-MoCumber y HjAley-Smoot,


la re construcciln de la industrial a ucarera europfa, el aum nto de la


producoidn de azubca en otros passes y la depression eoonmioa munidial,


ha disminuido la importacign de negros, pere no la ha suprimide por complete.


Por otra part, ba obligado a emigrar a millares de trabajadores blancos.


Bajo nuestres ojos, de 1911 a 1930, se ha reproducido, en sus aspects


fundamentals, el caso do Barbadose


El dsarrollo del monocultivo ezucarere y la gran conoextracitn industrial
O
de la industrial azuosrera en Cuba, han provf~ado otros profundos cambios


econ6micos y sociales en la Isla, pero la exposition de los mismos no
D
cabo en este papel, ya demasiado extenso. Los grande trastrnos politicos


oubanos aciaales4 tionen much que ver con ambos hechos, por que la econo-


mi a y la polftioa suelen marchar de la mano.


Hay cultivos civilizadores que educan, disciplinan, y mejoran al hoabre
o*A
y a la sociedad. Hay otros demfiiado rudos y simple, muy sujetos a la


expletacion que produoen hitos contraries sore la inteligenoia, el oarloter


y la organization social. La production de az4car de casa, tal como se ha


ddsakollado on las Antillas, ha sido uno de ellos. El preoio de una


riqueza pasajera y ficticia, reducida a unos pooos, se ha pagado al cost


de la decadencia social y politica de las islas. Nadie negarl que es un
preoio muy elevado.




WEST -.TDI.A" SUGAR PLANTATIOg: ANP PEOPLE;:

By Sr. Ramiro Guerra y Sanehes

Paper presented before the Athenaeum Club, Ootober 19, 1934.





When one looks oerefully at a map of the Antilles and studies the composition of the

population of the individual islands, one is struck by a strange flet. The islands

that remained under the sway of Spain until the XIX 9satury form oomuaiti6s in which the

white race predomaiatess these olonised by other European nations are found to be in-

habited almost exclusively by Wegroes. This is true even in the seas of Haiti an,' of

Jamaioa, which were originally peopled by whites, but in whish blacks have predominated

ever since therpassed into the oppr respectively of Franee and ngland. Cube has four

million inhabitants# of these 28% are Negroes; Puerto Rioo's 1,400,000 comprise a smaller

proportion of Negroes than is found in Cubal Santo Daningo, with 900,000 inhabitants,

shows a high percentage of whites. On the other hand Barba oa, an English possession:,

numbers 15,000 whites and 180,000 bleaskl Jamaio 14,600 whites and 817,000 blacks, and raitit

htoh was a French colony, has .,000,000 Negroes and no nati-v whitt population. If the

study be continued, the Raae state of affairs is found in all the islands of the Caribbean

Seas those settled by the French, English, Dutch, eto., are peopled by Negroess those

under the power of Spain during the XIX century, by whites.

At first thought one is inclined to believe that the olieate of the Antilles suits

Spaeiards better than it does the other peoples of Europe, This is t a opinion gen-

orally held and for some tine the writer of this paper also believed it was so, but a more

careful study of conditions has made him change his views. When Haiti an Jamaica passed

respectively into the power of France and of England, they contained a population of

Spanish origins and yet, although very well seelimated, in addition to the influence of

the climate, there existed other and hidden forces whio, helped to bring about a change

in the racial composition of the inhabitants. After painstaking comparative studies we

have suoeeded in solving the mystery of the supplantin of whites by blacks in the non-

Spanish Antilles and in establishing the following aorelusionsa First, the sugar plant-

atior is responsible for this replacement of the white population by the blacks#




e*oond, the process of replacement develops in an unchanging eole, requires a previous

change in rural ownershi'- and is completed in a tie UAdversely proportional to the ex-

teat of the territory involved third, the phenomenon has appeared again with great inten.

sity during the present century, so that it is no longer a question of a danger that ex-

isted during the eoleoial epoch, a danger long since d appeared but it is a question of

a present anger threatening the Cubans fourth, the essenoe of the matter, economically

and historically, consists not so meuh in the replatemsnt of one population by another,

but in the oreation of an organisation markedly inferior both socially and eoonoaioally,

the creation of exploiters and exploited. The racial question is not fundamentele but

secondary. The white san emigrates when living conditions in the islands beceme uaend-

urable the Negro, socially more defenseless, remains and in the end comes to be the largest

faster of the population* A question fundamentelly racial does not eo-front uss it is a

question of a system of exploitation of land that divides the people of the coommnity

into two groups: a small number of capitalists who direct end superintend the sowing of

sugarcane and the making and shipment of sugar on the one hand, on the other, a large nae-

ber of wage workmen ef a race that necessity forces to aooept a minimum rate of remuneration

and to put up with the lowest of living eonditonnsm-wggroes in Jamaioa and the Barbadost

Negroes and Hindus in Trinidad and British Guianal Negroes and whites in Cu! a and Puerto

Rio.

It has often been said that history is lacking in practical value when it is a

question of solving the problems of society that it is only a matter of erudition, of

names and of dates, furnishing at most only a vague and questionable list of personalities

confronted by moral issues. Of a certain kind of history, so-oalled and wrongly so-called,

of history that treats only of heroes and battles, the truth of this cannot be denied

but t V' sane cannot be said of the less brilliant and resplendent, yet more solentifl>

and profound history that devotes itself to discovering and to explaining the factors

whoi. have determined and still determine the development of communities and of nations.

This kind of history ta* demau ik to am sram explains certain economic and

social phenomena which are apparently due to chance or to the play of eeoult forces out-

side of human cortrol, puts man in possession of the neoossary dat4 and places him in a

position where he can voluntarily and with foresight take a hand in processes which in

the lonI run change the fae* of society anA the destiny of mankind.




*-*


It has also been said that the historical, social and political sciences are inferior to

Chemistry, physics and physiology in that they are not experimeatal. In history, it is true,

no experiments can be made. But there exist oases in whioh a cause of historic ohango

work in isolated instances in such a way that its effects can be followed step by step,

as if one were looking at the showing of a reel in elrevie*, And if a social, political

or eoonaote phenomononiso reproduced and repeated under similar eiromstanoes in various

ouettries and places, always taking the same fora, we can apply the eoaparative method to

a given number of oases and deduce generalizations of saientifio value. This oeours in the

Antilled with respect to the happening which we are studying. We are treating of numerous

islands, each one of which he.s developed sparately, as ift wre a microcosm, a Lill-1

putian stpge for historical observation and investigation. Certain constant factors of

social change, control of fara lands and the development of enormous sugar plantations,

have boon at work separately in each of the islands and have produced under similar

oiroumetenoes a cycle of phenamena that never varies. The islands form then a field of

observation that is almost unique, Just as when a ra.bit is inoculated with a virus, the

investigator notes cerelally the phenomena that are produced in the animal, compares

them end suoeeods in arriving at oonolusions of soientifio validity, so after the system

of enormous holdings of sugar lands is established successively in many of the Antilles,

one can follow s.ep by step the ehenges in the social group, noting variations and arriv-

ing at conolusions warranted by the facts* This is a study tht we have made ind in this

paper we shall endeavor to sum up and present in eoneiae fo m see of the results of our

labor.

The case of tf Barbados is on of the most interesting* We shall discuss it briefly.

Of the Leaser Antilles thn island of Barbados lies ftrtast to the east* Its area

is very limited, 166 square miles its population numbers only 195,000, and of these 1,o000

are whites, the rest, 180,000, blacks. Because of the limited siso of Barbados, the

process of social and economic transfrmuation.i, typieel of the development of

vast sugar-land holdings, took place in the isl-d with great rapidity. Its Cyele of

evolution was co~ipleted in s very few years and. can therefwe by studied from beginning




-4-

to end under exceptionally advantageous conditions.

The history of 4te Barbados is very simple. In 1625 a British sailor landed on its

shores, found the island unihhabited and in the name of England took possession of it.

Two years later nm english mercantile company, of which Sir William Courteen was president,

made use of the aoneession granted by James I in the year mentioned above and began the

founding of a colony. The population Increased rapidly. In 1628 Barbados had 1,400k in-

habitants; in 1636, 6,000; in 1643, 37,200, all of whom were English. The principal

products of the first few years were tobacco, cotton, indigo, peppers, citro4s fruits,

cattle, swine, poultry, and other articles for human consumption. Not uitil lgter 1640

was the production of sugar begun.

The population was composed of a goodly number of farmers, not a few of kkmm whom were of

the nobility, who had fled fran England or been exiled on account of the tumults and wivil

wars of the period and of a much larger number of "indentured servants" bound over

to their masters as a rule for four years. In order to attract the latter to the colony

the company gave them, upon the termination of the contract, a plot of land, as a result

of which there was gradually formed a group of small Land-owners and independent farmers.

The number of small farms consequently became larger and larger. Fifteen years after the

founding of the colony, Barbados was one of the strongest, most prosperous and most thick-

ly settled dependencies under the British flag.

The introduction of sugarcane as a crop quickly changed this state of affairs,

a state abounding in comforts then and full of promises for the future.

Dolonel Holdrip, a citizen of Barbados, planted the first cane in 1640 and thus x

started the making of sugar. He obtained from the Dutch in Brazile the cane, the necessary

machinery and directions for carrying bn the work. Because of lack of experience the

first results were not very satisfactory, but the shrewder planters went to Brazil and u]P

on their return introduced better methods. By 1647 the mills had become numerous. In

1650, sufficient experience having been gained, the islanders began to export excellent

sugar to the Eruopean markets. This new source of wealth once established, there ensued

a period of great prosperity. Experts calculated that the Barbados was seventeen times

richer in 1666 than it was before the production of sugar began. A plantation valued at

400 pounds sterling before sugarcane was introduced, was sold in 1648 for 14,000








pounds sterl inl. 1herO was a su~ar boom during which fortunes were rapidly. mide. 1'ngle'd,

submerged in the horrors of civil strife, ooul,; not Aid in this sudden exie- aion o its

colony, but Dutch :apitalista and merchants provided ertleultural tools ord supplies for

the mills, as well as the Nogro slaves who began to ie introduced in greet numbers. They

were wall reop id in suger for t-eir fineneinl advaees. Without the etiftulus of foreign

oapital, the island, with its scanty resources, would ever heli deelop'd sO oor-siderable

an industry It so short a time.

Put strange to say, this sudden nrospority, e!vantageous ,e It seemed from an eco---

oam l pclit of view, proved to be the cause of the social and political decadence of the

island. During the years in whii- therehed been cultivated a v.rioety of crops the land

hd teen ocoupled by a large traber of land owners, eaeh living on his small holdings. This

system wsa the; result of the paroeling out of a oco mpratively small acreage t tthe first

settlers ard of the custom of deednin n fee e'mple asnll, properties of from ten to twenty

acres to every I. "nture' servant upon the "piration of his term of service.

Seoause of this bth island hbd an independent .'arming class. From this ame tho men who

filled the r:naks of its militia. This class mwa the vertebral column, the backr'one, of the

colony. with the advent of the sugar Irdustry this horlthfi) state of affairs was at once

ohAnged ,or the worse. The a-gar pla-nters soor discovered that production on a large

scale and with heap lRbor we- the secret of success, for t'is would' reduce operating costs.

the ric;'eat. sau ht to require vest holdi-gs and to relaee indentured servants with Negro

elrvee. The hutoWh system of long-ttme eredits helped them tc attain both or 'hese ends--

'ut 1i helped only these. planters w-o eoul. offer -oo! ,ec.?uritina. The sw.ll cultivater

wlth his limited~ number of -ores ann his ,I k of' ,-rodit eould not mske herd against the

inoressed expenses oi running a large mill with meny slaves. Cc eeatrltion of frm lands

began tc t'ke pl ce oery ranidly; more a:., nore of the land fellfinto the hands of a small

number of rich planters, whose requisiti no result in depopulsting the island of its

white middle eless. The s~all farmer after selling his land emrirrte&, to soom other count-

ryl the influx of inr.ertured servan'ts ceased. As an illustration oa: whet happened the

cRse o a plantation o! 800 acres, controlled by ae captain Wetermal, may bh oitedr beforee

the su[!:r boom forty s'all land ow-ers li'de with their f mnlles upon Itt








after the island was inoculated with the fever-produeing sugar germ it was ooupied by

hatdreds upon hundreds of Negroes and by only a very oew white foremeni For what a

planter paid for the libor of an Indentured servant for four years, he coulV buy the life-

long services of a Negro slave. In 1645 the slave population, a source of uneasiness and

of weakness in every colony into which it ins introduced, mnbered 8,680 souls by 1667

the number had increased to 92,023. This double prodees, by virtue of which an energetic

English colony wR converted into a sugar factory, owned by a mall number of eapitalists

rooted in England and operated by a horde of black proletarians, is the base foot in the

history of Barbados.

The white population, uprooted from the soil by the spread ef the 4ga.r industry,

began to decrease from 1645 on. By 1653 it had fallen from 37,,00 to 50,0000 by 1669, to

20,000; by 1786, to 16,1161 since then it hes remained stationary at 15,000 until our

awn days. The English Isatorin Harbored is responsible for the following sketohs "No

fewer than 12,000 rall landowners have emigrated, driven from their lands by their richer

neighbors... Between 1645 and 1647, 1,260 to New England, 600 to Trinidad and Tobagol

2,400 to Virginia and Surinam in the ye'ra 1660-1668, 1,6.0 to Martinique, Guadlcbpea

Mart Galante, Granada, Tobago and Curaeao 3,300 went with Colonel Venables to Jiwaloae 4

More than 5,000 left Barbados in various expeditions to the isles of Barlovento FProm

1667 on, the exodus of indentured servants who had completed the tera of thetr contracts

and left for leok of land was greater than the influx of fresh arrivals from England.

In 1670 no fewer than 2,000 small land owners left Barbados and settled in other colonies

in the tropics.

Parallel with the decrease in the sooinl olass of white small lend-owners went the

rapid and constant maorease in the black slave population. It is not certain that in

the year 1636 there were any African slaves in Barbados. In 1645, three years after the

introduction of the su ar industry, there were 6,000) in 1665, 20,000; in 1669, 40,000

(twice the number of the white population); in 1792, there were 64,000 and in 1835, 82,000.

It may be thought by some that the social class of saall AsadOholders could have re-

mained &n the island and have formed a caste of we e-earners, but the same eoonomie force

that uprooted the whites from the soil prevented them from finding work.




*7-

A Wegro slave was heaper than a white orkmnan and consequently the sugar planter preo

ferred him. At first a certain number of w items had to be employee in operations that requir-

*d manual or technical skill, but, as soon as the slaves became adept in every kind of

labor, the white man had to emigrate. It as not a racial question, it was a question of

the mpl oyment of sheep labor rather than of men who demanded greater resmueration for

their toil. It as not a question of legroes ersus whites, of Africans versus Europeansa

it was a question of sheap versus better-paid labor. The problem was essentially not

raoials it was social and economic. By 1685 She process of supplanting one population by

another was ended. From then on Barbadoe Ie praotioally no history. Legally the des-

eendents of th. Aeg0ro slaves are free, but they are forced to live on a daily wage of

25 cents, and therefore live miserably.

Time fkils to recapitulate tVe history of eaoh of the AtAilles--rnglish, Freneh and

Dutch, But their history is essentially the sam as that o Barbados. All had at

first a majority of white inhabitants and in4 all the sugar industry with Jd as of

vast holdings of farm lands, once introduced, produced the same results. Haiti, oeded by

Spain to France at the lose of the XVII oentary, had a majority of white inhabitants, but

in the course of the XVII century become dotted with saugr mills and transformed inL4

colony of blacks, 500,000 of its peoples being of African ancestry and only 60,000 of

Buropean lineage. During the Frsoeh Revolution the Paris go~vraaent -ould not protect

the colony. The Negroes rose in insurreotion, annihilated the whites and established,

not counting the United States, the first independent commonwealth in Amerioa. Jamaica,

a majority of whose inhabitants ware white Spaniards wheo it passed in 1666 into the hands

of the English, developed its sugar industry and was also rapidly converted into a gro

colony. There is not a single exception to the contrary.

But one who is studying these questioned will naturally ask one's self Why was the

same economic and social phenomenon not brought about in the Spfiish colonies, in Cuba,

in Santo Domingo sad in Puerto Rioot The reason is obvious because, although the sursr

industry was introduced very early in their history, the system of whidh we are speaking

found in them no means for great development. The causes which prevented this were varied

and tnat inviiblet First, the oemmereial monopoly which during the XVI, XVII, and XVIII




-8-


centuries Spain maintained in her colonies and whlch kept their harl ore closed to the ships

of other nations second, the lack of a market in Spain for sugar; third, the monopoly and

limitation up to 1790 of the trPde in slaves; and fourth, the lack of Spanish capital.

The case of Cu a is typical. Sugak eane wae introduced into the Island about the

beginning of the XVI century, but, because of the lack of capital and her comsercial ito-

lation, no mills oould be luilt for eighty years. During the decade 1590 to 1600, at

the request of the oitisons of Havana, King Philip II ordered that a certain amount of

money from the Nexisar treasury should be lent the petitioners and with this the firstt mills

oould be established-on land which today is occupied by the oity. Pbr a century and a

half, howeveY, the surar industry developed because of the reasons mention" above,

very slowly. Saffloe it to say that the island gtt into aoomunlcation- with Spain only

onee or twice a year, and then solely through the instrmentality of the vessels of the

".ota", whose freight rates were prohibitively high. Under these conditions the industry

could not flourish, nor was there money or aeans for buying slaves. The population in-

creased slowly and devoted itself to the raising of cattle, the cultivation of tobacco on

small stretches of open land, lumbering and the building of ships for the Spateah fleets

and the production of casava (this, a substitute for bread, for human consumption) as r

well as the raisin 'or the local markets of what in Cuba are called "minor fruits. The

white desoeneiants of the first settlers composed on enormous majority of the population.

The sugar industry fIrst began to thrive in1762. English forces assisted by colonial

troops from North Amerioa took possession of Havana and oeoupied it for a year. They

opened the port to trade with England and her colonies and permitted th- free i-portation

of slaves. The sugrr industry took on life and in less the a year more than ten thousand

slaves had been brought to the island.

After the withdraOal of the English, Spain did not reestablish her rigid control of

trade with the saen severity as before. Charles 11I and his ministwee loosened somewhat

the fetters that had held the colonists in e oa-areal slavery and the merehants bf Havana,

who during the English oooupation had realized the advantages of unrestrieted trade, deo

maanded oonoessions again and again. They obtained -onoessions but not as fully as they had
hop o that the sugar industry continued to lop, yet to d op ratively sl
hoped, so that the sugar industry continued to develop, yet to develop ronparativwly slowly.








Because of this the Negro population also showed but little increase. The sugar plantat-

ions, mall in number and limited in aize took up but little of the land. In 1774, when

the first uvban census was taken, there were 9,440 whites and only 44,55333 Affean slaves,

in spite of the great numbers that had been introduced during the brief domination of the

English. By 1791, the population had risen to 272,300, of whom 155,000, or more than 56%,

were white.

A radical change took place in 1790. the re-oolt of the Negroes in Raiti, to whioh we

have already made referenoe, destroyed the moat important sugar-producing country. Prices

leaped, as during the World War, from 2 and 8 *od ta reals (the Cubtn monetary unit of the

time) to 25 and in cases even to 30S The citizens of Havana aadO known to the Spanish

court the benefits to be derived, if theysuoeoeded in making Cuba take the place of

hattit as the main souroe of the sugar supply of the world and in order to attain thett

ends petitioned for unrestricted trade, unrestricted i oportatior of slaves an permission

to import machinery and to ereot mills without having to pay duty, as wekl as ror ro~aisia

for a certain length of time of taxes. USpain was, because of oiroumstanoes whish we

have not the time to discuss, forced to grant these petitions and Cuba plunged into

the making of sugar on a great soale. The importation of slaves was in direct proportion

to the increase in su1 r proruection and vice verse. Twenty yesrs later Cube ws much rich-

or-but the whites formed only 44% of the population and the Negmoes 56%.

Iron 1830 until the end of the IlX century the sugar industry developed slowly in

Cuba. Beet sugar begsa to -aspete with it in the markets of the world and new centers of

production arose in other countries. The condition of internal affairs on the island had,

because of the great number of elves, become very insecure. For the same reason the

march of social and political progress had been delayed. Cuban liberals deelared themselwm

opposed to the slave tra e and began to combat it stream usealy. Spain set up a protective

tariff for the capital, which reduced Cuban trade. The importation of Afrie ns began to

decline end upon the abolishment of slavery in 1J80 was totally suppressed. gain the

white population slowly ained ground. In 1899, when th, military government of the IUnted

States took the census, a little more than 88% 0 the population were of the white race,

A part of the lost ground had been regained.




-10.


The last few years of Cuban history, well within the XX century, have sea

another importation of Negroes and this has been brought about by the same osuses.

The Cuban-Amerioan Treaty of Caseroial beoiproeity of 1902 acted as a powerful

stimulus upea the sugar industry of Cuba, by eonoeding to it a rebate of twen-

ty percent on the tariff on sugar imported into this country* Furthermore, the

guarantees afforded by the Platt -Aendment, the foreign capital, mainly Ameriean,

whioh poured into Cuba, aad suooesale Cuban governments favored the industry

in various ways. The sugar "oentralsa began to take on gigantic proportions and

to acquire lands on an immense sale, so as to assure themselves of a supply of

the raw material necessary to the industry, sugaroavs

As in Barbados during the XVItentury they have put an end in their ree*

peotive sones to small farms, have annihilated the rusal lnass of "independent

farmers', "oolonoe libres*, the bone and sinew0 the real strength of Cuban

rural citizenry. The white farmer, degraded into a rural proletariat has fled

from the zones of the huge mills or has headed to grow in number. In 1911 a

searoity of hands began to make itself felt in the districts newly egt. n over

to the eultivwtion of cane. This has been the ousae especially on the great

plantations in the central and eastern parts of the island. The chief of the

industry have preferred to import for the short harvesting season Negro labor.

ers from Haiti and Jamitoav, hioh are vry near, rather than to pay a hther

wage to attract white men. The World War with its high price of sugar stimulated,

together with the development of the industry, the taking over of lsndsand the

introduction of Negroeso Perhaps more than 26%of all the tillable land of Cuba

has passed into the hands of less than a hundred dugar concerns and more than a

hundred thousand Negroes have been introduced into the two great? eastern pro-

vinoes, saoI of whose snielpalities have now a majority of Negro residents.

The great sugar crisis brought about in Cuba by the high Pardney-MaoCusber

and Hawley-Smeot tariffs, the revival of the European sugar industry, the in-

ereased pr duction of sugar in other countries and the world-wide economic de*

pression, has caused a decrease in the number of Negroes imported, but has not




11-


topped it altogether. On the other hand it has forced thousands upon thousands

of white workment to migrate. Under our very eyes and between the years 1911-1930

there has been reproduced in all its essential features the fateful history of

Barbados.

The development of the oneocrop system, that of sugarcane, and the great

aoroentretlon of the auger industry in Cuba have produced other profound eoorn

cmie and social ohangee on the island, but r discussion of these does not right.

ly belong in this paper, already far too long. The great political uphearvas

whieh are taking place today in Cuba have a lose oomnnetion with the two evils

caused by the sugar industry, for conemioe and polities are accustomed to walk

hand in hand.

There are eivilising eeeupations which educate, discipline and improve man

and society. There are others, rude' -d simple, subjecto to exploitation whieh

produce quite opposite effect* apom the intelligence, the character and sotal

organisation. The production of. sugaroene, as it has been developed in the

Antilles, has been one of the latter. The price of a transient and fictitious

wealth, limited to a very few, has boen paid at the cost of the social and pol.

itioal deoadendefOf the islands. Noi one oen deny that the price has been toon

high.