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REPUBLIC OF CUBA
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE AND LABOR
HON. EMILlO NUFEZ Secretary
What She has to offer to the Investor or the Homeseeker
GEORGE RENO Ohief of Bureau of Information
Havana. Cuba? January 1, 1915
o t i. fm I k OEM
. . . . . .
URING four centuries, extending from the discovery
of the Western Hemnisphere by Columnbus in 1492 up to the birth of the Republic in 1902, Cuba lived through a period so fraught with persecution, war, and pestilence that the outside world had come to look on her as a ,synonymn for disease, danger and death.
The destruction of the Maine was the signal for the last act in the trae(edy of what has been called "The Lost Eden". With the passing of the first ,mnerican Intervention there was delivered to the World "A Paradise Regained". With the raising of the National Emblem of liberty, a new star was added to the firmament of free Republics.
To let the outside world know what that star stands for; to outline our hopes aspirations and just claims to recognition, politically, socially and economically, is the object of this booklet; is Cuba's plea for a place in the line Progress.
The Republic of Cuba
Location Tyche certainly smiled on the Antilles when cosmic f ate
decreed that from the bottom of the Caribbean should rise the long narrow arc of picturesque mountains that was to f ormn the backbone of Cuba. Lying as it does, between the Gulf of Mexico and the southern seas, crossed by the tropic of cancer, refreshed by the northeast trades, bathed with bountiful showers, with soil and sunshine that tempt even dead seeds to life, is it any wonder that Columbus wrote of it: "The most beautiful land that human eyes have ever seen"
The location of a country, especially an Island, with reference to channels of trade and the great markets of the world, means everything in the race for success, and in this Cuba is extremely fortunate.
The distance from Cape San Antonio at the western end of the Island, in longitude 840 55', to Cape Maysi, which forms the eastern terminus, in longitude 740 12', is 740 miles, and due north of this long convex curve lie the great American Markets and centers of distribution, New Orleans, Gulf Port, Mobile, Pensacola, Tampa, Key West, Jacksonville, Savannah, Chiarleston, Norfolk, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Portsmouth, Portland, Halifax and Montreal. These centers of trade and consumption have a constant demand for our sugars, syrups, tobaccos, coffee, cacao, citrus fruits and winter vegetables. They need our high grade iron ores, our hard woods and our heneque'n, while we can use their machinery, their textile f abrics and a thousand odds and ends that go to make up the great process of exchange called commerce.
To the east of us, across the Atlantic lies Europe; south, the countries of Brazil, the Argentine, Chile and all their sister republics. To the west, Mexico and Central America, while with the opening of the Panama Canal we have Japan, China, Siberia and India. And in the race for the trade of these countries we have the advantage of location, Since of all the
metoplitn itis nv the e11a coas onQ f Ame-rica, or" bodrn n thea
o U B A
The prevailing winds are those of the northeast trades which
blow from that direction with a velocity of about eight miles an hour f or at least 300 days in the year. The prevalence of these winds from the northeast is a matter of great importance to the agricultural interests of the Island.
Tornadoes, such as those which frequently destroy crops and groves of fruit trees in our Middle and Western States are absolutely unknown in Cuba. It is true, that cyclones, which originate in the Caribbean Sea and travel usually in a northwesterly direction through the Yucatan Channel, do, sometimes cause more or less damage t 'o tobacco barns in the extreme western part of the Island, but it is very seldom indeed that such storms result in either serious damage to property or loss of life.
R fall Not only from the viewpoint of health and comfort, but Rain from that of successful agriculture, does the distribution
of rainfall play a very important part in Cuba. Our vast acreage of sugar cane would be impossible were it not for the generous showers of summer followed by our comparatively dry winters, which permit the cane to come to maturity. The same is true of tobacco, which is planted in the moist earth of early fall and cut in the dry months of winter.
Our average annual rainfall during the past thirty years has been 54 inches, which is approximately that of the Gulf States, but is considerably in excess of the Northern and Atlantic sea-board States. For the period above mentioned the mean monthly rainfall by inches has been:
January .. .. .......2.71 July .. .. ... .....6.36
February. .. .. ......2.27 August .. .. ......6.58,
March. .. .. .......1.83 September .. .. .. .....6.51
April .. .. ........2.83 October .. .. .......7.42
May .. .. .... ....4.47 November .. .. .....3.08
June .. .. .. ......7.16 December.........2.15
Our rainy season, so called, begins with remarkable 'regularity in the middle of May and continues until the end of October, but during this period we have little or no cloudy weather, 'With mornings almost always bright and clear. The heavy showers come up during the afternoons and rain falls in tropical abundance for a half hour or more. Rapid evaporation of the water causes the cool nights of summer which so surprise and delight the tourist or traveller who may remain here during the warm months. The dry season begins with November and lasts till May.
Tempeatur The ean verae temeratre ofJanury i 70.
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it would be difficult to find conditions more favorable to health and comfort.
A mortality table has been compiled show~ving the relative position of Cuba with those of the more important countries in different parts of the world.
DEATH RATE PER THOUSAND
Australia...........................................1-2.60 per cent.
Uruguay .................. I.........................13.40
United States ......................................15.00
Yellow fever, that one time scourge of Havana, has been long ago relegated to the unpleasant past, not a case of it having originated here since its elimination some twelve years ago. True, in spite of our rigid quarantine regulations, a case might be imported from abroad, but such also might occur in any sea port of the United States. Serious danger, however, from this disease, ceased when it became knowAn that only through ani infected stegomia or day mosquito can the poison be transmitted.
SThe bubonic plague gave us considerable annoyance in the spring of 1914, but the vigorous methods adopted by the Department of Sanitation in its scientific campaign against rats, eradicated the pest in much shorter time than was required in the city of San Francisco.
Havana, for nearly fifteen years, has been, and is, at present, one of the cleanest cities of the world, with a death rate lower than tbat of either New York, New Orleans, Memphis, Washington, Fall River, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Jersey City, San Francisco, Boston, Louisville, Pittsburg, Newark, Providence or Cincinnati.
C U B A
NO. 1: REMNANT OF THE ANCIENT WALL NO. 2: BELAN COLLEGE. No. 3: STUDENTS MONUMENT.
o U B A
kaleidoscope of mountain, plateau, hill, plain and valley, all of which help to render the Island famous for its natural beauty.
The level lands of the coast vary in altitude from ten to one hundred feet, while the inland plains and plateaus reach an approximate height of from five hundred to one thousand feet. The mountains of Pinar del Rio have an average altitude of one thousand six hundred feet. Those of Santa Clara rise from, 2,000 to 3,000, while the average altitude of the Sierra Maestra range, of Oriente, is about 3,500 feet, although the peak of Turquino reaches a height of over 8,000.
Owing to the narrow width of the Island, its rivers and valleys are naturally short. The Cauto, which runs through the western center of Oriente Province, is some 200 miles long and is navigable for light draft vessels throughout half its length. Short, rapid running streams of excellent water, flow from the mountains to the coast emptying into the Atlantic, the Caribean and the Gulf of Mexico.
People Cuba, with its population of approximately two and one half
-illions is supporting only about fifty three persons to the square mile, while the Bermuda Islands have 1,000 habitants for the same amount of space. With our 46,000 square miles of area, most of which consists of exceptionally rich lands, we can easily support a population of fifteen millions or more.
The majority of the inhabitants of the Republic are the descendants of people of Spanish origin, but owing to that peculiar climatic influence which exerts itself in some subtile manner in nearly all parts of the world, the Cuban, proper, is really a product of the Island, and has his own traits of character, which, while resembling in most respects those of other LatinAmerican countries, is still essentially different from the people of Mexico, Central and South America owing to the fact that in this Island we have little o r no mixture of the original Spaniard with the Indians, who were found here by Columbus and his followers. This fact would seem, and probably does, account for the more peaceable disposition of our citizens.
One essential trait instantly recognized by the traveller or tourist who chances this way, is the inborn courtesy which is apparent in almost all grades of society, from that of the farmer in his bohio to the highest officials of the Island.
And in this connection w-e wish to call attention to the fact that those descendants of the ancient slaves, who form the colored element, have acquired the same proverbial hospitality and politeness. And let it not be forgotten that of our two and onae half millions, 70% are white, while
C U B A
1. ALONG 1TJIE' BANKS OF THEI LOTVER MAY ART
2. 13ELOTV THIE FALLS OF THE MAYARI
3. U PPER WATERS OF THIE CAUTO RIVER
4. THE MAYARI, WITH IRON MOUNTAINS IN THE DISTANCE
5. TOBACCO PLANTATION ALONG THE BANKS OF THE 11AYARI
-M I Zi
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C U B A
every advantage of scientific schooling and training, while. among the great masses, intelligence was left to take care of itself, if not absolutely discouraged.
One of the first acts of the American Intervention, in the year 1900, was to inaugurate a modern system of public instruction such as prevails in the United States. To this the people of Cuba instantly responded, and the strides made along educational lines, considering the long period of mental darkness in which the poor had formerly lived, have been really marvelous. But the time is yet too short and our educators have frequently been too seriously handicapped to produce the most satisfactory results, hence it is that today, like many other Latin American countries, we have men of the highest degree of culture, refinement and broad education, men who are competent to fill most any place that scientific knowledge could demand, but, unfortunately, this intellectual class cannot count upon the support of that sober, well informed element so prevalent in the United States, since it exists only in a very small degree in the Island of Cuba. In other words: we have the two extremes, but seriously lack that general culture which comes from efficient public instruction.
Province of Oriente Oriente, formerly called Santiago de Cuba, the largest province in the Island, has ala area of 14,213 square miles. Its form is triangular. Cape Maisi, the eastern terminus, forms the apex of the triangle, while the base, with a length of about 100 miles, extends from Cabo Cruz along the Manzanillo coast to the, Atlantic. Mountain chains follow both the north and south coasts of this province, while about one third of its area, which composes the eastern section, is a broken mass of mountains and hills with their intermediate basins and valleys.
The interior of this province, from the Mayari River west, is the largest valley in Cuba, composed of marvelously rich virgin soils through which runs the Cauto River, emptying into the Caribbean Sea, a little north of the city of Manzanillo. This stream, with its tributaries, forms the most extensive waterway in the Island.
Most of these lands are still covered with dense tropical forests and contain some fifty different varieties of valuable hardwoods, the cost of whose transportation' to the coast has, up to the present, prevented their being cut and marketed.
A fortunate feature of Cuba is the fact that her mountains from base to summit, are usually covered with a rich, black soil that will produce excellent crops of many kinds, especially coffee, cacao' and citrus fruits. Some of the finest and most productive coffee plantations in the world were
C U B A
"GRAND CENTRAL STATION".-HAVANA.
Vuelta Abajo tobacco grown in the western part of the Island, commands, nevertheless, a very good market in Germany where it is consumed in large quantities by the army of that country, who seem to prefer it to other grades cultivated in Cuba.
The mountains of the Sierra Maestra are rich in mineral wealth, especially a high grade of iron ore, which is said to be superior to the best Swedish.
Bananas are raised on a large scale on the shores of the Bay of Nipe, which forms one of the finest protected harbors in the world, with a deep water anchorage of 47 square miles.
Cocoanuts are grown for export in the section surrounding the harbor of Baracoa.
This province is exceedingly fortunate in possessing a number of magnificent deep water harbors including, Nipe, Santiago, Cabonico and Levisa, Puerto Padre, Banes, Manzanillo, and Sagua de Tinamo, and Guantinamo, which the Government of the United States selected as a Navy Yard and Coaling Station, owing not only to the excellent protected anchorage within, but to the fact that three first class men-of-war can steam either in or out, abreast, at full speed without danger of collision or interference.
Several American colonies have located in different parts of this province, all of which, I believe, are doing well. Most all of them have devoted themselves to growing vegetables and fruits for the northern markets of the United States, and the building up of groves and small
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stock farms, which will yield excellent incomes after the lapse of a few years.
Thousands of acres of magnificent lands lie in huge tracts along the Cauto and its numerous tributaries, which, in time will undoubtedly be divided into small farms and furnish homes for settlers, who are coming to Cuba, not only from the United States but from the northern provinces of Spain, Italy and the Canary Islands.
People of this class are especially desired in Oriente, and every effort is being made by the Government to encourage their immigration, since energy, combined with a fair degree of intelligence, on the rich lands of this section of Cuba, can result only in success.
Gamagiiey Contiguous to Oriente on the west, separated only by
the Jobo River, lies the province of Camagiiey, which ha2
resumed its original Indian name after having been known for many years as Puerto Principe. Its area is 10,066 square miles. Topographically it differs very materially from the province of Oriente, although in soil and agricultural features, it resembles the latter in many respects. Camagiiey has but one really fine harbor, that of the bay of Nuevitas, opening from the north coast into the Old Bahama Channel. It is large, deep, and completely landlocked. On the southern coast there are several shallow landing places, none of which offers a depth of more than 12 or 15 feet.
The province of Camagiiey, although more or less rolling in some places, is comparatively level. Extending along the north coast, distant some twelve miles, runs a chain of low mountains known as the Sierra de Cubitas, which begins with the isolated peak known as Cunagua and terminates in the Mount of Tuabaqu6 on the banks of the Rio Maximo, not far from the western extension of the Bay of Nuevitas.
The land between this range of mountains and the north coast is exceptionally rich and covered with a virgin forest of hardwoods. South of these mountains, close by and parallel to them, runs a range of grass covered hills, rich in mineral wealth, iron, copper, manganese, etc., none of the ore of which has been taken out owing to a lack of transportation facilities. Just south of these hills extends a rather elevated plateau, whose soil is suitable only for grazing purposes. This character of the surface, as one travels south, rapidly changes into slightly rolling, rich agricultural lands through which runs the Cuba Railroad along whose lines splendid stock ranges and profitable farms have been recently developed.
The lands of the southern coast of Camagiiey are rich, comparatively low and mostly covered with native hardwood forests.
In the southeast center of the province rise the peaks and hills of the Sierra de Najasa, surrounded by a picturesque rolling country, that for fruit growing and general farming purposes can hardly be excelled in Cuba.
The same is true also of most of the eastern half of the province, until we approach the shores of the northeast corner which are flat and rocky, covered with- a low scrub forest suitable for nothing but charcoal manufacture and the home of land crabs, that abound in millions.
Camagiiey, from time immemiorial, has been devoted to the raising of livestock, for which its pastures of guinea and paran6 grasses, extending over hundreds of square miles, are especially adapted.
One of the oldest and most successful sugar mills of the Island, is that of "El Senado", lying midway between the liarbor of Nuevitas and the Capital of Camagiiey. Within the last two years several other large
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ingenios have been established near JUiearo, in the southwestern corner of the province.
The completion of the North Shore Railroad, connecting the valley of Remedios with the harbor of Nuevitas, will open up to development and colonization over 300 kilometers of excellent land adapted for cane growing, general farming and horticulture.
The first American colony in the Island was established at a point called "La Gloria" near the north coast some 35 miles west of Nuevitas. This settlement ,with its rich soil and healthful climate, has more than held its own during the past twelve years, in spite of the fact that it has always labored under serious disadvantages in the matter of transportation facilities. Ceballos, on the Jiicaro and Moron Railroad, some ten miles north of Ciego de Avila, is another American Colony that has developed beautiful bearing groves, covering hundreds of acres.
Owing to a combination of circumstances, political, social and economical, Camagiiey has always boasted of a rather superior degree of culture. refinement and hospitality which has given a very hearty welcome to all homeseekers coming from the United States. Outside of the city of Havana, there are probably more Americans within the province of Camagiiey than any other section of the Island, and although the most sparsely settled, it will soon be one of the most prosperous sections of Cuba.
Province of Santa Clara Probably in no part of Cuba is the topography more varied or the
scenery more beautiful than in the province of Santa Clara, with its area of 8,250 square miles. Mountain, valley, table land and plain seem to be thrown together in this, the central section of the Island, in reckless, yet picturesque confusion. The northern chain of mountains, which extends throughout the entire length of Cuba disappears and reappears along the north coast of Santa Clara, thus permitting easy communication between her rich central plains covered with sugar estates, and her harbors on the coast.
In the southeastern center of this province, we again have a group of mountains, hills and fertile valleys, more or less isolated from the surrounding up-lands in which are located the great coffee estates, that, during the early half of the 18th century, made Cuba famous. Nestling within this mountain cradle, lies the city of Trinidad, founded in the year 1532, which preserves much of its old time quaintness and historical interest.
In the great Central and Western portions of Santa Clara are located some 70 of the finest sugar estates in the world. Most of the product of these mills is shipped through the port of Cienfuegos, a large, perfectly enclosed bay on the southern coast, with splendid anchorage and wharf facilities.
Those portions of Santa Clara not in cane, are usually dedicated to stock raising, the rich guinea and the paran6 grasses furnishing food for cattle throughout ithe year. Santa Clara has every variety of soil; the rich, deep red and black lands on which both cane and grass are grown; also the lighter grayish soil of the Manicaragna Valley where is produced a very good grade of tobacco. Near the northern coast, also, in the neighborhood of Remedios, are grown considerable quantities of tobacco known as Vuelta Arriba, which, although not over fine in quality, still
:1121poll Now . . . . ...
44 IM 11
o U B A
commands a very good market. Citrus fruits thrive in Santa Clara, as they do in all parts of Cuba.
Santa Clara seems especially blessed with a number of small but permanent fresh water streams that flow from the various mountain peaks to the coast, both north and south, none of which, however, is large enough for navigation beyond a few miles from the seashore. In the southwestern corner of this province lies a portion of the great swamp know as the Cienaga de Zapata, the interior of which is known only to the old wood cutters who occasionally bring logs from the interior.
Prvneo0itna Matanzas, with its 3,257 square miles
Provice o Matnzas of area, most of which is either level
or slightly rolling, has long been under cultivation, especially in the production of sugar cane for which nearly all these lands are adapted. In this province, as in Oriente and some other sections of the Island, isolated peaks occasionally rise abruptly from the low, level plains, contributing greatly to the picturesqueness of the scenery.
On these mountain sides and on the comparatively poor, rolling or hilly lands, a textile plant,-heneque~n,-is -being grown successfully and profitably, while at Cardenas and Matanzas factories have been established, which turn out considerable quantities of cordage and heavy cable.
In spite of the fact that most of this section has been under cultivation, there are still extensive tracts of land lying fallow or given over to grazing purposes on which quite a number of Americans have made homes.
.Matanzas and Ca~rdenas furnish the only shipping ports for this province. Both of these harbors have been recently dredged and rendered available for fairly large steamers. Lying just back of the latter city, on the low level flats of that district, are many indications of petroleum which have encouraged the sinking of wells, which, it is believed, will soon produce results.
The northern edge of the Ch enaga de Zapata encroaches upon the province of Matanzas, where a system of drainage, together with a canal, is being inaugurated.
Province of Havana with its area of 3,171 square miles, is the smallest, and yet, owing to the city of Havana, capital of the Republic, it plays a very important part in the social, political and economic life of Cuba.
The greater portion of this province, although under cultivation for many years, possesses an exceedingly rich soil, in which sugar cane, tobacco,
C U B A
PINAR I)It RIO
No. 1: VALLEY OF VI ALFS.
NO. 2: Auro DRIVE oR CARRFER. NO. 3: TOBACCO VEGAS OR SMALL FARMS. NO. 4: AMONG. TWtE CIFFrS. 26
C U B A
STATUE OF ILUZ C2ABALLERO, TIEACHER4 ANI) P'HILOSOPHEE.I(
In the western third of the province, known as the "Tumbadero" and "Guayabal" districts, is grown under the shade and protection of cheese or tobacco cloth, the finest Havana cigar wrappers in the world. This grade of tobacco often brings $400 per bale of 80 lbs.
In the northwestern corner of the province, along the line of the Havana Central Electric Railroad, are grown also large quantities of pineapples, over one million crates being shipped from this section every year to the United States. Beautiful groves of citrus fruits surround the homes of prosperous Americans who have located in the vicinity of Guayabal and Caimito. Oranges find ready sale in the local market of Havana, most of the grape fruit being shipped to New York, Boston, and other parts of the United States. The southeastern central section of this province, surrounding the city of Giiines, is celebrated for its excellent winter veget-. ables, such as Irish potatoes, egg-plant, peppers, squash, etc., which are grown on the rich black soil of that section aided by irrigation.
Province Ph-tar del! i Topographically considered, the pro~vince of Pinar del Rio, is perhaps the most picturesquely beautiful of any in the Island. Owing also to its variety of soils,-the mahogany red, the jet black, the mulatto or brown, and the light gray sands of the western section, Pinar del Rio, agriculturally, offers marvelous opportunities for many different industries. Tobacco, of course, of which she produces at least $25,000,000 worth annually, is the most important.
C U B A
1. CUTTING SUGAR CANE
2. FIELD OF RENEQUEN, WITH MATANZAS IN THmE DISTANCE
3. TRANSFERING SUGA CANE FRO X CARTS TO CARS
4. A STREAM IN THE TROPICS 28
o U B A
The great northern range of mountains which follows closely the trend of the Gulf coast, descending rather 'abruptly in most places to the Northern shore, furnishes ideal locations for homeseekers who desire to go into the culture of coffee, citrus fruits, vegas or small patches of tobacco, and especially for the breeding of livestock, horses, mules, milk cows, bogs, chickens, and sheep raised for mutton to be sold in the local markets.
This chain of mountains, lomas or low hills, valleys, etc., face the north and are Swept by the cool breezes that come off the sea with clock-like regularity during the greater part of the year, add much to the healthfulness and pleasure of living in this section of the province.
From these mountains, which are variously known as the Sierra de Pinar del Rio, Ruhi' Hills and Lomas of iBahi'a Honda, the level lands of the southern half of the province drop rather abruptly from an. altitude of many hundred feet above the sea, sloping gradually to the shores of the Caribbean.
The Western Railroad passes the entire length of this plain of Pinar del Rio, and furnishes an outlet for its produce at the docks of the harbor of Havana. Numerous streams, having their origin in the mountains above referred to, flow both north and south, furnishing water power and irrigation to those who see fit to utilize them for the purpose.
The western end of Pinar del Rio is given almost entirely to the production of the celebrated Vuelta Abajo tobacco, which is noted throughout the world for its aroma, flavor and burning qualities. This grade of tobacco is grown most successfully on the light sandy soils and under cheese cloth. It would seem that some peculiar chemical element, the nature of which is not easy to discover, combined with favorable climatic conditions, has placed this tobacco in a class by itself, which, up to the present, has never been equalled in any other part of the world.
A number of American colonies have been established in Pinar del Rio, all of which are thriving in proportion to the energy, capital and intelligence which directs their management.
Cane Commercially speaking, cane is king in Cuba. The value of
the sugar crop of 1914 is in dollars and cents approximately $240,000,000; this, in spite of the fact that only about 4% of available sugar cane soil is under cultivation. With an area of 47,000 square miles, a large percentage of which is excellent sugar cane land, it can readily be seen that this Republic has sufficient territory to furnish the world with all the sugar it needs, and since the money value of sugar is more than five times that of all her exports taken together, the commercial importance attached
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C U B A
The climate of Cuba with its freedom from frost, which permits grinding throughout the year, and the abundance of rain falling during the summer months, are especially favorable to the production of this crop, rendering it absolutely certain in its results.
Most of the sugar of this Island is produced on the "colono" or share system, the grower receiving an average of 6% or about one half of the crystallized sugar yield from a given weight of cane. To farmers of established standing, the mill usually advances a credit with which to secure the necessary oxen, farming implements, food supplies etc., equal to three or four times the amount of the cash capital contributed by the colono, which enables the latter to become, in a way, a partner or associate in the enterprise.
In spite of the fact that labor is much higher in Cuba than in other cane sugar producing countries, such is the fertility of her soil and so great are the natural advantages of location, deep water harbors, rainfall and climatic conditions, that Cuba can undoubtedly produce a higher grade of cane sugar at less cost than any other country in the world.
Tobacco Next in importance commercially to the production of cane, ranks that of tobacco, the annual value of the crop being about $32,000,000. The best crops and the greatest quantity come from Pinar del Rio, to which industry more capital is dedicated than any other in that province. Tobacco, unlike sugar, seems to be dependent for it's quality largely on some peculiar chemical characteristic of soil, not easily determined, hence it is that the production is localized, certain sections, being given over entirely to tobacco, and yielding a product many times more valuable that that grown only a few miles distant. These patches or small fields of tobacco are known as "vegas" and the men who tend them as "vegueros".
The tobacco par excellence in flavor, aroma, etc., is grown within a comparatively short radius of the city of Pinar del Rio, located in The central western section of the province. This tobacco is known as Vuelta Abajo, which is celebrated throughout the world and brings, together with the wrapper tobacco of the Tumbadero and Guayabal districts, the highest prices per acre secured for any crop grown in this Republic. $500.00 as the value of the product of an acre is quite common; $1000 is not unusual.
Tobacco known as semi-vuelta and under other various local names, is grown profitably throughout the province, especially on the Guane plains, in the Valley of Viiales, and in "sumideros" or basins scattered throughout the mountains, as well as in the level country, that lies south of the range and east of the celebrated Vuelta Abajo.
This crop, unlike cane, is heavily fertilized, and owing to the value of the product, is grown under cheese cloth, hence it is not at all unusual to spend $400 or $500 upon an acre of land before the seed is put in the ground, which takes place during the fall months, the crop being cut at the expiration of 90 days, after which follows the process of curing, selecting
Coffee For many reasons, especially those of healthfulness, permanency,
profit and interest, as an occupation, the cultivation of coffee seems to give greater promise to the homeseeker or small farmer than any other in Cuba. The very location in the culture of coffee renders
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the lif e attendant to it almost ideal and the certainty of selling the product for many years to come at remunerative prices in the local markets of this Republic, is inviting.
Coffee plantations are almost invariably located on the slopes of, or in the valleys between mountains and at an altitude sufficiently great to insure a temperature throughout the year that would mean the maximum of comfort.
Coffee comes from the seeds of red or garnet colored berries that grow on shrubs, usually -under the shade of palms or other forest trees.
The shrub or small tree in itself, with its dark, glossy leaves and its bright red fruit, is beautiful; the care and cultivation of the plant is usually by hand as is the picking of the crop; the removal and polishing of the seed are accomplished by machinery; the conveying to the coast or railroad for shipment is frequently on mule back, owing to the fact that only in a few places have "carreteras" or automobile drives been built.
In 1840 Cuba exported about 25,000,000 lbs. of coffee annually, but, as before stated, owing to the large profits derived from the production of sugar, its culture was almost totally abandoned.
In 1905 about twenty-four million pounds of coffee, the duty on which amounted to $2,400,000 were imported into Cuba. This coffee cost the importers approximately 22 cts. per pound. Green coffee in the Havana market today at wholesale sells at about $25 per cwt. In order to promote the coffee industry, a duty was placed on the importation of the product amounting to $12.15 on every 100 kilos or 220 pounds, when not imported from Puerto Rico. A few years later the Cuban Government increased this duty to $23.40 per 100 kilos, Porto Rico being favored, however, with a reduction of 20% on coffee coming from said country, which pays $18.72 duty on every 220 pounds.
This Republic consumes, per capita, probably more coffee than any other country in the world. About thirty million pounds, two thirds of which are imported, are consumed each year in the Island. As a result of this duty, it may be easily calculated that the money value per acre of the coffee crop will range from $150 to $200.
It is true that some three or four years are required before coffee plantations come into profitable bearing, but, when it is remembered that almost every hillside in the Republic produces a coffee of very superior quality, equal to that of the very best grades sold in the United States, tbere is no reason why this country should supply not only its local demand, but should eventually export coffee to the United States and Europe.
cacao may be made a companion industry to coffee, since the
C acao 11 'I "I It 0 0 '2 0
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of this crop, especially in connection with coffee, as one which gives promise of very satisfactory results.
Cuba at the present time is producing over 5,000,000 pounds of cacao, about one and one half Millions of which are exported, the remainder being consumed in the factories of the Island, and although $10. per cwt. is mentioned as the value of this bean, the average price from 1890 to 1896 was $14.50 per hundred.
Owing to the fact that sugar and tobacco have absorbed such large amounts of capital in Cuba, comparatively little attention in recent years has been given either to coffee or cacao; but for the homeseeker or man who, with his family, emigrates to Cuba, there is probably no field of enterprise that gives promise of more satisfactory or permanent results, especially if the members of said family are willing to devote themselves to the care and cultivation of these crops both of which require a large amount of hand work, especially coffee, picking the berries of which can be easily done by women and children.
Corn or Miaize w~as probably indigenous to the Island of Cuba,
since it was one of the chief staples of f ood used by the Siboney Indians at the time of Columbus' visit. This cereal may be grown in any of the provinces, although varieties introduced from the United States do not give the results that might be expected.
The native Cuban corn has a comparatively short ear with its point closed by nature. This prevents the entrance of the grub or worm, so destructive to northern varieties which have been introduced here. The kernel is hard, bright yellow, rich in proteins and in oil, and is very nutritious as a food.
In spite of the small size of the ear, on rich lands 40 bushels per acre are frequently secured, which, taking into consideration the fact that two crops may be successfully grown in twelve months, the sum total of the yield is not bad, and the price of maize in the local markets is always satisfactory. Experiments are being carried on at the present time towards improving the native Cuban corn, some of which have met with success.
Rice of the variety known as upland has been grown for home use
in some sections of Cuba for many years, but the production of this cereal has never assumed any importance, although the country consumes a large amount of rice imported from abroad.
Beginning with the spring of 1914, some very promising experiments were inaugurated with irrigation near the city of Giiines, province of Havana, under the direction of expert men brought from the rice fields
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in the dry months of winter, thus avoiding the destructive eff ects of the beetle.
lilet Nearly all varieties of millet or kaffir corn thrive well ina
Cuba, and furnish a very nutritious food both for stock and poultry. The millet or "millo", of which two varieties, the tall white and the short black, are in common use, are apparently free from enemies, and since they seem to thrive in seasons, either wet or dry, and in lands either moist or subject to drought, the crop is considered very reliable and hence profitable, wherever stock raising is contemplated.
Wheat Wheat has been grown for home consumption on some of the
high tablelands where the comparatively low temperature of the dry winter months enables it to come to maturity. It is hardly probable, however, that this cereal will be planted to any great extent in Cuba, since nearly all of our lands can be used for the growth of crops more profitable.
Hay, In spite of the fact that two of the best grasses known, both of
which, are said to yield even better here than in either Africa or the plains of Parana' whence they came, we still import large quantities of hay from the United States, for use in cities.
The potreros or meadows of Cuba with their great fields, stretching over many leagues of territory, are as rich as any known and can support as a rule at least 20 head of cattle to every caballeri'a or 33 acres.
The Parana' grass of South America grows on the low lands of Cuba, with a luxuriance that will almost impede travel through it on horseback. The jointed stems of this grass, interlacing with each other, frequently grow to a length of 10 or 12 f eet. The same is true of the Guinea brought from the west coast of Africa, which is adapted to the higher lands and hillsides, and where the soil beneath is rich it often reaches a height of 6 or 8 feet, completely hiding either the grazing cattle or the man who may be endeavoring to force his way afoot across the field in search of them. The native indigenous grasses of the Island, although suitable for grazing purposes, are rather tough and hard and will not fatten livestock as will the two grasses referred to above.
Henequen Many important textile plants seem to be indigenous to
Cuba, while others, introduced from foreign countries,
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The eastern end of Cayo Romano and the promontory lying to the west of Nuevitas Bay, are devoted to the culture of henequ'n. The only thing which has probably prevented capital from entering the industry, is the fact that some four or five years must elapse before a crop is ready for the market. After this period the plantation yields profitable returns for many years.
Recently it has been discovered that the bagazo, or pethy waste product of the plant may be converted into an excellent grade of paper.
The shrub or weed from which jute fiber is extracted grows wild in Cuba, and will undoubtedly in the near future become a profitable industry owing to the large quantity of bagging material required for sugar sacks. The strong white fiber of the corojo palm is used also for making bridles, girths, bands, etc.
A variety of the banana plant found in the province of Pinar del Rio furnishes a long, fine, light brown fiber which the botanists of our Agricultural Station declare to be an excellent textile product that will eventually be used for twine and other light cordage.
Ramie grows wild in many parts of Cuba and is commanding considerable attention owing to the fact that a machine has been devised which successfully removes the long, fine fiber from its surrounding tissues. This fiber, owing to its strength which exceeds that of hemp, its gloss and snowy whiteness, is used very largely as a substitute for silk, and in the near future will undoubtedly command sufficient capital for its manufacture in Cuba.
There are many other fibers on the Island, such as that of the yarey palm, the sansevieria, guisaso, etc., which in time will find their places as commercial products.
Citrus and other fruits Many varieties of citrus fruits are indigenous to Cuba. The great, beautiful, glossy leafed trees of the sour and of the bitter orange are found growing wild in almost every forest of the Island. The lime, also, is found in more or less abundance, scattered over rocky hillsides, its beautiful, smooth lemon-like fruit going to waste for lack of transportation to markets. Almost everywhere in Cuba are found a few orange trees, whose fruit is gathered for home consumption, but only with the coming of Americans, has the growing of citrus fruits been undertaken as a commercial industry.
Homeseekers from Florida found the native oranges of the Island, all of which are called "Chinas" or chinese oranges to distinguish them from the wild oranges of the woods, to be of peculiar sweetness and superior quality to those grown either in Florida or California. The rich soils, requiring comparatively little fertilizer, were very promising and with the beginning of the First Intervention large tracts were planted by American Colonies in every province of Cuba. Some of these, as in the Bahia Honda district, fifty miles west of Havana, cover hundreds of acres within one single enclosure.
Owing to the rapidly growing fondness for the grapefruit as a breakfast dish and the high prices paid for them in the United States, the cultivation of this variety has assumed considerable importance, especially in the Isle of Pines whose sandy soils, with the use of proper fertilizers, produce, perhaps, the finest grapefruit grown in this Republic.
It has been found that the earliest possible varieties of oranges, together with the latest varieties grown, command always excellent prices in the
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2,000 ACRE ORANGE GROVE IN 3AIIIA HONDA
Amer'an markets; more than all, that these, especially the Valencias, will stand shipment to Europe and other distant markets.
Within a radius of fifty miles of the city of Havana, many beautiful groves are today in bearing whose crops are sold to excellent advantage in the markets of the capital, to which they are transported in large vans and automobile trucks almost every day throughout the year. This fruit brings in the local market from $10. to $20. per thousand, which yields a very satisfactory return to those who planted groves a few years ago.
In general it may be said that the cultivation of citrus fruit in the hands of Americans has been most satisfactory, and where failure has occurred it may invariably be traced to either ignorance of the necessary care and culture of a grove, or to a lack of funds with which to carry on the business until the period of its profitable bearing.
At the present time there are twenty thousand acres in citrus fruit the value of which is esitmated at $15,000,000.
Bananas Bananas have been grown for many years in the eastern end
of the Island, especially in the neighborhood of Nipe Bay, where the deep, rich soil, combined with the heavy rainfall of summer result in rapid growth and full development of the fruit. The variety grown for export is the same as that produced in Costa Rica and other groves of Central America, most of which are owned or controlled by the United Fruit Company.
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The banana is reproduced from the sucker or off-shoot of the original stock, about 400, of which are planted to the acre. In twelve months the Plant comes to maturity producing a single bunch of fruit which sells, shipside, at an average price of 20 cents and yields a return of about $100. to the acre. Each main stock during the year will furnish six or eight offshoots from the original root, which are used to increase the acreage as desired. Bananas for export are grown profitably only on or near the edge of deep water harbors where transportation to northern markets is assured.
Owing to the nutritious, wholesome and excellent flour produced from the dried green fruit, it is more than probable that the manufacture of this flour will, in time, become one of the important industries of the Island, since there is no cereal or plant known whichfi produces so many pounds of nourishment to the acre, as does the-banana of the tropics.
Pineapples Pineapples have been grown in Cuba for export since
the beginning of the First Intervention, and to some extent even before. In point of money value, the industry ranks next to that of the citrus fruit. Although. up to the present time most of those pineapples intended for export are grown within fifty miles of the-city of Havana, over a million crates are annually shipped to the United States.
Pineapples may be grown on any rich soil and are considered'one of our staple crops. The slips, or off-shoots from 'the parent plant, are set out in long ridges some four feet apart with intervening spaces averaging a foot. These produce fruit in one year from planting and from each original stalk an average of six or eight 'Suckers may be taken for planting in other beds, so that with a very small start the acreage may be easily increased six or eight fold each year. About 8,000 plants are considered sufficient for an acre of ground; the cost of same when purchased averages about $30. per acre while the preparation of the land for pineapple culture will amount to somewhat more. The returns, under favorable circumstances, will vary from $100. to $150.
The red Spanish, owing to its excellent shipping qualities, is preferred to all others for export, although many other varieties, such as the "pifia blanca" or sugarloaf, which will not stand shipment, are alone used for local consumption and bring an average price of ten cents throughout the year.
i~lingos One of the most abundant and delicious fruits in Cuba is
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1 RUIT AND VEGETABLE STAND IN THE M ARKET
A guacate Another fruit of the forest, indigenous to Cuba, is the aguacate, in some places known as the alligator pear. Its fruit hangs pendant from the limbs of giant trees, and forms, with proper dressing, one of the most delicious salads known. There are many types, known by the difference in the color of the skin, and the size and shape of the fruit. Some are green or greenish red and others are a deep purple. Both are pear-shaped, from six to eight inches in length, with a soft, mellow pulp, having the consistency of fresh cheese nearly an inch in thickness, and with a nutty flavor difficult to describe. It might well be called vegetable butter. In the centre of the fruit, detached from the edible part, is a hard nut about the size of a small apple, which, although very rich in oil, has never been utilized commercially.
A n6n The An6n, or sugar apple, resembling a small, round, green cone,
with its delightful pulp which suggests a mixture of sweetened fresh cream, adhering to smooth, black coffee grains, is indigenous to Cuba. It is found in every garden and in all parts of the Island. Although delicious to eat, fresh from the tree, and very useful in the form of ices, it will not bear shipment, and is thus confined to the local markets of large cities.
The Chirimoya, belonging to the same family, is undoubtedly the queen of the anonas. It is larger than the an6n, reaching the size of an ordinary grapefruit. Its pulp is white, softer and more delicate, while its skin, un-
IEW" OF HAVANA FROM CAB3ARAS
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like the an6n, is smooth, yellow in color with a blush of red. The Mam6n or custard apple, belongs to the same family, but is greatly inferior in every respect.
Zap ote The Zapote, known as the sapodilla, resembles somewhat a
russet apple, with a delightfully sweet, juicy pulp, not unlike the persimmon when touched with frost. The small, glossy seeds are easily removed, and the fruit is very refreshing when left on ice, or in the early days of fall. The tree, which, like the mango, is occasionally found in groves, with its trim, shapely trunk and branches, its crisp, dark green foliage, is very ornamental when removed to parks or lawns. Only with extreme care in packing could zapotes, like many of the fruits of Cuba, stand shipment to foreign countries.
The iiamey Colorado is another giant tree of the forest,
with a brown, rough skin averaging
six or eight inches in length, filled with a _ich, peculiar russet red pulp, enclosing a smooth, coffee colored, dark seed, which is easily separated from the edible part of the fruit.
In its consistency and flavor, it suggests slightly a well made pumpkin pie. Those unaccustomed to the fruit will probably find it unpleasantly ricl. Tleme is another variety, known as the yellow or Mamey de Santo l)onlinco, which is used only as a preserve.
Guava The "Guayaba" or guava, as it is known in Florida, springs up
unwanted, in almost every field in Cuba. If permitted to propagate itself, it may become a pest, difficult to eradicate. Its fruit, not very palatable uncooked, is always in demand for jellies and marmalades, which have a ready-sale both in Cuba and the United States. Animals also, especially pigs and horses, are very fond of it. The guava bush is very seldom cultivated, being considered by farmers more in the light of a nuisance than a thing of utility.
Mamoncillo Another beautiful forest tree is the mamoncillo,
which spreads out like a giant oak or huge apple tree. Its round, russet green fruit hangs from every branch and is refreshing to the traveller who stops a moment beneath its shade. Its slightly acid pulp covers a rather large round seed, the whole resembling somewhat a stiff ski mned plum, although the tree belongs to a family entirely distinct from the latter.
Figs3 1] spite of the lack of frost, figs of all varieties, green, black,
and yellow, may be found in almost every garden in Cuba. No effort has been made to preserve them for commercial purposes,, but when ripe, they are very refreshing as a part of the "desayuno" or early morning meal.
Grapes Inspite of the fact that the grape is indigenous to Cuba,
prohibitory laws on the part of Spain forbade the culture of grapes, outside of the Peninsula, and vine culture in this Island had
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no opportunity to thrive; and yet the few that are planted in gardens and on hillsides, have produced as fine fruit as can be found in any part of either Europe or America. There is no reason why many of the hillsides of this country should not be converted into immense vineyards.
With the influx of Americans and Canary Islanders familiar with grape culture, it is quite probable that this industry will soon assume an important place among horticultural products.
Tamarind There is perhaps no tree known whose fruit furnishes
a more refreshing drink than the tamarind. It was brought to Cuba from southern Europe more than a century ago and has been scattered throughout the forests, probably through the medium of birds. The tree is tall, graceful in shape with a heavy foliage, resembling somewhat the locust tree of the North.
From its branches, after the flowers have disappeared, hang great clusters of brown colored, bean-like, brittle pods. These, when ripe, are filled with a sweet yet pleasantly acid pulp, which, mixed with water, makes a most refreshing and healthful drink.
In addition to the above, there are many native fruits in Cuba of which the Cubans and old time residents are very fond, and yet at first they may not appeal to the palate of the visitor. Lack of space prevents their description in this booklet.
Cocoanuts Over a hundred varieties of palms are indigenous
to Cuba, although the only one cultivated for commercial purposes, is the cocoanut, which is found scattered from one end of the Island to the other. Around the harbor of Baracoa they are grown extensively for export.
The cocoa palm comes into bearing when five or six years old, and unless attacked by disease, will continue to yield nuts for perhaps a century. From fifty to a hundred trees are planted to the acre, each of which at maturity will produce an annual average of 150 nuts to the tree. These bring in the local markets from one to two cents each. Where too far removed from deep water harbors to permit profitable shipment they are sometimes broken up and fed to hogs for fattening purposes, since they are very rich in oil.
With the advent of the American colonies in 1900, truck gardening sprang rapidly into prominence, until today, it forms quite an important part of the small farmer's revenue. Most of the well known vegetables of the United States are grown here, not only for the local markets, but for shipment abroad. They are usually planted at the close of the rainy season in October or November and are brought to maturity in time to reach the North during winter and early spring, when high prices prevail.
Those vegetables from which the best results have been obtained are early potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, sweet peppers, okre, white squash and string beans.
The above mentioned vegetables may be grown in the rich soils of any part of the Island, but are only profitable when cultivated close to railroads or within easy reach of steamship lines having daily
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PASTIURF IN CUBA 44
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sailings from Havana, since transportation facilities are absolutely essential to profitable vegetable growing. Profits depend on location, soil, water supply, intelligent cultivation and success in reaching markets in which there is a demand f or the product.
With irrigation, which insures absolute certainty and control of the crop, these profits may run anywhere from $100. to $400. or even $500. per acre; the latter figure, of course, being an. exception which occurs when all of the many conditions necessary to vegetable growing happen to be favorable.
Green corn is perhaps the only vegetable, which up to the present, has baffled all eff orts on the part of the gardener to grow successfully. The stalk seems inclined to. grow recklessly while the fruit, or ear, is conspicuous f or its small size or utter absence. Scientifically conducted experiments may, however, overcome this difficulty.
Horses Among the many varied industries which Cuba offers to the
prospective colonist or investor, none offers greater promise of permanent profit than that of stock raising. Location with reference to markets, favorable climatic conditions, freedom from cold rains and blighting storms, rich and abundant grasses that furnish food throughout the year, all seem to have combined in this Island for the benefit of the stock grower.
The original stock from which the native horses sprang was an Arabian strain introduced by the Spaniards. Although rather small, our horses arc well formed, graceful in action and gentle to a degree unknown in the United States.
Within recent years many excellent stallions and some brood mares have been brought, both from the States and from Europe. These have greatly improved our native stock. Horses that have been imported into the Island seem to thrive and to multiply quite as well, if not better, than in their place of birth. Disease is almost unknown and the change of climate, if anything, is beneficial.
The many thousands of horses and mules brought here by the Army of the United States, during the two periods of Intervention, were almost free from disease, and although the direct rays of the sun in summer are unquestionably hot, cases of sun stroke or prostration from excessive heat are unknown. Riding and driving horses are always in demand, mules being used almost entirely for heavy draft purposes. There is no reason why raising of thoroughbred animals of either of these types for purposes
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given to stock raising by our annual fairs, quite a number of excellent cattle for breeding purposes have been imported from the United States and from Europe. These are rapidly changing the character of our stock, and owing to the favorable climatic conditions and excellent grasses mentioned above, there is every reason to believe that beef will soon be exported to the United States and nearby islands.
Hogs Small stock, especially hogs, owing to exceptional conditions and
terapidity of increase in Cuba, offer, perhaps, even better inducements for the investor of capital in this Republic than anything else. The royal palm, which covers many of the hillsides and slopes of our long mountain chains running parallel to the coast, produces a small nut called "palmiche" which furnishes a never-failing food that helps the stock grower in raising hogs.
The "palmiche" picked up by the animals at the base of the palms, if in sufficient quantity, will keep these animals in fairly good condition throughout the year. Shoats, intended for market, as soon as weaned, should be turned into a field planted with sugar cane, sweet potatoes, peanuts, yuca, corn, cow peas, "calabaza" or any of those food crops of which hogs are fond and which produce flesh rapidly.
Since at present time we are importing some $6,000,000. worth of pork and pork products per year, and since hogs on the hoof comm and never less than eight cents per pound, there is no reason why their raising should not prove, for the intelligent stockraiser, one of the most remunerative of all industries.
Sheepn Owing to our genial climate, sheep, lacking the necessity for
wool with which to retain warmth, very naturally lose it within a coiinparatively few years. Mutton, however, always commands a good price in the local markets, hence it is that the raising of sheep for food, especially by those small farmers who are close to large markets, will always yield a source of revenue.
Goats. In spite of the fact that the hills and mountain sides of this
Republic, clothed as they are even to their summits with underbrush, whose tender young shoots furnish such excellent feed for animals that browse, the raising of goats has never been considered commercially, although here, as in other countries, they frequently supply the milk used by families among the poor.
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AUTOMOBILE ROAD UNDER THE LAURELS
food far more palatable than the salted dry beef of Venezuela sold under the name "tasajo", while the latter, or fat, is always in demand for soap making and other allied manufactures.
Under the management of men who are familiar with the raising of goats for their hides and above-mentioned by-products, there is no reason why this industry should not assume importance in the Island of Cuba, especially since these animals are invaluable for the purpose of cleaning out undergrowth economically and effectively.
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I. DEATH SQXAR] CABANAS 4. LA REL DITCH
SALUTING BATTERY, CABA AS 5. WATCH TOWER
3. ENTRANCE TO M[ORRO 6. M[ORRO FROM THE LAND
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Very few have gone into poultry raising along scientific or intelligent lines, which seems rather odd when oiie considers that fresh eggs vary ill price from four to five cents each throughout the year, and chickens of tho, most scrawny type bring from, sixty cents to one dollar.
The poultry business offers many advantages in Cuba, first of whiell may be mentioned an excellent local market for both chickens and eggs. second, the fact that green food and insects may be found in abundance throughout the year; that open or wire screen houses alone are necessary for protection, the necessity of artificial heat being, of course, non-existent.
TUrkeyS Turkeys, too, do remarkably well in Cuba when given free
range and they are not subject to those ills which result from sleet, snow and chilling winds that decimate the little ones in most parts of the United States.
Climatic conditions, together with an abundance of flowers throughout the year, especially those of the royal palms, have rendered the raising of bees in this Island a source of profit for many years. The native variety, which is remarkably tame, in comparison with others, makes its home in eaves, overhanging cliffs, hollow logs and other sheltered places from which the honey is extracted with comparative ease.
During the latter part of the 16th century, the German bee was introduced from the Spanish colony of St. Augustine, Florida. Within recent years the Italian bee has been imported into the Island and is probably more productive than the other varieties.
With the coming of American colonists, modern hives were introduced and the business was systematized for purposes of export. Many large apiaries exist, especially in the province of Pinar del Rio. The value of the honey and wax annually exported approximates a million dollars. Most of the honey is strained and sells in bulk for about thirty two cents a gallon. To those fond of bees, apiculture in this Island will always form for the settler a source of added pleasure and profit.
The Republic of Cuba has no lands for sale or gift. Like many Latin countries, however, large tracts of territory are held by native owners, some of whom reside in Spain. Many of these can be purchased through attorneys
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COLON OR COLUMBUS PARK
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In nearly all of the American colonies scattered throughout the Republic, lands may be purchased in small tracts of from ten to one hundred acres, at prices ranging from $40. to $100. per acre. The majority of these colonies are prosperous, although some, through injudicious location which deprived them of- transportation facilities, have struggled at a very great disadvantage from the beginning. With most of these colonies the growing of citrus fruits has formed the chief end and aim of the homeseeker. Vegetables for the northern markets, where transportation was possible, always help out greatly during the five or six years necessary for a grove to come into profitable bearing.
ISLE OF PINES
Among those who have prospered under these disadvantages is the Isle of Pines, which constitutes the southern half of the judicial district of the province of Havana. Up to the present all produce for export has been compelled to leave by the port of Havana, breaking bulk at Bataban6" as well as at the shipside. In spite of this disadvantage in location settlers there have prospered and have produced many profitable groves of citrus and other fruits. A great deal of money has been expended in this section in clearing lands, making improvements, road building, fertilizers, etc.
The Isle of Pines would seem to be the natural home of the well-to-do man who needs quiet and rest, and who has money to wait f or his property to become self-supporting.
POINTERS TO PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS OF PROPERTY IN CUBA
1st: Visit Cuba, if possible, and study the conditions here before paying out
money to anyone.
24: Make no payments on property that you have not seen, or that has
not beeu inspected by some one in whom you have absolute confidence.
3rd: Select your land, if wanted for fruit growing, truck farming,
poultry raising or dairying, within reasonable -distance of Havana or other industrial center, such as may be afforded by most anyone of our large sugar estates, since these will always furnish a local
market for your pro-ducts.
4th: If land is offered beyond a radius of one hundred miles from the
capitl be sur th flat trnpottincargesp,, to some good shipp-ingy
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8th: Remember that while this Republic cordially invites homeseekers to our shores, we want them to succeed, and that the Bure-au of Information is maintained by the Government to protect them as
far as possible against mistakes, impositions or failure.
All titles to lands in Cuba emanated originally from the Crown of Spain, records of which are found in the archives of the Republic. Transference of property in the Island in order to be valid must be registered, paying the tax thereon, which in itself is a form of security. In addition to this, scattered throughout the judicial districts of the Island, are bureaus of registry in which all mortgages, encumbrances etc. or anything that might tend to invalidate the title, are recorded. A certificate from the Registrador or chief of this bureau, may be obtained at any time. This certificate is in many senses equivalent to an abstract of title.
It is stated by prominent legal authorities who are familiar with both countries, that property rights, as a rule, are more safely guarded in the Republic of Cuba than in the United States.
Owing to the existence of these bureaus of registry in Cuba, an investigation into the validity of titles to property can always be secured through the services of any reliable attorney.
BANKING AND FINANCE
Banks Although banking in the modern sense of the word was
almost unknown in Cuba until the exit of Spanish authority, we have at the present day an excellent, up-to-date and thoroughly organized banking system with facilities equal to those of any of the world's capitals.
Among the more prominent are the Banco Nacional de Cuba, Banco Real del Canada, Banco Espafiol de la Isla de Cuba, Banco de Nueva Escocia, Trust Company of Cuba, Banco de la Habana, Upmann & Co., and Gelats, the two latter being private institutions. All of these banks have large deposits, some of them $25,000,000, and are in close touch with the other large banking houses of the financial world.
Ten per cent. is the usual rate of interest charged by the local banks on commercial paper of small denomination. This rate, however, decreases when large amounts are involved, especially if the borrower is a man of established integrity.
Money American money is the official currency of the Island in which
all official payments, salaries, custom duties, etc., are paid. Spanish gold, however, forms the basis of most commercial transactions in the Island. The Spanish gold coin known as the "cent~n", whose value is approximately that of the English pound sterling, is the coin in most common use. The French "escudo"', or half a "Louis~'is occasionally found in circulation, while the "Louis"',-whose value is $4.24, plays a very important part also in commercial transactions. Spanish silver, although once greatly depreciated in value, in the summer of 1914 was accepted at par value with Spanish gold. The latter coin is largely used for small retail purchases.
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Like all tropical countries Cuba is rich in valuable woods. Her forests abound in excellent hardwoods, 367 varieties of which are registered and described with more or less detail in the Bureau of Forestry. More than half of these are susceptible of taking a high polish and would, if known, probably command satisfactory prices in the hardwood markets of the world. At the present time two only, eedar and mahogany, are sought or quoted in commercial centers.
While we find in Cuba but very few of the woods indigenous to the United States, each, such as the oak, hickory, ash, maple, walnut, etc., seems to have its equivalent from the view point of utility at least, in this Island. For all purposes of carriage, naval, house or other construction, cabinet work, carving, etc., Cuba has many woods unsurpassed and often of rare beauty.
It is true that from the forests along the coasts, most of the cedar and mahogany has long ago been culled out up to a point so far back that cost of transportation to the water's edge would exceed the value of the log. But with the opening up of new lines of railroads and the adoption of modern methods of bringing out heavy timber, the industry will yield a good margin of profit for many years.
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It was not until 1884 that American capital became interested in a small way in Cuban mines, but no active operations were begun until the first American intervention. From that time-dates the real prospecting in Cuba, but only a small portion of the country has been gone over by experts in this work.
Oriente province is renowned for its minerals. Two gold mines are now being developed in the vicinity of Holguin. Iron ore of the finest quality abounds throughout the mountainous section, and in the vicinity of Mayari, back from the Bay of Nipe, deposits of high-grade ore have been discovered "sufficient to supply the demands of the entire world for the next century", to quote the words of an American engineer. This industry is being developed by several American companies, the SpanishAmerican Iron Company having an immense modern plant at Felton, on Nipe Bay.
In Camagiiey province copper, iron and manganese ores are found. The Cubitas Mountains, or hills, along the north coast, and the Portillo hills, in the southeastern portion of the province, are known to contain these minerals.
In Santa Clara evidences of copper are scattered broadcast. A few miles south of the city of Santa Clara copper ore has been plowed up along the hillsides. The ridge of hills, lying between the city of Santa Clara and Manicaragua Valley, is perhaps the richest place in Cuba in copper. Manganese and iron are found, as well as gold. Santa Clara province has a number of asphalt deposits, most of which are located near the north coast.
Matanzas province on the north coast appears to be underlaid with asphalt in paying quantities. It is found in the deep water of the Bay of Chrdenas, where vessels have been known to anchor over the deposits and load with over 300 tons in a fortnight, in fact the bay seems to be over a large bed of asphalt. The product that seems to attract most attention, and astonishes even mineralogists, is that furnished by the San Juan mines in the Motembo hills. By some it is called "Mother of Oil", by others it is given the name of naphtha. The product is as clear as spring water. If a little is poured on a marble slab it burns when ignited in a clear flame until the slab is dry, leaving absolutely no residue and making no smoke. It has the odor of naphtha, and possesses all the characteristics of that liquid. These wells are located near the western line of Santa Clara. Petroleum is found in Matanzas province, and many wells have been drilled, but none of them thoroughly developed.
In Havana province, traces of petroleum have been found, but in no such quantities as in Matanzas. Asphalt also is found throughout the central and northern part. The product is of a high grade, much of it yielding 70 per cent bitumen. Copper, manganese, iron and gold mines, have been located but not developed.
Most of the minerals in Pinar del Rio are found in the mountain range. West of Mantua and bordering on the coast, where the surface is of an undulating nature, copper is found, also evidences of a high grade of iron. There are frequent indications of petroleum, and good samples of oil have been obtained in the vicinity of Mariel and Banes, only a few miles west of the City of Havana. Asphalt can be found anywhere in the vicinity of the north coast, from the eastern boundary of the province to the western end of the mountain range.
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Commerce The commercial possibilities of the Republic of Cuba
cannot be indicated with any degree of certainty: suffice it to say, that seldom in the history of nations has a country begun with practically nothing but location, climate and soil as assets, devoid of credit, unknown to the commercial world for all intents and purposes. and still, at the expiration of a comparatively few years, been able to make such an excellent showing as the following statistics demonstrate.
Total Foreign Commerce over .............. $ 300,000,000.00
Exports for fiscal year ending in June 1913 ........ 165,000,000.00 Imports for fiscal year ending in June 1913 ....... 132,336,932.00
Balance of trade in favor of Cuba .............. $ 32,663,068.00
Balance of trade per capita .............................. $ 13.00
Foreign export of Cuba per capita ......................... 66.00
Foreign imports of Cuba per capita ....................... 53.00
Foreign exports of United States per capita ................ 22.00
Foreign imports of United States per capita ................ 17.00
Foreign debt of Cuba per capita .......................... 28.00
Foreign debt of Great Britain per capita .................. 80.00
Foreign debt of France per capita ........................ 158.00
Foreign debt of the United States per capita ............... 10.00
(Although Cuba has a larger per capita debt than the United States her per capita foreign commerce is 500% higher than that of the United States).
More merchandise enters and leaves the harbor of Havana than any in the United States except New York.
Cuba's annual sugar crop, exceeds $120,000,000.00.
Her tobacco yield is valued at $32,000,000.00.
Although the groves are young, citrus fruit, pineapples, and vegetables produce $5,000,000.00 annually.
Coffee, cacao, honey, asphalt, iron, henequn, mahogany, cedar, etc., yield $10,000,000.00.
Our exports have increased in ten years 140%.
Our imports have increased in ten years 82%.
All but 15% of Cuba's exports go to the United States.
More than half of Cuba's imports come from the United States.
Owing to the European war which began in the summer of 1914, the beet sugar product of France and Germany was eliminated, causing a marked rise in the price of cane sugar throughout the world. As a result of this, the value of the crop produced in the Island that year reached a total of $240,000,000. The latter sum seems almost startling, when it is taken into consideration that only 10% of Cuba's area is cultivated in cane. Less than 3% of available land is in tobacco and not over 5 per cent in other crops.
Foreign S hipping Even, in commercial centers the fact that only one city in the United States, New York, exceeds that of Havana in the amount of her foreign commerce is significant. The commerce of Havana at the present time amounts to over 5,000,000 tons. The tonnage of neither Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Mobile or
Galveston approaches this figure.
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MAIN ARTICLES OF TRADE
The main articles of import sum up to the following amounts per annum:
P otatoes ............................................ 1,897,066
M ilk (condensed) ................................... 2,165,766
Flour (barrels) ..................................... 4,327,806
Lard ................................................ 6,148,827
H am s ............................................... 735,918
Wines, etc.......................................... 1,473,391
Cotton goods ........................................ 12,648,470
Shoes 4........................................ ...... 4,980,055
Agricultural implements .............................. 429,744
The annual exports are:
Iron ........................... .................... 4,238,321
Garden truck ........................................ 164,357
Pineapples .......................................... 1,317,687
B ananas ............................................ 817,028
Cocoanuts ........................................ .. .. 131,979
O ther fruits ......................................... 26,941
F ibers .............................................. 179,232
H ardwoods .......................................... 2,314,105
Tobacco (leaf and manufactured) ..................... 32,132,789
Sugar, this year ..................................... 240,000,000
.F-odstuffs Below is a table of the average wholesale and retail
prices of current foodstuffs:
PER, 100 LBS. PEr, LB. PER 100 LBS. PER LB.
Flour .................. $ 4.00 $ 0.06 White bacon .... $20.00 $ 0.25
Cornmeal (native) ...... 3.20 .05 Lard ........... 17.00 .20
Potatoes ................. 3.00 .04 Codfish ......... 10.75 .14
Onions ................. 4.00 .05 Dried beef (tasajo) 14.00 .17
Spanish beans (garbanzos) 8.00 .10 Butter ...........50
W hite beans ............ 5.25 .07 Hay ............ 1.50
Black beans ............ 7.00 .08 Oats (American) 2.00
Red beans .............. 9.25 .11 Oats (Argentine) 1.80
Rice ................... 4.00 .06 American corn ... 1.90 .03
Coffee (toasted) ........ 33.00 .40 Native corn ..... 1.85 .03
Coffee (green) .......... 24.00 .28 Condensed milk PER CASE PER CAIN
Sugar (refined) ......... 6.72 .07 .............. $ 4.75 $ 0.11
Sugar (brown) .......... 3.20 .05
Beef from 15c to 40c, depending upon the cut.
Eggs average 40c per dozen.
Hens from 80c to $1 each.
IMPORTANT CITIES OF CUBA
Below is given a list of the municipalities~ in the Republic of Cuba having a population of 10,000 or more.
Havana...................350,000 Guant~inamo ...............45,000
Matanzas ..................75,000 Sagua la Grande ...........29,000
Cienfuegos .................75,000 Pinar del Rio........53,000
C~rdenas ..................30,000 San Antonio de los Bafios 22,000
Sancti Spiritus ............38,000 Jovellanos .................19,000
Santa Clara ...............48,000 Marianao..................20,000
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Steam hip Lnes he raidlyincresingforein co MEc hc follwedthe nauuraion f te Cban epulic resulted~~~~~ inaral mxelng semhpsrie otol oteUie
Stas, bute to mspaTohe commy neri worTeig Penisulr &hOccidental S. S. Co. operates daily, except Sunday, service between Key West, Fla., and Havana, Cuba, making the run in from six to seven hours. At Key West connection is made with solid, fast Pullman trains v ia the "Over-sea Railroad" for all points of the United States.
This Company also operates a semi-weekly service between Tampa, Fla., and Havana, making connections with all points North. The same system inaugurated a car-ferry service between Key West, Fla., and Havain in Deember 1914.
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Still another sailing of this line leaves New Orleans Saturday of each week for Cienfuegos, Cuba, thence to the Isle of Pines, leaving the wharf of Los Indios each Monday on return voyage to New Orleans direct.
It is reported that before the expiration of the present year the United Fruit people will have also service plying between Havana and New York City.
The Cuba Mail & S. S. Co., known as the Ward Line, operates two steamers a week, between Havana and New York. These boats leave the former city on Wednesday and Saturday, returning from New York Tuesday and Saturday. The Ward Line also operates steamers between Havana and Mexican ports.
The Southern Pacific S. S. Co. has a weekly service between New Orleans and Havana, with sailings from the former city on Saturdays; from Havana on Tuesdays. The sailing dates, however, are subject to changes dependent upon the season of the year.
The Munson line operates steamers every fifteen days from New York to Antilla (Nipe Bay) and Nuevitas. In addition to these passenger steamers this line has about 145 steamers per annum from Cuban points to the States which carry no passengers.
The United Steamship Company ias a steamer leaving Galveston on the 1st, 10th and 20th of each month. These steamers touch at Havana and other Cuban ports.
The Elder Dempster line has a steamer a month from Canadian ports, Halifax and St. John to Havana.
The Compaiia Trasatlantiea Espafiola operates a semimonthly service from Barcelona, Cadiz, Canary Islands, to Porto Rico and Havana, thence to Mexican ports, returning to Havana and to Corunia; one of the steamers making the trip via New York and the other via the Canary Islands.
The Sociedad Anonima de Navegaci'n Trasatla'ntica line has a steamer leaving Barcelona, Valencia, Ma1aga, Caidiz, Canary Islands, Porto Rico, Havana, thence to Guanta'namo, Manzanillo and Cienfuegos and Cardenas, thence to New Orleans and returning via Havana.
The Norway-Mexican Gulf line has a steamer a month leaving Christiania about the twentieth for Hampton Roads, Havana, Mexican ports, Galveston and New Orleans.
The Holland American Line, also, has steamers plying between various ports of the Netherlands and Havana.
The Hamburg American lines played a very important part in carrying both passengers and freight between Cuba and various sections of the world until the European war compelled an absolute suspension of all traffic under the German flag.
In addition to the above mentioned passenger lines, there are( many steamship lines plying between Havana and various foreign ports, which carry freight only. The itinerant or so-called tramp steamers are entering and leaving the harbor of Havana almost every day of the year.
Coastwise Steamers The Herrera line operates coastwise steamers, which make the trip to the principal points in Porto Rico every three weeks. -These steamers likewise make trips to Santiago de Cuba and intermediate points, leaving each Saturday and Wednesday. The North Coast of Vuelta Abajo line runs a steamer the seventh, fifteenth, twenty-second and thirtieth of each month from Havana along the north toast, west to La Fe. The Trujillo line has a
NaL .... .....
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steamer leaving Bataban6, on the south coast, every Wednesday and Thursday for Santiago also one leaving Saturday night for Manzanillo and intermediate points. Another steamer of the same line leaves Bataban6 every Sunday for Juicaro and intermediate points.
Electric Lines The Havana Central Railway, which is included under the heading of railroads, is an electric line, well equipped and up-to-date in every respect. Havana is its headquarters, and it traverses the surrounding country, going southward to Giiines and other points, and westward to Guanajay.
The Havana Electric Railway has an extension of 56.06 miles, and is considered to be one of the best equipped electric street railways in the world.
Its cars are modern, its roadbed smooth, and the personnel accommodating and polite. The lines of this road traverse the principal sections of the city, running through the Cerro, Jesis del Monte and Vedado, Principe and Marianao, all flourishing suburbs of the main city of Havana.
The cities of Santiago, Camagiiey and Cienfuegos also, have well equipped electric lines that have been in operation for some years.
iiacadam Roads Cuba has 1,246 miles of excellent roads,
which, for beauty, are probably unsurpassed in the world. These roads were begun by the Spanish military authorities, and those constructed by them were purely for military purposes. Today they have been extended, and are employed in the pursuit of trade and pleasure. For automobiling there is probably no place on earth which offers greater attractions, particularly during the winter season, than Cuba. These roads are sixteen feet four inches wide (five meters), built on good foundations, well graded, and are kept in constant repair. On either side lovely trees are planted, which furnish shade and give an artistic touch to the road. At places the road is lined with royal poinciana, or flamboyante trees, which in the late winter and early spring are a mass of flaring flowers intermingled with the feathery plumelike leaves, the limbs meeting overhead forming a canopy of blossoms. At other places, in the older roads, immense laurel trees completely shade them, the dense dark green foliage furnishing a striking contrast with the white rrnoon of macadam which narrows in the distance until it disappears in the cool shade of the stately archway. An automobile ride on one of these roads is a pleasure never to be forgotten.
Rural Guards The rural guards are mounted police who patrol the rural districts. The force numbers 5,295 men, including officers. The force is divided into three regiments, one for each two provinces, and the regiments are divided into "tercios", or third parts, each "tercio" being divided into four squadrons. These men, well mounted are constantly patroling their respective districts, and are efficient, polite and accommodating in performance of an excellent service.
The Regular Army The regular army of Cuba, known as the Ej~rcito Permanente"', consists of 3,372 men, of which 3,200 are enlisted men and 172 are officials. The general headquarters, located at Camp Columbia, near Havana, has 184 officers
2 BAL Roivr ~sL~ EsiA :O
3 GRAND ~~AIRWAY AIO1s O
4 BLLROM NRODE LPND]~IL IAR~STINTH WRL :61
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and men; five officials are assigned to general inspection; 2,078 officers and men comprise the infantry brigade; 623 the coast artillery; 220 the field artillery, and 262 the machine gun corps.
Mails The mail service of the island is good, the mails being carried
on the railroads, coastwise steamers, by automobiles, and on horseback in the country. The collection of the mail in Havana is made from the numerous boxes throughout the city by automobiles, and the delivery is made by carriers the same as in the States.
Postage Cuba has a postal treaty with the United States, Mexico,
4z ;V the Panama Canal Zone, Hawaii and the Philippines, and letter postage -from Cuba to any of these countries, or vice versa, is 2c, wid pctekage postage the same as in the states. To all other countries letter postage is 5c. The Republic of Cuba has a parcels post treaty also with France and Germany and the United States.
Interior Telegraph Service The telegraph service of the Republic is operated by the
government. The rates are 20c for all telegrams of ten words or less which traverse but three provinces, and 2c for each additional word, the address and signature being counted. If four provinces the rate is 30c, and 3c for each additional word; if five, provinces it is 40c, and 4c for each additional word. And if the telegram is sent from one end of the island to the other, or goes into the limits of the six provinces, the rate is 50c and 5c for every additional word.
Cable Service The Western Union has a cable from Havana to Punta Rassa, Fla.; the Commercial Cable Company has a line direct to New York, and from the City of Santiago there is a French Cable Company which has lines to the other West India Islands, Panama', South America and to Nova Scotia. The rate per word, the address and signature being counted, is 15c to all points in the states east of the Mississippi River and 20c to points west. The rate to London is 40c per word, Paris 40c, Berlin 40c, and to Madrid and other points in Spain 53c per word via Havre and 55c per word via New York and London.
Clubs In-Havana there are three clubs-having a membership of over
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buildings in Cuba. The Centro Asturiano has spacious and handsome quarters at the head of Obispo Street, and facing Central Park.
The Gallego Club has a new building that cost nearly a million dollars. The Spanish Casino is the most exclusive of this class. The American Club has handsome quarters on the Prado, and a large representative membership. The German Club is another strong institution, while the Union Club is recognized as the old conservative Cuban organization. The Ateneo is a neew institution representing the Cuban literary and artistic element.
The Vedado Tennis Club is a popular and growing institution, and is composed largely of the social element of Havana. The Havana Yacht Club is also one of the popular clubs of the city, which has large and comfortable quarters at La Playa, about nine miles from Havana, where therc is a good beach and a sheltered bight which affords splendid bathing and a harbor for the sailing, motor and steam craft of its members. Electric lines and good automobile roads connect La Playa with Havana.
The three first mentioned clubs have a monthly charge of $1.50 Spanish silver; they conduct night schools, give musical instruction in their club rooms, and each of them have splendidly equipped hospitals on the outskirts of the city, with spacious grounds and gardens for the use of members in case of sickness.
HOVitals There are a number of splendidly equipped hospitals
in Havana, having the very latest improvements, and surgeons who keep in touch with the most advanced ideas and discoveries of their profession. There is an American hospital, and numerous government and private institutions in addition to the hospitals connected with the different Spanish clubs. At these institutions the best of treatment is given, and delicate operations are performed successfully.
WAGES AND LABOR
As a rule labor is plentiful, although during the cane-grinding season there is a temporary shortage. Farm hands are paid from $15. to $25. per month and board, and they work from sun to sun, having about two hours at noon in the summer and one hour in the winter. Laborers in the cities work nine hours, and are paid about $1.20 per day. In the cities, particularly in Havana, they are nearly all unionized. The average wages of masons per day is $2.50, carpenters $2.25, painters $2.25, plumbers $2.50, blacksmiths $2, stationary engineers $2.50, harnessmakers $2, cigarmakers work by the piece and make about $2.50, cigar selectors $4.70, leaf selectors $4, barbers $45 per month, clerks in stores $25 per month with room, board and laundry.
There are a number of first-class hotels in Havana, with rates running from $2.50 per day upward, according to the season and the acommodations furnished. The cities of Pinar del Rio, Matauzas, Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, Camagicey, Ceballos and Santiago also have good hostelries. In addition to these, cafes and restaurants, in countless numbers, are to be found in all the larger places on the Island. Table board can be
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secured f or from $25 per month upward, according to one 's tastes and desires. Good board, in places pleasantly situated, can be obtained f or from $40. to $50. per month. Rooms from $15. per month 'Upward.
THE DELIGHT OF TOURISTS
The number of tourists who come to Cuba during the winter season is increasing annually, and Cuba is destined to soon become the Mecca of American winter visitors seeking a balmy climate. They can now obtain good hotel accommodations, which are improving, each season; the climate is unequaled, the scenery charming, and the roads perf ect f or automobiling. Geographically, Cuba is very near the United States, but the varied historical and scenic attraction, the customs and architecture, offer combined charms not to be f ound elsewhere in the world, as if nature in her inscrutable wisdom had placed Cuba at the threshold of the United States as a garden-a winter playground for the people of that country.
A great many visitors bring their automobiles with them, and get the most out of their stay by touring the Island, driving over fine macadam roads in the shade of the laurel, royal poinciana and almond trees, wending their way through the mountainous section., where the scenery is surpassingly lovely, or through fertile and charming valleys. The quaint old buildings, the remnants of the ancient walls built to resist the land attacks of the buccaneers, and countless other historical relics, furnish a multitude of interesting subjects.
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT
The government of Cuba is modeled, as nearly, as possible, after that of the United States. There is a president and vice-president, who serve terms of four years. The president appoints a cabinet of nine members, as follows: Secretary of state, secretary of the treasury, secretary of justice, secretary of the interior, secretary of public works, secretary of public instruction, secretary of agriculture, commerce and labor, secretary of sanitation and secretary of the presidencia or executive department. At the general election preceding the expiration of the presidential term of office each province elects a number of presidential and vice-presidential electors equal to the combined number of senators and representatives to which said province is entitled, and a third as many alternates. This body then proceeds to the election of the Chief Magistrate and the Vice-President.
The senate consists of twenty-four members, four from each of the provinces, elected for terms of eight years, one-half of the number being
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over one-half that number. The members of the house are elected by the direct vote of the people, for terms of four years, one-half of the body being selected each two years. Each of the six provinces has a governor, who resides in the capital of the province, and is elected for a term of four years. The governors are assisted in the administration of the affairs of the province by a council of eight members who serve four years, four being elected each two years.
There are one hundred and three municipal districts in the Republic of Cuba, each of which is governed by a mayor and a council consisting of from five to twenty-seven members, according to the population. The mayors and councilmen are elected for terms of four years, one-half of the council being elected by direct vote of the people every two years.
PERSONNEL OF THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT
AT HAVANA, THE CAPITAL OF THE REPUBLIC
General Mario G. Menocal, President of the Republic. Dr. Enrique Jose Varona, Vice-President of the Republic.
Hon. Pablo Desvernine, Secretary of State. Hon. Leopoldo Cancio, Secretary of the Treasury. Hon. Aurelio Hevia, Secretary of Government. Hon. Cristobal de la Guard"- Secretary of Justice. Hon. Jose R. Villal6n, Seeret.-iy of Public Works. Hon. Emilio Nilfiez, Secretary of Agriculture, Commerce and Labor. Hon. Ezequiel Garcia, Secretary of Public Instruction. Hon. Enrique Niiez, Se aretary of Sanitation. Hon. Rafael Montoro, Secretary of Executive Department.
PROVINCIAL GOVERNORS Hon. Indalecio Sobrado, Pinar del Rio. Hon. Pedro Bustillo, Havana. Hon. Rafael Iturralde, Matanzas. Hon. Francisco Carrillo, Santa Clara. Hon. Bernabe Sanchez, Camagijey. Hon. Manuel Rodriguez Fuentes, Oriente.
CUBAN LEGATION IN WASHINGTON
Dr. Carlos Ni. de C~spedes, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary. Manuel de la Vega, First Secretary of the Legation. Jose A. Acosta, Vice Consul.
UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC CORPS IN CUBA
LEGATION AT HAVANA
Hou. William E. Gonz61lez, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary. Gustave Scholle, First Secretary of Legation. .. ..
Glenn Stewart, Second Secretary of Legation. Major Edmund Wittenmyer, Military Attache.
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. SHADED I)DRIVES NEAR HAVANA
2. PATIO OF AN OLD TIME COLONIAL H0ME
3. VIEW IN THE TROPICAL GARDENS
4. ENTRANCE TO THE BAY OF MARIEL
5. HOME OF MR. GONZALEZ, THE AMERICAN MINISTER 66
City of Havana
Havana The most charming capital in the New World, whose very
name, Indian in its origin, conjures up a historical panorama of four centuries crowned with tragedy, pathos, adventure, bold deeds, cruel crimes and noble sacrifice; on whose rapidly moving canvas the hand of fate has printed every form of human effort, from the wild dreams of worlct conquerors, to the sad sigh of the Siboney suicide who preferred death to slavery.
Its beauty strikes one with the first glimpse of dawn, as sleepy and heavy-eyed he peeks from the port of his inbound steamer. With the coming of light, a crescent of blending colors is thrown on the background of dull gray and dark green hills beyond. Long soft lines of fleecy foam are tossed by ocean billows onto the jagged coral reefs in the foreground. On the left, still and stern, rises the rugged bulk of Morro Castle, whose stubborn resistance held Albermarle's English fleet at bay for more than a month.
Looking up at its heights one can but think of Vel'zquez and his brave men, Who went to death refusing to surrender the fort even when they knew its walls were undermined, the powder laid, and the fuse lighted. True they had the satisfaction of feeling that they had defied the inevitable, but, was it worth the while? Evidently Velzquez thought so, and so it was that his name became immortal among fighting men of the sea. Spain, who could boast of none too many such heroes, did well to order that her navy henceforth should always have one ship which bore the name of "'Velazquez".
Squatting close on the right is "La Punta" whose guns, answering the British fleet in 1763, were silenced only when Morro, in the enemy's hands, turned her batteries on her companion across the narrow channel. Running from "La Punta" out along the shore is the new Malec6n fashionable seaside drive of Havana. Extending back towards the south is the beautiful avenue of wealth and fashion known as the Prado, once, as the name suggests, a grassy stretch which skirted the old walls, begun in 1663 and completed with the work of slaves in 1797. At the junction of these two drives, within the shadow of the old fortress, have occurred half the tragedies and most of the festivities of the gay capital of the Greater Antilles.
It was here that Narciso L6pez paid the death penalty by garrote in 1851. On almost the same spot a group of forty schoolboys, students in the University of Havana, innocent of any crime on earth, were lined up and every fifth one shot to death to appease the blood-hunger of the Spanish Volunteers, on the 27th of November 1871.
Soft green lawns, royal palms, and bright flowers cover the spot today, while sweet strains from the Municipal Band float out over the water from the Malec6n, trying perhaps, to drown the echoes which even the present generation recalls as coming from Cabafias fortress across the bay where
On OEM I'M.
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the shooting squad sent patriotic souls to their last resting place almost ev erpy d ay.
Havana is not only a beautiful city but a truly fascinating one for all not utterly devoid of imagination. Her houses, thick walled, ponderous structures, are built entirely of stone, brick or concrete. ,But, no matter what the material, all walls, inside, and out, are plastered with the smoothest possible finish and then tinted with every shade of the rainbow, and a few others, shell-pink, cream, gaslight green, lilac, and magenta predominating. Colors are matters purely of taste with the owners, but they seldom clash and they lend to the city a subdued but agreeable brightness, quite in contrast with the long, somber rows of buildings which mar many residence avenues in the North.
Houses of two-stories, each with eighteen or twenty feet ceilings, and fiat roofs with ornamental parapets, are almost universal. All windows, as well as doors, are wide and tall, running quite to the floor. These are protected from intrusion by beautiful iron grill work, wrought in attractive patterns. Ordinary residences are frequently covered with, elaborate stucco, and this given every tint in the color box. It may or may not be good taste, but it is always bright and harmonious.
But it is not beauty of design or deco-ation that gives to Havana her chief charm. It is rather in that delightful mingling of a semi-oriental present, lavish in its scheme of form and color, with quaint, mediaeval nooks and corners; huge, thick, polished cedar and mahogany doors, with heavy brass knockers, doors large enough when fully opened to admit a coach and four-in-hand. Its grim, grey picturesque forts of the 16th Century; its bits of old wall, turreted and capped as in days of old, when men in hauberques, trunks, and long stockings, with slashed sleeves and plumed hats donned their coats of mail, to repel the invader, be he buccaneer or Britisher, are all here and with us.
To the man or woman, not absolutely devoid of imagination, there is hardly a turn in old Havana-the section within the original walls-that does not cause a thrill of romance and deep historical interest, as before one rises, even the vaguest picture of how it all must have looked and seemed to the Havanese of the olden times who rode in escort beside the volante which bore the lady of his choice.
True, there are many beautiful, modern buildings, such as the "Lonja del Comercio" (Chamber of Commerce) and the Banco Nacional de Cuba, but close by these architectural evidences of the present, one finds even -now the old adobe, thick-walled, one story building with its criolla tiled roof and its carved mahogany rafters, still occupied, land marks of centuries gone by whose people were forgotten long ago.
Of some of our ancestors we have visual reminders, as the tablet,
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Every outer wall, every parapet, alcove, room, and dungeon, if able to speak, "could a tale unfold that would make each particular hair" etc. But now all is silent save for the laughter of children belonging to the Commander in Chief of Cuba's armed forces who resides there.
From the quaint little stone tower that crowns the southwest angle of the fort, still hangs the bell that used to sound its warnings of danger when hostile sails hove in sight. In this same turret, barricaded, the brave Lobera, with sixteen men, after the doors of La Fuerza had been burned and battered in by a heavy force under command of the French corsair Jacques Sores, held off the enemy for two days. It is said that such was the corsair's admiration for Loberas heroic defense, that he set at liberty the women and children captured as a condition of the turret's surrender.
More pathetic, however, is the picture of Doia Isabel de Bobadilla, who in 1539, on the drawbridge of La Fuerza in which they lived, bade her husband, Hernando de Soto, "adi6s", as with his army of nine hundred men and three hundred and fifty horses he set out for the conquest of Florida and "all the territory that might lie beyond".
Day after day, for more than two years, this faithful wife walked the parapet of the fort, straining her eyes to see his flag rise above the horizon of the Gulf. And when at last some storm-beaten bark brought back a few survivors of the expedition whose leader had hoped to rival, if not surpass, the conquest of Cortes in Mexico, or Pizarro in Peril, to tell her that her lord and lover would return no more; that even his body could never be recovered from its grave in the yellow waters of the Mississippi, her soul too, sank into the "sea of despair" and soon joined its companion on the shore beyond.
The dark dungeons of La Fuerza have held hundreds of Cuban patriots until death or deportation to Africa brought release. The old stone steps descending to the level of the ground-floor, are worn into veritable pockets by the tramp of feet during a continual occupancy of nearly four hundred years. For La Fuerza, commanding the approach to the President's Palace, the Senate Chamber and the Treasury Buildings, still has a strategic value.
It was within its walls in 1906 that a battery of the "Machine Gun Corps", commanded mostly by resident English and Americans, "made it possible", as Mr. Palma said, "for a President of the Cuban Republic to sleep in safety from threatened assassination by his own people."
Not a hundred yards away, in front of the Cathedral which, until the Spanish evacuation in 1900, held the historic bones of Christopher Columbus, is a quaint old two-story building with carved rafters and tile roof that forms one of the most ancient landmarks in all Havana. A landmark indeed since the square of ground between it and the Cathedral was covered by waters of the sea when this building was erected, and now, below the level of present earth, may be seen the old bronze and iron ring bolts used for making small boats fast in olden times.
The building, now occupied by "La Discusi6n", one of Havana's aristocratic afternoon dailies, contains a veritable museum of art and antiquities, many of them being relics of different revolutions. A splendid collection of oil portraits of Cuba's scholars, statesmen, philosophers, poets, writers, and military heroes, adorns the walls of "La Discusi6n", whose many interesting and attractive features are well worth seeing.
It was in one of the rooms of the second floor of this building, that some thirty citizens of Havana, in ancient times, failing to reach La Fuerza, sought refuge from the pirates behind the thick walls of this "solid old house on the water's edge". After a three days' siege the
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Pirate Chief promised them protection and peace, if they would surrender. T he terms were finally accepted as ammunition was running low, but as. they filed out of the front door they were told that peace was to be found only in Heaven where no protection was needed and straightway each was beheaded with the buccaneer's cutlasses.
Havana, no matter what her shortcomings, will soothe the overwrought nerves with soft, sea-tempered breezes, from either Gulf, Atlantic or Caribbean. It is the home of fruit, flowers, and foliage that never fails or loses its green. Its fish, and sea-food in general are always fresh and plentiful. Its coaches and taxicabs are comfortable andl stylish, with the cheapest fares of any city in America or Europe.
Its people are hospitable and courteous to a fault. They may not mean it all, but they make you believe they do. And the tourist or traveler who can find nothing to interest or charm in Havana, is out of harmony with beauty, with history, romance and truth. He has lost his intellectual or artistic poise, and should go to Battle Creek, Kankakee, or some other asylum for the unfortunate.
And if one finds a surfeit of the picturesque or the antique, he has only to call an auto and hie him to any of the city limits, whence a hundred mile spin over beautiful, shadled automobile drives, between lines of laurel, almonds and royal palms; through fields of sugar cane, bananas, pineapples, and tobacco; with groves of oranges, lemons and mangoes on every hand; the panorama constantly changing from level stretch to steep hill and high tableland, while below are broad valleys, such as that of Mariel, 71W
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and the famous Yumuri of which Humboldt wrote so eloquently, with mountains or open sea always in the background. Chauffeurs, at the time of the International Automobile Races, stated frankly that there were no roads either in America or Europe which could excel those of Cuba.
Before the traveler says "adi6s" to Havana, let him leave the terminus of the Principe Electric Line and ascend the hill to the "Castillo". The climb is easy and the reward is well worth the while. A birdseye view of Havana is spread out before him and unless his taste be fearfully jaded, the recollection will remain with him as long as memory lasts.
Its was from this point that Albermale and Howe, in command of the British forces in 1763, saw below them the capital of Cuba for the first time; Cabafias' long crest, with the hills of Guanabacoa in front of them, the heights of Atares and Jesis del Monte to the south, with El Cerro ridge, now the residence of "La Aristocracia Criolla", stretched far to the west; on the north lay the broad, blue Gulf of.Mexico: back of them the distant mountains of Pinar del Rio, while at their feet, lay the quaint, picturesque, old walled city of Havana, with its palaces, its cathedral spires, its monasteries, its wharves and its fleets anchored in the bay, with grim old Morro and La Punta guarding the entrance.
The picture is still there in all its essential details, and far more beautiful than in 1763. If you ever forget it, it will be because recollections of Havana's beautiful women haunt the memory and crowd out all else. For, with a]' deference to Baltimore, Louisville, San Francisco, New York, Vienna and Buda-Pest, there are more superbly beautiful women in Havana than in any other city on the face of the globe.
Yes, I know, you from Boston, London or Chicago, will reply that they are mostly of one type, the Andalusian, but, where on earth have you such another? Not in Sevilla, because there is a subtle something in Cuba, that has softened, illuminated, intensified and rendered even more enchanting, this criolla blend of the half Spanish, half Moorish origin showing strains of Celt, Gaul & Jew of ancient Spain. Do not ask-you who have not seen them on Obispo, or driving down the Prado, if it be in the glorious eyes, the even teeth, the smooth skin, or, in the finely chiseled face and features. No man can tell because he loses his head and with it his judgement. A woman may perhaps, if she will. But at any rate, the beauty of the Havanese will stay with you in memory when all else leaves. She is a part of Iavana, and Havana has no rival in her class.
THIS VOLUME HAS BEEN
MICROFILMED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LIBRARIES.
Cuba, what she has to offe UG L
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