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Slave's Route: Tribute in Triunvirato

Slavery, developed in Cuba by the Spanish conquistadors, left an indelible imprint in the formation of the Cuban nation, to which it contributed its cultural wealth, tradition and history.

In an effort to get cheap labor force that could be exploited easily and was resistant to ill treatment, thousands of black slaves were forcedly brought to Cuba from Africa.

According to experts, more than 1.3 million slaves were brought to the Caribbean Island from several regions of the so-called black continent.

They brought the culture and the religion practiced by such ethnic groups as Lucumi, Carabali, Congo, Ganga and Mina, among others.

Slaved trade, carried out for years, left a large number of victims and led to slave rebellions against their masters, as a result of the latter's cruel punishments.

An example of the hard work the African slaves have to do was the construction of the castle of San Severino, which left a toll of blood and sweat from men and women who were forced to build the walls and water deposits, to cave tunnels, and to deploy the batteries of the fortress.

Shangó dance.
Eleguá dance.
Yemayá dance.

Due to that, Cuba's centuries-old history records many rebellions, which were cruelly repressed, but which left their indelible imprint for future generations.

One of those events was the rebellion at the Triunvirato sugar mill, which currently houses the Monument to the Slaves' Rebellion.

The said sugar mill was built in the 19th century, a period characterized by the flowering of those kinds of factories in the western Cuban province of Matanzas.

The rebellion broke out in November 1813, after a period of preparations during which the slaves from several sugar mills communicated among themselves using traditional drums, until the moment when they attacked their foremen, who were directly responsible for the inhumane treatment they received.

The slaves took the foremen's firearms and freed the slaves from the sugar mills Acana, Concepción, San Lorenzo, San Miguel and San Rafael, as well as from nearby coffee plantation and cattle farms.

However, the well-armed Spanish forces suffocated that independence effort that ended in a bloodshed that is still remembered by present generations.

That way, the monument at Triunvirato pays tribute to those who gave their lives centuries ago to be free from oppression.

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