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Flag of Italy
Flag of Cuba

Italian immigration into Cuba was minor in comparison with other waves of Italian emigration to the Americas, where a few thousand Italians emigrated to Cuba, compared to the millions that went to Argentina, Brazil and the United States.

History[edit]

Statue of La República at El Capitolio, 15 metres high, sculpted 1929 by Italian Angelo Zanelli

After Cristoforo Colombo (Italian from Genoa), discovered Cuba in 1492, the first Italians arrived with the Spanish conquistadores. Some were sailors and soldiers of fortune but most were missionaries. In 1605 shipwrecked Italian sailors founded the city of Mantua, Cuba in the far west of the island.[1] These sailors came from the Genoa and Venice areas.[2]

Only in the mid-19th century did there develop a small Italian community in Cuba: they were mostly people of culture, architects, engineers, painters and artists and their families. They were called to Cuba to work in the development of the churches, monuments and government buildings in Havana. In 1884 these first Italian Cubans founded the "Sociedad de Socorro Mutuo" (Society of Mutual Aid) and in 1891 the "Sociedad de Beneficiencia" to help the neediest among them. At the beginning of the 20th century socialist associations were formed but these were strongly opposed with the Catholic-aligned authorities. Some Italian Cubans participated actively in the Cuban wars of independence, such as Oreste Ferrara editor of the national El Heraldo de Cuba newspaper.[3][4]

In 1931 according to the Cuban census there were 1178 people with an Italian passport in Cuba.[5] Of these Italians, 80 lived in Pinar del Río Province, 129 in Oriente Province, 762 in Havana, 30 in Matanzas Province, 103 in Las Villas Province and 74 in Camagüey Province.[6]

During WWII, Italy and Cuba broke off diplomatic relations and some Italian Cubans were jailed accused of sympathizing with Italy. In 1941, nine such Italians were jailed on Isla de Pinos (now called Isla de la Juventud; they were: Principe Camillo Ruspoli (rancher), Doctor Attilio di Gregorio (physician), Francesco Savonelli (businessman), Felice Siervo (jeweller), Erminio Tarditi (businessman), Bruni Pasquale (shoemaker), Doctor Pasquale Fontanella (physician), Francesco Grosso (tailor) y Piero Rosbochi (businessman). All were released in November 1943. [7]

In 2008 there were 2340 people in the Italian Cuban community, concentrated in Havana and tourist areas such as Varadero. One of the most famous is architect Roberto Gottardi, designer of the "Escuela de Artes Escénicas" (Scenic Arts School) in Havana.[8]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Ervantes-Rodriguez. International Migration in Cuba: Accumulation, Imperial Designs, and Transnational Social Fields. Max Kade German-American Research Institute Series. Publisher Penn State Press, 2011 ISBN 0-271-03539-0
  • Favero, Luigi e Tassello, Graziano. Cent'anni di emigrazione italiana (1861 - 1961) CSER. Roma, 1981

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mantua, an Italian footprint in Cuba (en ingles)
  2. ^ En los registros de las parroquias de Mantua se encuentran los apellidos Ferrari, Pitaluga, Fiorenzana y otros."Italianos en Mantua". Bohemia, a.87, n.10, 14 mayo 1995, pp.18-19.
  3. ^ Biografía de Oreste Ferrara
  4. ^ Black Political Activism and the Cuban Republic, Melina Pappademos, p.153
  5. ^ Francesco Tamburini. "La colonia italiana di Cuba (1884-1902)"(en italiano)
  6. ^ Angela Oramas Camero. "Italianos en Cuba", Bohemia, a.89, n.11, 24 mayo 1997, pp.24-25
  7. ^ ASDMAE, Affari Politici (1931-1945),Cuba, b.4, doc.n.0040,4 gennaio 1943; Appunto per la Direzione Generale AffariGenerali: Italianos libertados, Embajada española en La Habana, 12 novembre 1943
  8. ^ Roberto Gottardi´s National art school - Paradise lost?

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Cuban — Please support Wikipedia.
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Houston Press (blog)
Thu, 17 Dec 2009 00:00:00 -0800

While the Akaushi burger at Logan Farms didn't knock my socks off, a new sandwich there called the "Cuban pesto" did. It's not hard to imagine that a roast pork, ham and cheese sandwich would taste pretty damn good with the Italian paste of garlic ...

MLive.com

MLive.com
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 07:15:00 -0700

Big O' Cafe -- Italian/Cuban casual dining. Fri: Cuban special dinner. Open daily. 80 Ottawa Ave. NW, 451-1887, bigospizzas.com. $$. Bistro Bella Vita -- Mediterranean cuisine made with fresh ingredients purchased from local farmers. Open daily ...
 
Havana Times
Thu, 08 Apr 2010 10:14:04 -0700

HAVANA TIMES, April 8 – Living in Cuba can seem like a horrifying nightmare for some of the island's residents, who see emigration as the answer to an improved economic situation, a better life and greater freedom. Many of us on the island have gotten ...

The Hudson Reporter

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Sat, 31 Jan 2015 21:06:51 -0800

The third annual Hoboken Mutzfest saw no change in the top prize-winners, with M&P Biancamano winning the people's choice award for best mozzarella for the third straight year and Vito's Deli winning the critic's choice for mozzarella for the second ...

New Times Broward-Palm Beach

New Times Broward-Palm Beach
Mon, 16 Sep 2013 06:44:17 -0700

Conversely take your pick of American, Italian, Cuban, or Turkish coffee and order a few "lady fingers" of crispy Phyllo dough wrapped around sweet-salty crushed pistachios and suddenly you'll find a few more hours of stamina. Don't forget a lamb kebab ...

New York Times (blog)

New York Times (blog)
Sat, 05 Jul 2014 07:02:36 -0700

Guests can choose among five dining spots: a quick-serve cafe and sit-down Italian, Cuban, Southern rotisserie and Spanish steakhouse eateries. “We want to be the most luxurious and comprehensive property in the area, and we think we can do that ...
 
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Wed, 18 Jun 2014 09:47:04 -0700

It's only natural for immigrants to the U.S. to move into an area full of their countrymen in order to rally around native tongues, traditions, and a love of food that Americans haven't yet figured out how to serve from a drive-thru window. And while ...

New York Daily News

New York Daily News
Sat, 10 Aug 2013 23:02:37 -0700

Eating along the M line: Italian, Cuban and North African fare near the Knickerbocker and Central Ave. stops. Bushwick nabe boasts Verde Coal Oven Pizza, Cafeteria La Mejor and Bushwick Kitchen. BY Rachel Wharton. NEW YORK DAILY NEWS. Sunday ...
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