"Haiti has a strong presence in Cuba, dating back to the late 1790’s after the Haitian revolution, when many French moved to Cuba and took their kidnapped Africans with them. From this wave we get the Tumba Francesa and the Haitian roots music in Cuba. Haitian tradition contains a strong strain of Dahomey and Congo, both of which are present in western Cuba as well. Haitian Rada is Cuban Arara, the Dahomey tradition.
During the early part of the 1900’s, many Haitians were brought in to cut sugar cane. In 1921 and again in 1937, when the market for sugar fell, they were simply kicked out and sent home, such was the logic of the neocolonial republic.
More recently, Cuba is perhaps the only country to have welcomed so many Haitians fleeing the persecution of the Haitian elites and their regimes. There are reportedly over 300,000 recent arrivals in Cuba. And Creole, which is still spoken by descendants of the earlier waves, is Cuba’s second language, with a Creole radio station in Havana.” #haiti
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