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Marcus Mosiah Garvey and Cuba
by Eugene Godfried, 6/04

Marcus Mosiah Garvey is the founder of the internationally known "Universal Negro Improvement Association", abbreviated U.N.I.A. The movement’s newspaper was  "NEGRO WORLD".

Garveyism in Cuba was primarily, although not exclusively, a movement of the British West Indian immigrants. Garveyites stimulated the West Indian immigrants to maintain their sense of "IDENTITY" and to survive in an often times hostile environment.

UNIA’s objective in Cuba was focused on the protection of the labor - interest and to enhance the social well-being of immigrants from mainly anglophone, as well as francophone and other groups in the Caribbean who were brought to Cuba from 1910 onward in order to work on the sugar, coffee, cocoa, and other estates. By being immigrant - centered, in that sense, the movement was not considered a threat to public order by the eurocentric elite.

"LA CHAMBELONA UPRISING" OF 1917 – Seventeen British West Indian workers were murdered by soldiers in Jobabo, Las Tunas. UNIA defends Brittish West Indian immigrants against abuse by employers and labor- recruiters in the canefields. President Mario Menocal, consequently, issued a Presidential decree ordering repatriation of "braceros", hand-laborers, since they were posing a threat/danger to public health and were a public burden to the nation.

BLACK STAR LINE, founded in 1919.

Captain Joshua Cockburn piloted the Black Star steamer "FREDERICK DOUGLAS", into Sagua La Grande, Las Villas, before continuing to Havana in early December 1919.

At the beginning of 1921, Reverend George Alexander MacGuire, Chaplain General of the UNIA, became the first member of the Association’s executive council to make an official trip to Cuba. Before returning to New York in early March 1921, he visited a dozen (12) divisions in Cuba, sold Black Star stock, and collected contributions to the Liberian Construction Loan.

Marcus Garvey visited Cuba in 1921

Marcus Garvey arrived in Cuba in March 1921, along with HENRIETTA VINTON DAVIS, and JOHN SIDNEY DE BOURG (UNIA’s international organizers).

1927: Fifty (50) Cuban chapters’ are registered with the UNIA parent body in New York, U.S.A.

Garveyite leaders in Cuba gave social assistance to immigrants during economic crash of the 1920’s. The Movement in Cuba then urged the British government to provide better support for its West Indian subjects living in Cuba.

Because of internal conditions of the movement outside of Cuba, it is noticeable that the movement gradually disappeared in Cuba in the decade of the 30's.

Marcus Garvey died in 1940.

The ideas of Marcus Mosiah Garvey were of great interest to the later to be formed Rasta movement in Jamaica, therefore he was a predecessor to the Rastas.

The Rasta movement has a significant presence in present day Cuba, thanks to the work done and examples set forth by Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, who is adored by a cross section of the Cuban youth and people.


Little Known Black History Fact: Ho Chi Minh’s Black Connection  6/14/2016 Black America Web: Robert Williams had a dialog with Ho Chi Minh that included this topic - "During the time Ho was in Harlem, he was said to have attended several meetings and lectures by the UNIA leader and pan-Africanist, Marcus Garvey. Garvey’s words may have influenced him. In 1924, Ho published a pamphlet titled “The Black Race” (translated from French) which detailed the conditions and horrors African-Americans faced under the false democracy of America."

Mexico's Historic Aid to Black American Freedom Struggles  2/16/2015 African American Latino World: "During the 1890s, hundreds of Black migrants fed up with slave-like conditions and segregation, left Alabama for Mexico and established 10 large colonies. Shortly thereafter, during the period of the Mexican Revolution, large numbers of black people migrated from New Orleans to Tampico, Mexico, as the oil industry prospered. These Africans in Mexico established branches of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). "

Marcus Garvey, la UNIA y la Comunidad de inmigrantes jamaicanos de Banes  12/2/2012 Monografias: de Yurisay Pérez Nakao

Este viernes 17: Reggae en Alamar por Marcus Garvey  8/16/2012 Red Observatorio Crítico: "Un género común para grupos de músicos de La Habana, quienes “vienen trabajando en uno de los géneros más representativos del Caribe y menos promocionado en Cuba”. “Sus influencias y aportes a la nueva generación de la música popular son de nuestro interés, así como visualizar una muestra de sus exponentes en La Habana” –explican los organizadores en un promocional. “El homenaje al nacimiento de Marcus Garvey…” será realizado por “…un Grupo de Artistas y Promotores de la Música, con la colaboración de la Dirección Municipal de Cultura de Habana del Este…” –contiene la nota."

Marcus Garvey: Black champion of vision and destiny  8/3/2012 Jamaica Gleaner: "At its height, the UNIA had an estimated four million members with more than 1,000 branches in more than 20 countries, and is generally considered the largest mass movement in Afro-American history. Many major African political figures would recall being influenced by Garvey, including Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah, Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta, and Nigeria's Nnamdi Azikiwe. Much of the African National Congress leadership in 1920s South Africa belonged to the UNIA. So did Elijah Muhammad, who, to a large extent, patterned his Nation of Islam movement on the UNIA. Malcom X's father was a UNIA organiser, and Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Min attended UNIA meetings."

Interpretations of Garveyism Over Time in Jamaica and Cuba  11/25/2011 76 King Street - Journal of Liberty Hall: The Legacy of Marcus Garvey: by Samuel Furé Davis, published in 2009

Marcus Garvey the theologian  10/17/2004 Jamaica Observer 

Reggae Cubano Cimarron  1/11/2003 RCC: "Bendiciones, en nombre del León Conquistador, Emmanuel I, Marcus Garvey I. Hermanos y Hermanas, esta página es dedicada al Pueblo Rasta en Cuba, su realidad, su música y su gente."


BETWEEN RACE AND EMPIRE: African-Americans and Cubans before the Cuban Revolution, edited by Lisa Brock and Digna Castañeda, includes 

Marcus Garvey in Cuba: Urrutia, Cubans, and Black Nationalism by  TOMAS FERNANDEZ ROBAINA
  UNIA History at UNIA-ACL Comunidad Rasta en Cuba  su pagina sobre Garvey seria de fotos en Cuba, donde la congregacion salio de la Ciudad de la Habana, atraveso por toda la isla hasta llegar a las Montañas del Cobre, donde se establecio la casa oficial de Rastafari en Cuba, la O.C.R. (also in English on same page)

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