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WIWCThe British West Indian Welfare Center: Guantanamo City

The British West Indian Welfare Center is located in the City of Guantanamo, which is on the Cuban part of the island near the American naval base of Guantanamo. The Welfare Center celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1996 and was founded by immigrants from the many English speaking Caribbean island who came to Cuba at the turn of the century seeking work and a better life.

Mistreated and suffering the ills of racism, they banded together and formed a self help association. Today, their organization is charted as an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) by Cuba and is able to engage in numerous non-profit activities as well as some business development.

The West Indian community in Cuba, especially the one in Baragua, a town more towards the center of the island than Guantanamo, is the subject of a documentary, "My Footsteps in Baragua," by film maker Gloria Rolando:

The West Indian Welfare Center celebrated its 50th with a symposium, as recounted in a letter from one of its members, Alberto Jones, who lives in northern Florida. This letter is also an appeal for aid and support to the community.

The Center is now expanding into other Cuban cities. They are also planning a Second Symposium.

The British West Indian Welfare Center, 5/09 by Jenny Kassman

Report on the West Indian Welfare Center - Alberto Jones, 5/1996

Film on West Indians in Cuba: My Footsteps in Baragua

1st International Meeting People to people of Young defenders of Afro-Anglo-Caribbean roots in Guantánamo, May 2019top


1st International Meeting People to people of Young defenders of Afro-Anglo-Caribbean roots in Guantánamo.


The British West Indian Welfare Center (CENTER) invites you to participate in the 1st People to People International Meeting of Young Defenders of Afro-Anglo-Caribbean Roots in Guantanamo to be held in Guantánamo, Cuba from May 4 to 5, 2019 different headquarters of Guantánamo Municipality.

Organizing Committee

President: Lic. Jorge Augusto Derrick Henry
Vice President: Lic. Eliezer Brooks Videaux
Other members:
Professor Paulette Ramsay
Dr.C Anthony Van Der Meer
Dr.C Erick Mendoza Barroso
Ms.C Niovis Lorens Martinez
Ms.C Alberto Biggerstaff Francis
Lic. Luis Arturo Bennett Robinson

Work commissions

* Youth and Tradition.
* History and identity.
* Challenges and Perspectives for Afro-Anglo-Caribbean youth.
* The Afro-Caribbean-Caribbean Diaspora in today's world.
* Sports, culture and Recreation

* The meeting will be held in the form of a Symposium where the title of each paper to be presented will be sent, as well as a summary in the Spanish and English languages. This summary will be extended up to 250 words and their respective keywords.

* The registration fee will be 50 CUC for foreigners and 100 CUP for nationals with the right to accreditation. This should be done by authors.

* The works must be sent in digital format or delivered in printed form to the British West Indian Welfare Center, host institution and the electronic account may be used

* The works will be received to compete until April 4th, 2019.

* Accreditation will begin on May 3th, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in the institution itself.

* The meeting will begin on May 4th with a gala start at the British Antillean Welfare Center at 9:00 a.m.

Subjects for work in commissions.

Commission # 1 Youth and tradition

* Realities and prospective cultural approaches of Latin American and Caribbean youth.

* Tradition in the discourse of the history of our continental nations. Challenges for its preservation.

* Culture and praxis of Afro-Caribbean youth, in the management of social dynamics for the multiplication of traditions. Towards the construction of a pedagogy of traditional socio-cultural management.

Commission # 2 History and Identity

* Artistic-literary creation as a living expression of the history and culture of the peoples of the Americas and the Caribbean.

* Awakening and identity significance in the construction of the macro cultural world.

* Originality of Afro-Caribbean-Caribbean art and culture versus invasion and cultural depredation.

* Value of Afro-Caribbean Caribbean socio-culture against anarcho-semitism.

* Indigenous expressions as a bulwark of Afro-Caribbean-Caribbean cultures.

* Development of academic programs aimed at rescuing Afro-Caribbean-Caribbean descent from the perspective of the integration of peoples.

Commission # 3 Challenges and Perspectives for Young Afro-Anglo-Caribbean descendants.

* Encounters and dialogues of Afro-Caribbean-Caribbean culture in the construction of the cultural melting pot.

* Future vision for the conservation of cultural roots.

* Theoretical considerations for the rescue of the afro-anglo-descendence in the community scenario.

Commission # 4 Afro-Caribbean Caribbean Diaspora in today's world.

* Collisions of the diaspora in the context of a time of change.

* Creation and social construction as continuity and sedimentation of the Afro-Caribbean-Caribbean diaspora.

* Presence of the diaspora in Spanish-American literature.

* The Diaspora and antillanism in the Guillenian creation, peculiarities in its literary musicality.

* Globalization of Afro-Caribbean-Caribbean culture as an emphasis of its presence in today's world.

Commission # 5 Sport, Culture, Recreation.

* Sports, culture and recreation as indivisible expressions in the preservation and continuity of ancestral cultures in the Afro-Caribbean-Caribbean context.

* Sports recreational contributions as ratification of Afro-Caribbean-Caribbean cultural stamp.

* The preservation and persistence of Afro-Caribbean-Caribbean sports stereotypes from the perspective of community actions aimed at raising the quality of life and creating values in them


Report from Alberto Jones on the state of the West Indian Welfare Centertop

Palm Coast, Florida, May 1996


Dear Brother/Sister/Friend,

Still exuberant over the incredible life experience I was fortunate to partake with family and friends during the celebration of the 50th aniversary of the British West Indian Welfare Center in Guantanamo, Cuba, I will attempt to share with you some of the highlights.

After remaining dormant for the past 20 years, the Young People Department have infused new life in the Center and have expanded the membership to 579, among which there is a large pool of professionals in all fields, especially medicine, with more than 40.

Still more striking, is the enfasis that has been placed on preserving our cultural heritage and the welfare of the young, elderly and the sick.

Among the achievements of the past 3 years that the Center can present are:

a) Parcial renovation of the Old Crumbling Building until a new one is found.

b) International recognition as a Non Governmental Organization (NGO).

c) Organize and operate a Medical Specialty Service in the Center for all members and neighborhood patients referred by their Family Doctor. In addition, when available, medicine is also provided, free of charge.

d) Operate an English Language School and a Technical English Language School for Professionals.

e) Organize a 20 voice Chorus, Soloists, Dance Group, Crikett Team, Arts and Crafts and Soft Ball team.

f) Initial stage of a Data Bank, geared to facilitate relinking families and for genealogy research. The present membership composition is as follows:

Jamaica 288, St Kitts-Nevis 76, Barbados 26, Antigua-Barbuda 30, St Thomas 30,

St Lucia 21, Grenada 15, British Virgin Is. 6, Guyana 6, Matinica 2, Trinidad/Tobago,

Turcos/Caicos Is. and USA 1 ea., the rest are

The 50th Aniversary of the Center was celebrated with the "1st INTENATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON THE PRESENCE OF THE ANGLO-CARIBBEAN CULTURE IN CUBA",from March 21 thru 24 1996.

Personalities such as the head of UNESCO for Latin America, Jamaica's Consul General, Cuba's Vice-Minister of Culture, the Heads of English Department of the University of Havana and Ministry of Education, Jamaica's Business and Cultural delegation, Latin America Teachers Association and Intelectuals/Cultural Cubans of Anglo ancestry. Delegates from the US and other six Islands that intented to participate, opted not to, because of the latest travel restrictions.

Three days of discussion of scientific papers ranging from medical issues such as, Low Lepra Incidence Among Anglo Caribbean Descendents, Treatment and Results of Hypertension Through Accupuncture, Preliminar Findings of Scorpion Venom in the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer, Why Pichon in the Social Studies Group, or NANNY, A Symbol of Resistance and Hope by the History Group.

But nothing could have prepared us for the Testimonials of the men and women in their 80's and 90's, detailing their lives of suffering, ignorance, abuse, discrimination and the pilgrimage from the english speaking islands to the construction of the Panama Canal and to different sugar cane plantation in Cuba with its infrahuman living condition, all, in search of the "Promised Land", that most never found, "Baragua", is a 28 minutes documentary preserving part of our painful history.

But the Center is more than the above. In the present economical crisis aflicting Cuba, which is especially severe on the elderly, the sick and the young, The Center is committed to play its WELFARE ROLE thoroughly, assuming full responsability in the preservation of the quality of life of its people. New branches of the Center are in existence in Santiago de Cuba, Baragua and Havana. Banes and Tunas are next.

With your help, THIS YEAR, the Community Center will be operational, providing a hot meal to all of those in need or vulnerable. The health services will be improved and expanded.

The Spaniards, Jews, Chinese and Arabs are already providing food, medince and clothing and other resources for their nationals living in Cuba. We are not and should not do less than other ethnic group do for their people!

I have witnessed the pain, the suffering and the anguish, associated with the absence of the most basic means of life and its devastating impact.


Together we can make a difference. A small contribution, the equivalent of a bag of dog food, an extra fill-up of your car or even your weekly cigarette allowance, suffice for us to answer this moral/ethical issue that we share with those families, friends and neighbors, facing their most serious threat of extintion ever!

I wish to thank you wholeheartedly for your help. If asked on our final hour, let us all be able to say, YES, I DID WHAT I COULD TO STOP THIS TRAGEDY.


Alberto N Jones DVM

PS Feel free to make copies and pass on to friends and family. Thanks.



The British West Indian Welfare Center  11/25/2018 Desde Guantánamo: Historia e Identidad  

El racismo y sus mecanismos de perpetuación  10/23/2013 Havana Times: de Alberto N. Jones - "El British West Indian Welfare Center en Guantánamo, fue fundado en 1945 y como una Organización No Gubernamental, realizó un excelente trabajo social y cultural para miles de emigrantes y descendientes anglófonos. La petición de una Licencia al Ministerio de Justicia para reconstruir su calamitosa edificación, operar un restaurante-cafetería o una hospedería, ha sido denegada una y otra vez, en tanto, un puñado de descendientes asturianos, judíos, árabes y chinos en Cuba, poseen y operan legalmente cafeterías, restaurantes, casas de alquiler y un hotel. El grave daño que esta marginación selectiva ha ejercido sobre los negros en el país puede verse en su estancamiento, frustración y la desmoralización de sus jóvenes. En el periodo 1960-1975, los negros procedentes de Guantánamo y Santiago de Cuba, constituían el grueso de los médicos, enfermeros, maestros y dentistas graduados en Cuba. Hoy la presencia de negros en estas mismas profesiones está en vías de extinción."

Guantanamo’s Cuban British West Indian Welfare Center Hosts the 1st International Eugene Godfried Memoriam Gathering  7/13/2010 AfroCubaWeb 


West Indians in Cuba

Eugene Godfried


Contact West Indian Welfare Center

Lic. Jorge Derrick.
Pdte. Del British West Indian Welfare Centre.
Fax: 355854
Telef: 32-5297/38-1884
Serafín Sánchez # 663.
e/. Paseo y Narciso López.
Guantánamo, Cuba.


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