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|Points of interest|
|Behind the scenes|
- "Seems that when Cap'n Teague's men took our condemned friend Borya down t' the dungeons to question him, the little coward sang like a songbird—before they could even heat up the irons or ready the rack! Gave up his confederates and disclosed where and when they're supposed t'gather to divide up their swag. 'Tis some little island, east nor'east of Cuba."
- ―Hector Barbossa to Jack Sparrow
Cuba was an island located south of Florida, in the control of Spain. In the 1740s, the island was a home of bandits, prostitutes, and smugglers. The planters and merchants were happy to deal with pirates and smugglers for a good deal, despite the Spanish laws. By the time of the adventures of Jack Sparrow, the resentment against Spain and particularly its mercantilism was strong. The island also had dark and mysterious swamps inhabited by alligators and monstrously large Venus Flytraps. The swamps were the home of many practitioners of Voodoo, most notably the mystic Tia Dalma, who resided in the Pantano River.
On October 28, 1492, Christopher Columbus landed in Cuba and christened it "Juana" in honor of Prince Don Juan, son of Queen Isabella. Its Indian name was "Cubanacan." Slowly the name Cuba was adopted by the Spanish. Cuba's size and diversity of landscape no doubt convinced Columbus that he had indeed found Asia.
When Christopher had visited Cuba on his second voyage, the Indians were hospitable. Velasquez anticipated little difficulty. However, in that short time the Indians of Hispaniola had been treated so terribly, that head chieftain Hatuey had to flee to Cuba. He had spread the word about the cruel white man to the Cuban natives.
In 1511, when Diego Velasquez and his 300 men landed for the conquest, they were greeted by a cloud of arrows. On February 2, 1512, Chief Hatuey was tied to a post after refusing to tell where the gold was. When offered a cross in order to die in the grace of God and go to heaven, Chief Hatuey scornfully replied, "If Christians go to heaven, I do not want to go to Heaven." Flames consumed the chief's body and the resistance of the Indians collapsed almost entirely. So began the colonization of Cuba. By 1515, Velasquez had established six small settlements that included Havanna.
Economically, there was little gold in Cuba, but agriculture more than made up for it. However, the native labor force was disappearing so quickly, additional labor had to be obtained. Thus, entered the slave trade. The first Spanish royal permit for Negro slaves was issued in 1513, the same year that Juan Ponce de León discovered Florida. Slave trading was large scale in 1524 and was wide open by 1550. By 1557, only 2,000 native Indians were left in Cuba. The Spanish Crown received a royalty for each slave imported.
Cuba's first capital was Santiago de Cuba. Governor Diego de Mazariego took up residence in Havanna in 1558. Havanna was given the title of "City" in 1592 and was confirmed as the Capital in 1607. By 1602, Cuba's Spanish population was about 20,000 of which 13,000 lived in or around Havanna.
Havana became the principal port and naval base for all of Hispanic America and existed solely for the good of the mother country. Havanna was the capital of the New World. Trade with countries other than Spain was prohibited and all shipping had to be done with Spanish ships. Almost all ships would put into Havanna for food and water before returning to Europe and the only practical route was northward via the Gulf Stream. During the wars in 17th and 18th century, Cuba, as a strategic location, naval base and center of communication, was subject to attack by all European sea powers.
At some point before the 1740s, Tia Dalma settled in Cuba, residing in a shack at the mouth of the Pantano River. During the War of Jolly Roger, the island would be filled with swamps inhabited by alligators and monstrously large Venus Flytraps. The swamps were the home of many practitioners of Voodoo, Tia Dalma among them.
Behind the scenes
- Cuba appears in the video game Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned. But, since that game was canceled, it is unknown if the island's appearance in the game is canon or not.
- Cuba is mentioned in Tim Powers' novel, On Stranger Tides, which was used as the basis for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned
- Jack Sparrow: The Sword of Cortés
- The Price of Freedom (Mentioned only)
- The Black Skull!
- The Compass of Destiny!
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online (First identified as Cuba)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (First appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (On a map)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (On a map)
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Non-canonical appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (film series)
- Jack Sparrow: The Sword of Cortés
- The Price of Freedom
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online