I’m supposed to be doing some research on early immigration of Asians to the Americas, and came across a reference to Chinese immigration to Cuba in the mid 19th century. Unfortunately, the biggest page I found was written in Spanish. Using my … excellent… high school Latin skills, this is as far as I got (original page here if you find it in your heart to help me out):
The first Chinese, mainly from arrived in Cuba on June 3, 1847. That first shipment was of 200 Chinese, 6 having died on transport. They, and subsequent Chinese “indentured laborers” were forced to work over 12 hours a day, for 4 pesos a month, for 8 years, except on Sundays. They worked mainly on plantations in rural areas, with not hope of returning to their native land.
Many of the Chinese seem to have joined the rebels in the 10 year War of Independence. They served with valor and sacrifice, and came to be known as Los Chinos Mambises. The article speculates that they joined the rebellion because of their inhumane working conditions, which caused sickness and death, similar to the conditions of the enslaved Africans and Creoles(?)
Going to look for the English copy of a Chinese report on Cuban immigrants, at the BPL later this week.