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CHAPTER 1.

HISTORY OF FORMER CUBAN WARS.

BY

CARLOS GARCIA VELEZ, Brigadier-General

CINCE Columbus discovered Cuba, in October, 1492, that

beautiful Island of the world has been unceasingly the

.arena of a wonderful struggle for freedom. It is strange that Spain should have treated the natives of all her extensive colonies with equal cruel barbarism, since the Spanish people are not prejudiced against marrying and mingling with all sorts of races. All the famous Spanish captains married native women, regardless of birth or color, as soon as they arrived at the colonies, and certainly the sol. diers followed their example. Thus the colonies, after some generations, were composed of Indians, Creoles and Spaniards. The first of these people, Aboriginals, were the real owners of the land; the second, descendants of native women and Spaniards; the third, new employees and officials, mostly adventurers of the worst class, wlio kept coming from Spain.

In Cuba the native Siboney Indian was a good type of a physically well-developed race, with amiable and innocent character, hospitable and graceful. In 1511, Columbus's son sent 300 men, with Velazquez commanding, to take possession of the Island. The Spaniards never employed kindness or diplomacy to gain control over the natives, but by brutal force established Spanish sovereignty, trampling on their natural rights and slaughtering those who resented their domination. The Indian Siboney Chief Hatuey preferred to die at the stake rather than submit to Velazquez's tyranny. When Hatuey was dying, a Catholic priest approached him and talked about the Almighty in Heaven, and urged him to pre

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