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This page was last edited on 17 November 2017, at 23:46. It was known as “Santiago de Cuba Province” before 1905. The name is still used to refer to the eastern part of the country. The province was split up in 1976, with the administrative re-adjustment proclaimed by Cuban Law Number 1304 of July 3, 1976. Diego Velazquez founded the capital of Oriente province in 1514 and named it Santiago de Cuba. The province comprises 22 municipalities and is Cuba’s largest province containing about one third of the country’s population. Oriente Province is in the most eastern region of Cuba with a population of 1,797,606.
Cuba’s highest mountain peak and elevation in Pico Turquino. Oriente Province is the cradle of much of Cuba’s history being the place of Fidel and Raul Castro’s birth. Cuba’s first guerilla-style war was in 1523. Spaniards in the Sierra Maestra Mountains. Cuba’s struggle for independence and racial equality.
African slaves were brought to Cuba to work at the sugar mills, although some were brought from Haiti and other neighboring islands because they were also cheap and efficient labor. Open warfare broke out after an independence movement and lasted from 1867 to 1878. After the occupation of the Spanish ended in 1899, Oriente Province became a refuge for Afro-Cubans. Even though Afro-Cubans fared better in Oriente, poverty was still rampant in the province and they remained oppressed by wealthy Cubans and foreign land owners. Sugar and coffee were the main agricultural products produced. And at the highest there were forty-one sugar mills spread throughout the region.
Foreign investors saw opportunity within the province and began to buy as much land as possible to increase sugar production. As investors bought land, local farmers were pushed out and frustration increased. Poverty grew and by May 1912 Cubans in Oriente Province had reached a boiling point. Massive demonstrations erupted and Afro-Cubans began to loot and burn businesses and property owned by foreign investors. In response, the Cuban government sent in the army to burn the property of the Afro-Cubans and slaughtered many. Within two years, half of the sugar mills in Oriente were owned by U. For Cubans working within the province, life had become near unbearable.