Oriente Province

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Oriente (Spanish for "East" or "Orient") was the easternmost province of Cuba until 1976. Oriente Province_sentence_0

The term "Oriente" is still used to refer to the eastern part of the country, which currently is divided into five different provinces. Oriente Province_sentence_1

Fidel and Raúl Castro were born in a small town in this province (Birán). Oriente Province_sentence_2

The origins of Oriente lie in the 1607 division of Cuba into a western and eastern administration. Oriente Province_sentence_3

The eastern part was governed from Santiago de Cuba and it was subordinate to the national government in Havana. Oriente Province_sentence_4

In 1807, Cuba was divided into three departamentos: Occidental, Central and Oriental. Oriente Province_sentence_5

This arrangement lasted until 1851, when the central department was merged back into the West. Oriente Province_sentence_6

In 1878, Cuba was divided into six provinces. Oriente Province_sentence_7

Oriente remained intact but was officially renamed to Santiago de Cuba Province until the name was reverted back to Oriente in 1905. Oriente Province_sentence_8

This lasted until 1976, when the province was split into five different provinces: Las Tunas Province, Granma Province, Holguín Province, Santiago de Cuba Province, and Guantánamo Province. Oriente Province_sentence_9

This administrative change was proclaimed by Cuban Law Number 1304 of July 3, 1976, and remains in place to this day. Oriente Province_sentence_10

History Oriente Province_section_0

Diego Velazquez founded the capital of Oriente province in 1514 and named it Santiago de Cuba. Oriente Province_sentence_11

The province comprises 22 municipalities and is Cuba's largest province containing about one third of the country's population. Oriente Province_sentence_12

Oriente Province is in the most eastern region of Cuba with a population of 1,797,606. Oriente Province_sentence_13

It stretches across 14,641 square miles (37,920 km) and consists of various mountain ranges with the Sierra Maestra region having Cuba's highest mountain peak and elevation in Pico Turquino. Oriente Province_sentence_14

Oriente Province is the cradle of much of Cuba's history being the place of Fidel and Raul Castro's birth. Oriente Province_sentence_15

José Martí was killed in battle in Dos Ríos and many guerrllla wars have also taken place in Oriente. Oriente Province_sentence_16

Cuba's first guerilla-style war was in 1523. against the advancing Spaniards in the Sierra Maestra Mountains. Oriente Province_sentence_17

Some of Cuba's oldest cities are in Oriente Province (such as Baracoa) and carry a rich history of Cuba's struggle for independence and racial equality. Oriente Province_sentence_18

Throughout the 1800s. Oriente Province_sentence_19

a significant amount of 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. Oriente Province_sentence_20

Open warfare broke out after an independence movement and lasted from 1867 to 1878. Oriente Province_sentence_21

Slavery was finally abolished in 1886, but life for many Afro-Cubans remains a struggle, especially in Oriente Province. Oriente Province_sentence_22

After the occupation of the Spanish ended in 1899, Oriente Province became a refuge for Afro-Cubans. Oriente Province_sentence_23

Oriente had the highest number of individual land owners and renters with 96% of the population being native-born. Oriente Province_sentence_24

Afro-Cubans constituted as many as 26% of the land workers. Oriente Province_sentence_25

Of the total land owned by Afro-Cubans, 75% were in Oriente Province. Oriente Province_sentence_26

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. Oriente Province_sentence_27

Sugar and coffee were the main agricultural products produced. Oriente Province_sentence_28

And at the highest there were forty-one sugar mills spread throughout the region. Oriente Province_sentence_29

Foreign investors saw opportunity within the province and began to buy as much land as possible to increase sugar production. Oriente Province_sentence_30

As investors bought land, local farmers were pushed out and frustration increased. Oriente Province_sentence_31

Poverty grew and by May 1912 Cubans in Oriente Province had reached a boiling point. Oriente Province_sentence_32

Massive demonstrations erupted and Afro-Cubans began to loot and burn businesses and property owned by foreign investors. Oriente Province_sentence_33

In response, the Cuban government sent in the army to burn the property of the Afro-Cubans and slaughtered many. Oriente Province_sentence_34

Within two years, half of the sugar mills in Oriente were owned by U.S. investors. Oriente Province_sentence_35

For Cubans working within the province, life had become near unbearable. Oriente Province_sentence_36

The presence of Americans, Jamaicans, Bahamians and Haitians, brought in by the United Fruit Company exacerbated racial problems not present until the U.S. occupation of 1898. Oriente Province_sentence_37

Cuba's national hero, José Martí called for a multiracial republic. Oriente Province_sentence_38

List of governors Oriente Province_section_1

1500–1799 Oriente Province_section_2

1800–1902 Oriente Province_section_3

Municipalities Oriente Province_section_4

Present day municipalities that were part of Oriente include: Oriente Province_sentence_39

In Granma Province: Oriente Province_sentence_40

In Guantánamo Province: Oriente Province_sentence_41

In Holguín Province: Oriente Province_sentence_42

In Las Tunas Province: Oriente Province_sentence_43

In Santiago de Cuba Province: Oriente Province_sentence_44

See also Oriente Province_section_5

Oriente Province_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriente Province.