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November Sunday

Discussion about the formation of Cuban nationality

HOLGUÍN, Cuba, Oct 18 (ACN) Several panels and talks about the transcendence of the historical facts leading up to the celebration of Cuban Culture Day on October 20 are being held in the city of Holguin.

One of them is "Holguin, cruise of knowledge", a panel held online by the local Casa de Iberoamérica and conducted by historians Jose Novoa Betancourt and Armando Cuba.

Both researchers delved into the concepts and historical moments that proved to be pivotal to the formation of Cuban nationality, a long and complex process involving different cultures.

“Unlike what happened in other lands or nations, Cuba was born of a terrible historical process: the conquest of America, which led to the virtual extermination of the aboriginal population and the arrival of close to a million black Africans taken from their environments by force and forced into cruel slavery,” Novoa explained.

He exposed the horrors they suffered upon their arrival to the island, where they were given different names, forced to communicate in Spanish and imposed the transculturation of their deities in the images and gods of Christianity.

"Becoming Cuban was a difficult process, because the color of the skin was also considered a social stigma until whites and blacks were able to recognize themselves under this demonym,” he said.

“Hence the concepts of cubanidad—related to the birthrights of those who are born in Cuba and identified with distinctive elements such as their home country’s typical dishes, music and landscape—and cubanía, referred to when people are seen and understood as unique, sovereign and owner of their own destiny,” Novoa underscored.

On his end, Armando Cuba highlighted the facts that marked the celebration of October 20 as Cuban Culture Day, namely the National Anthem, eventually the cultural justification to establish such commemoration according to Decree 74 of August 1980, recalling the day in 1868 when Perucho Figueredo composed the stanzas.

In closing the panel, the specialist recalled one of José Martí’s phrases when he said that Homeland is the union of loves and hopes, precisely one of the keys to understand that the homeland resides in the unity of the Cubans beyond their possible differences.

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