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The Cuban ConnectionDrug Trafficking, Smuggling, and Gambling in Cuba from the 1920s to the Revolution$
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Eduardo Saenz Rovner

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831755

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807888582_saenz_rovner

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The Chinese and Opium Consumption in Cuba

The Chinese and Opium Consumption in Cuba

(p.45) Chapter 3 The Chinese and Opium Consumption in Cuba
The Cuban Connection

Eduardo Sáenz Rovner

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on the use of Opium and how its use expanded into other parts of the world, including Cuba, as the number of Chinese migrants grew to massive numbers. Opium had been used in China as a medicinal drug since the ninth century, hundreds of years before the European empires established colonial beachheads there. While the number of Chinese who used opium grew ever higher during the nineteenth century, most users apparently did so in moderation, often for social reasons, without becoming addicted or harming their health. Those who smoked the drug in China did not sit slumped in seedy opium dens, with eyes glazed over, as popularly depicted in the Western media. On the contrary, users came together in social and fraternal halls that scarcely differed in any way from other well-ordered and respectable venues of leisure activity and social intermingling.

Keywords:   opium, Cuba, Chinese migrants, medicinal drug, fraternal halls, leisure activity, social intermingling

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