New Beginnings upon Havana’s Return
The final section of the book moves across the fifty years after the occupation, exploring Spain’s efforts to reconstitute its authority in Havana and the many reverberations of the occupation throughout broader Atlantic and global systems. The actions of individuals in Cuba during this crucial episode of fighting and occupying revised understandings in the metropole that would go on to shape new policies with global ramifications. The exemplary service of black soldiers in defending Cuba from attack helped to convince the Spanish state of the “utility” of Africans for achieving its imperial ambitions and the wisdom of procuring, on its own, more populations of African descent for its overseas colonies. In addition, disloyalty among elites during the occupation convinced Spain that the way to tie the island better to its sovereign was to make more enslaved Africans available to these eager buyers.
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