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MatanzasThe Cuba Nobody Knows$
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Miguel A. Bretos

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813038100

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813038100.001.0001

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The Tyranny of Nearness

The Tyranny of Nearness

(p.135) 10 The Tyranny of Nearness

MIGUEL A. Bretos

University Press of Florida

Nearness to the United States has long been one of the main forces shaping Cuban history. A strong movement with a large presence in Matanzas sought annexation to the United States but anexionismo—in effect a strategy to preserve slavery in Cuba, detach the island from Spain, and apply for membership in the Union as a slave state—did not long survive. It was confounded by military defeat and by its increasingly political impossibility. Anexionismo's legacy was nonetheless important in Cuba's national visual symbology. The Cuban flag, the first national flag to feature a triangle, was designed by Miguel and Emilia Teurbe Tolon, a Matanzas couple. It was a novel design concept that has been widely imitated. Nearness to the United States can be credited with the introduction of Protestantism and baseball to the island.

Keywords:   Anexionismo, Cuban flag, Miguel Teurbe Tolon, Emilia Terbe Tolon, protestantism, baseball

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