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Simón BolívarTravels and Transformations of a Cultural Icon$
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Maureen G. Shanahan and Ana María Reyes

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062624

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062624.001.0001

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Bolivarian Imagery and Racial Ideology in Early Nineteenth-Century Cuba

Bolivarian Imagery and Racial Ideology in Early Nineteenth-Century Cuba

(p.62) 3 Bolivarian Imagery and Racial Ideology in Early Nineteenth-Century Cuba
Simón Bolívar

Paul Niell

University Press of Florida

In 1823, the Bolívarian movement known as Soles y Rayos de Bolívar founded a Cuban section led by a former officer in Bolívar’s army in Colombia, José Francisco Lemus. This local branch appropriated Amerindian imagery in an effort to build a cultural sign for a new and independent state in Cuba known as Cubanancán (a pre-Hispanic name for the island). This effort in Cuba to represent difference and place within the Spanish colonial system via pre-Hispanic history was related to a broader cultural practice promoted by the larger movement, but one already in operation in Cuba. This essay considers that if Bolivarian struggles on the American mainland are to be seen as informing the use of Amerindian imagery in early nineteenth-century Cuba, they contributed to and perhaps modified an extant discourse present in oral narrative, literary texts, and artistic expressions in a porous insular context of active Cuban agents.

Keywords:   Cuba, Soles y Rayos, José Francisco Lemus, Amerindian, nineteenth century, Colonial, Bolívar

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