Something New. Something Old. Something Cuba!

Ever see the animated film “The Road to El Dorado“?   It’s hilarious!  Two BFFs, Tulio and Miguel, get into all kinds of mischief on their way to finding their fortune.  This flick is great entertainment for uplifting your spirits because Miguel is the ultimate optimist.  He can find the silver lining behind any dark cloud.  Found a video clip on YouTube from the film that fits perfectly with the main topic for this blog post.  Cuba!

The Road to El Dorado Tulio and Miguel, win a map to El Dorado, the legendary City of Gold. They are determined to find El Dorado and they will get there … eventually.  In this scene, which is my favorite scene, Miguel and Tulio were told that they have been sentenced to spend the rest of their miserable lives working on a plantation. Miguel reaction and response is priceless.  What??!!! They are to be slaves on a plantation? That sounds hopeless. Where are they being sent? To Cuba??  Cuba!!!

Alright! Cuba!!!  🙂

The Road To El Dorado: Alright…Cuba

Since the current US President, Barack Obama, is trying something “new”, to improve US relations with Cuba, decided to check my favorite history site to see if there was something “old” to be discovered about this lovely country. Cuba is a beautiful place. Only 90 miles from Florida and it would have been nice if the two countries could have always enjoyed good relations. But anyway … better late than never! Truly hope the “agreements” settled on by the “folks in charge” makes life better for the people. Cubans are such a talented intelligent and vibrant people. Even if the island did not offer natural resources – which it does, but if it didn’t – the human resources are plentiful!  It truly is a shame to oppress or waste a person’s God-given abilities and not allow them to maximize their potential.

Image credit: Cuba and USA flags
© Photographer: Bennymarty | Agency:


At any rate, my search results at Ancient History Etcetera were not plentiful. Found one article.

Article Summary: The Taíno people were the natives who greeted explorer Christopher Columbus. Where are they now? According to a 2012 AHE article, “they all but disappeared from Hispaniola, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, and the Bahamas”. (1)

{Evidently, they died from communicable diseases brought by “sailors and settlers”. (2)}

My alternate history site is This website has a group of freelance writers who have an expertise or passion in a myriad of topics. One can always find hidden treasure in plain view at this site. Unfortunately, the site is being overhauled so none of the articles are available for plain viewing. UUUGGGG!!! 

(Sigh.)  Where to next? Wherever there are facts to be found! Here are a couple to peak your curiosity. No doubt this country has a colorful history.

What happens when invaders ask the natives what’s the name of the place they plan to take over? Before claiming the land for Spain, Christopher Columbus picked up a handful of dirt – in an attempt to ask a native the name of the land he had landed on. Somewhere in the response he heard the word “cuba” and concluded that he had arrived in Cuba! (3)   Per Wikipedia, “cuba” can probably be translated either as ‘where fertile land is abundant’ (cubao), or ‘great place’ (coabana).

Before Fidel Castro and other freedom fighters broke the grip the dictator Fulgencio Batista had on Cuba, there was another war for independence in which Augustin Cossío was a major figure. It was the Cuban war for independence from Spain which began in 1895.  (It was the last war.  There were 2 wars before this one.)  Cossío had a daughter named Evangelina who was wrongfully imprisoned. The full true story may never be known but thanks to efforts of William Randolph Hearst (famous American newspaper publisher), and more specifically, thanks to the daring efforts of Hearst reporter Karl Decker who was sent directly to Havana, Cuba on assignment to cover her story, Evangelina Cossío y Cisneros was rescued and invited to The White House. Cuba did gain its independence from Spain in 1898. The Spanish left but the US maintained a presence there until 1902 when the Republic of Cuba became official. Cuba celebrates their Independence Day on May 20th.  On that day in 1902, the largest island in the Caribbean was no longer a colony, but a country. Ms. Cisneros lived out her remaining days in her homeland. She did not pass away until 1970 at the age of 92. Which means she lived to see what was done to Cuba AFTER all that her father had done. (4)


The story of Evangelina Cisneros (Evangelina Betancourt Cosio y Cisneros), told by herself, her rescue by Karl Decker ; introduction by Julian Hawthorne, illustrations by Frederic Remington, Thomas Fleming and others
The story of Evangelina Cisneros
Photo: Cell from which Evangelica Cisneros escaped,Havana,Cuba,Prison Escape,c1899
The story of Evangelina Cisneros


Image credit: Cuba, Revolucion
© Photographer: Frizi | Agency:



  1. The Mysterious Taíno of the Caribbean – Ancient History et cetera.
  2. Cuba, Maps, History, Geography, Government, Culture, Facts, Guide & Travel/Holidays/Cities
  3. Lost in Translation – Hilarious Bilingual Place Names
  4. The Dramatic Rescue of Evangelina Cisneros.





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