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#481: Ayitians in Cuba (Saint-Vil contributes) (fwd)

From: Jean Saint-Vil <jafrikayiti@hotmail.com>

Hilario Batista (btur@tesla.ispjae.edu.cu) is one gentleman who can help you 
get more info about the presence of people born of Ayitian parents in Cuba. 
Hilario is president of Banzil Kiba one of the organizers of the Kiba Kreyol 
activity announced on the internet at:


In April 1998, I had the honour of meeting several brothers and sisters, 
members of the Ayitian community in Cuba.

down in Barrancas, we met members of a dance group, including a former 
soldier named Alfonso who served in Angola. This brother was so proud of his 
Kreyòl and his origins he says he refuses to eat at people's place where the 
children have not learned to speak Kreyòl.

In the heart of the Sierra Maestro mountains we also met a Haitian clergyman 
(Oungan Pablo) who greeted Fidel Castro and the Che and fed them during the 
fight against dictator Batista.

Martha Jean-Claude Foundation in Havana will put you in touch with these 
beautiful brothers and sisters who have now begun to exchange with their 
families since diplomatic ties have been renewed between our sister islands.

I don't have any stats about our "Pitchon" brothers and sisters living in 
Cuba but there are communities throughout Cuba, from the Sierra Maestra, 
Barrancas, Camaguey, Guantanamo etc...
Apparently, the term Pitchon refers to descendants of Ayitians which 
constitute the bulk of the Ayitian presence. Many are decendants of Ayitians 
who went to cut sugar cane in the early 1900s, there are some whose Ayitian 
connnection dates back to the time of Ayitian independance when the french 
slavers fled Ayiti with some Africans who followed them (I also heard a 
similar story as far away as Australia. i.e slavers reahing Australia with 
Afrikans slaves from Ayiti). There are also some Ayitians born in (southern) 
Ayiti who went to Cuba later on.

Finally, there is at least one direct weekly flight between Pòtoprens and 
Santiago de Cuba.

"Fanmi pa janm pèdi"

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