The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 40, Issue 1

Article 6
Forging “Caribbeanness”: Cuban Insurgents, Race and Politics in the Turks and Caicos Islands, 1878–1880

Philippe Zacaïr


This work examines the currents of communication and political exchanges
that existed between Cuban insurgents and the people of the Turks and Caicos during the Cuban wars of independence. In 1880 for instance, the presence in the archipelago of insurgents headed by well-known Afro-Cuban leader Antonio Maceo greatly strained local politics. The people of the archipelago loudly expressed their support for the Cuban struggle in contradiction with British official policy. This essay shows that far from racial solidarity, Turks Islanders expressed a Caribbean consciousness that was born out of their position at the heart of powerful maritime networks between Cuba, Jamaica and Hispaniola.