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Cuban Studies
Number of Followers: 5  
 
  Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
ISSN (Print) 0361-4441 - ISSN (Online) 1548-2464
Published by Project MUSE Homepage  [305 journals]
  • On the cover: Elio Rodríguez Valdés, La gran salsa, 1996, soft
           sculpture, 65″ × 8″

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      Abstract: If I had to describe the work of Elio Rodríguez Valdés (aka "El Macho") (b. 1966) with just one word, I think it would be laughter. Or maybe mockery. Should it be sarcasm' Scorn' But all these terms may be fundamentally misleading, for Elio is a trickster who seeks to deceive and confuse. Viewers would be mistaken to identify his amusement with happiness, his laughing with hilarity, however. There is something deeply troubling, even sad, behind Elio's theatrical proposals. As with any other carnival, when you peek behind the veil of sumptuary excesses and thunderous performance, you find hierarchy, injustice, and oppression. At the same time, Elio is not interested in giving us a pamphlet, he does not seek to ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Revolution from Within: Cuba, 1959–1980 ed. by Michael J. Bustamante
           and Jennifer L. Lambe (review)

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      Abstract: In the wake of revolt and messianism, under the sway of promises of radical transformation, the Cuban poet Virgilio Piñera called for the "organic" book of the Cuban Revolution. A rather variegated historiographical approach, The Revolution from Within is a response to such a plea, a critical anthology that seeks to move beyond Manichaean, utilitarian, historicist accounts. In the words of its editors, the contributions to this study constitute "an assertion of plurality and antiteleology" (5); they foreground empirical revisionism in the face of ossified master narratives professed in progressive time. No wonder the image that prefaces the book is a satirical representation of official—and ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Becoming Free, Becoming Black: Race, Freedom, and Law in Cuba, Virginia,
           and Louisiana by Alejandro de la Fuente and Ariela J. Gross (review)

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      Abstract: Becoming Free, Becoming Black is a comparative study on the interconnection between citizenship and racial subordination in slave societies. The book was cowritten by Alejandro de la Fuente and Ariela J. Gross and builds on their previous work.1 Among the many contributions of the study, it is worth mentioning the authors' analytical shift from slavery to freedom. In Slave and Citizen (1946), Frank Tannenbaum explained the divergent modern race relations in the United States and Latin America as resulting from their distinct slave legal regimes.2 Over the years, revisionists criticized Tannenbaum for overemphasizing law at the expense of slave agency, whereas recent scholarship have been trying to synthesize these ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Goodbye, My Havana: The Life and Times of a Gringa in Revolutionary Cuba
           by Anna Veltfort (review)

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      Abstract: Recommended background reading: Frances Negrón-Muntaner and Yolando Martínez-San Miguel, "In Search of Lourdes Casal's 'Ana Veldford'" Social Text 25, no. 3 (2007): 57–84.Anna Veltfort's Goodbye, My Havana is one of the most important and innovative books about Cuba to be published recently. A graphic designer and illustrator, Anna Veltfort has produced a graphic memoir that is riveting and visually enticing. Originally published in Spanish in 2017, the book is now available in an English paperback edition with Redwood Press, a new trade imprint of Stanford University Press. This story of a German American woman, a "gringa," coming of age as a lesbian in Cuba during the tumultuous years of revolutionary fervor ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Black British Migrants in Cuba: Race, Labor, and Empire in the
           Twentieth-Century Caribbean, 1898–1948 by Jorge L. Giovannetti-Torres
           (review)

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      Abstract: Black British Migrants in Cuba is an impressive, in-depth history of the migration and experience of British Caribbean people, most of them Black, in Cuba during the first half of the twentieth century. Sugar mills that were US, Canadian, and locally owned required vast numbers of laborers for cane cutting and other kinds of manual labor. Under American tutelage, Cuban authorities allowed what was often privately controlled migration of workers from the rest of the Caribbean. Migrants were persistently seen as threatening aliens in racist terms. The book is framed by a fascinating idea: how could black colonial subjects consider their liberation from colonialism and racism from within their diasporic condition' A ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • A Cuban City, Segregated: Race and Urbanization in the Nineteenth Century
           by Bonnie A. Lucero (review)

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      Abstract: Through the prism of social geography and the history of one town, Cienfuegos, Bonnie Lucero provides a fascinating and original contribution to our knowledge of the workings of white domination and antiblack racism in nineteenth-century Cuba. The island was then one of the largest slave plantation societies in the history of the Americas. Lucero's primary focus, though, is not on plantations or slavery but on white Cubans' efforts to control urban public spaces in order to exclude and subordinate free people of color. Lucero's story is also one of determined, often entrepreneurial, and somewhat effective black resistance to white strategies of control. That resistance, in turn, provoked new white efforts to ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • La evolución del poder en la Revolución Cubana by Juan
           Valdés Paz (review)

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      Abstract: En la nueva historiografía sobre la Revolución Cubana, producida dentro y fuera de la isla, deberá ocupar un lugar central esta obra del experimentado académico cubano Juan Valdés Paz. No creo que exista en ese corpus historiográfico otra obra que enfoque la experiencia de la isla, en los últimos sesenta años, desde una metodología tan apegada a la evolución institucional del país. Dicho enfoque proviene, desde luego, de la formación del autor en las ciencias sociales y políticas. Valdés Paz llega a la historia desde un campo en que las prácticas y estructuras del proceso político ocupan el lugar protagónico.El concepto central de este ambicioso estudio es el poder. Se entiende por poder un principio de autoridad y ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Occupation of Havana: War, Trade, and Slavery in the Atlantic World by
           Elena A. Schneider (review)

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      Abstract: To most historians of Cuba, the British siege and occupation of Havana in 1762–1763 during the final months of the Seven Years' War constitutes a watershed moment. The dominant narrative, until now, has interpreted British actions during the occupation, however brief, as a catalyst to Cuba's modern political economy. According to this view of the occupation, the conquering British opened up previously unavailable trading opportunities, significantly increased slave imports, expanded credit, rationalized the labor force, and reorganized public institutions, thereby stimulating the Havana economy and prompting imaginings of even-greater prosperity. Once Spain reoccupied the city at the end of the war, Havana and its ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Rice in the Time of Sugar: The Political Economy of Food in Cuba by Louis
           A. Pérez Jr. (review)

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      Abstract: Louis A. Pérez Jr., the University of North Carolina's distinguished and prolific historian of Cuba, presents us with a rather brief, innovative, and well-written study of Cuban identity and dependence from an unusual perspective. The title of this volume explains many of the issues he addresses here: a first chapter on rice's place in Cuban identity, then three chapters on consequences for rice production of the political economy of sugar, their effects on Cuban-US trade relations, and an epilogue on rice in Cuba after the revolution. The central issue is the fundamental paradox of how a land so blessed with natural resources could have such poverty and inequality. As a Cuban analyst feared in 1861, without ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Fidel between the Lines: Paranoia and Ambivalence in Late Socialist Cuban
           Cinema by Laura-Zoë Humphreys (review)

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      Abstract: El libro de Laura-Zoë Humphreys es el resultado de una investigación excelente, extensa y bien documentada sobre el cine cubano reciente y el contexto político de la isla, desarrollada en el Departamento de Antropología y Estudios de Cine y Medios, de la Universidad de Chicago. El lector encontrará un libro bien estructurado y de lenguaje claro, que moviliza una amplia bibliografía,1 y mucho material de investigación de campo.A lo largo de viajes a Cuba, entre 2003 y 2005, en 2017, y durante aproximadamente dos años en los que residió en la isla (2007 a 2009), la autora realizó investigaciones en archivos, entrevistas con varios intelectuales, cineastas experimentados, jóvenes cineastas, asistió a la EICTV (Escuela ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Spanish Caribbean and the Atlantic World in the Long Sixteenth Century
           ed. by Ida Altman and David Wheat (review)

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      Abstract: The Spanish Caribbean and the Atlantic World in the Long Sixteenth Century is a marvelous addition to the historiography of the Caribbean, providing a deep, reflective, and cogent look at a period of colonial history that is still too often understudied. The editors have done a superb job of curating a volume that explores the history of the region's key population groups while also tackling specific topical areas. The volume features a mix of established and emerging scholars. Together, they render fresh perspectives that ultimately make an excellent case for the "long" sixteenth century as a foundational period not just for the Caribbean but also for the broader Atlantic world. The interlocking nature of the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • No Barrier Can Contain It: Cuban Antifascism and the Spanish Civil War by
           Ariel Mae Lambe (review)

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      Abstract: No Barrier Can Contain It dismantles a pervasive myth about twentieth-century Cuban history: that the crushing of the March 1935 general strike produced a period of retreat, disillusionment, and quiescence among the island's prodemocracy activists. Focusing on the years immediately following that defeat, the book argues instead for the "political continuity of Cuban activism as antifascism" (56), documenting how intensely Cubans engaged with global antifascist struggles during the second half of the 1930s. Fascist Italy's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 and the Nazi-backed Nationalist insurrection against the Second Spanish Republic in 1936 inspired Cubans to mobilize broadly against the twin evils of dictatorship and ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Nota del Editor

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      Abstract: En mi última nota editorial destacaba que, a sus cincuenta años, Cuban Studies enfrenta el reto de llegar a un mayor número de lectoras y lectores en la isla, especialmente dadas las limitaciones de acceso a publicaciones que se diseminan fundamentalmente a través de bases de datos y proveedores digitales que, como JSTOR o Project MUSE, implican el pago de subscripciones institucionales. Esta ha sido una preocupación fundamental de nuestro comité editorial. Me es grato anotar hoy que, gracias en gran medida a la iniciativa de uno de los miembros de nuestro comité, Julio Fernández Estrada, destacado estudioso de temas legales, la plataforma digital independiente elTOQUE publicó una reseña de los números 48 y 49 de ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Living the Revolution: New Perspectives on Cuban Social History

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      Abstract: Historians are, by the nature of their craft, supposed to arrive late to a given field of study: their labors of interpretation often begin only after a generation or so has passed and the metaphorical dust has settled. In the case of the Cuban Revolution, however, they have arrived even later than usual. A great deal of analysis and commentary was produced in the immediate aftermath of 1959, by social scientists, reporters, and political activists, and much of the existing literature has relied on that first generation of scholarship, which tended to be defined by urgent partisan divisions. But as a subject of historical inquiry, the Cuban Revolution has not consistently generated the volume of work that one might ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • "The People Live Practically Like Beasts": Informal Housing and Local
           Government in Santiago de las Vegas, Cuba, 1959–1965

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      Abstract: Esa es la raíz, y esa es la sal de la libertad: el municipio.In November 1959, Dr. Juan Miguel Rodríguez de la Cruz wrote to Esberto Mejías Estol, the head of the municipal government of Santiago de las Vegas, then a suburb of Havana, with an intriguing proposal. The doctor sought land from the municipal government to expand his ceramics factory, then in ruins, which was located on the corner of Eleventh Street and Eighteenth Street in Santiago.1 There, Rodríguez de la Cruz had once employed 120 workers until labor disputes severely limited production and the facility closed in 1957.2 Now, Rodríguez de la Cruz wrote, the government had an opportunity to help rehabilitate, as he put it, "the only place in Cuba ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Agrarian Reform and the Radicalization of Revolutionary Cuba,
           1959–1962

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      Abstract: Juan Triana Fernández was upset. It was December 1960, and agrarian reform in Cuba had been under way for several months. Triana Fernández, a small sugarcane and rice farmer from Matanzas, expected the National Institute for Agrarian Reform (Instituto Nacional de Reforma Agraria, or INRA), the organization leading efforts to enact structural change in Cuba's land regime, to be on his side. Yet that year INRA operators in Matanzas had taken his oxen—which he depended on to transport his harvest—and allowed a herd of two hundred cattle to trample indiscriminately over his land, causing his entire rice crop to be lost. Triana Fernández sat down in front of a typewriter, loaded a reel of black and red ink, and ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Rethinking Religion and the Revolution: New Voices and Perspectives

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      Abstract: This article addresses and analyzes religious agency, subjectivity, and lived experience within the Cuban Revolution. Through a focus on previously understudied Cuban Catholic voices and actors, the article discusses Catholic agencies and subjectivities rooted in the revolutionary context. The article draws on a large body of primary sources that were produced both by the institutional church and by individual Catholics in Cuba during the revolutionary period.1 As the sources appear in scholarship for the first time, they provide new perspectives to broaden the research of Cuban Catholicism and religion in the revolutionary society. These new sources both complement and challenge previous scholarship and ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Tropical Science and the Politics of Development: Cuban-Soviet Scientific
           Collaboration Post-1960

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      Abstract: The future of our country must necessarily be a future of men of science.In the epigraph to this article, Fidel Castro's suggestion at the twentieth anniversary of the Speleological Society of Cuba that science (and scientists) would be responsible for Cuba's future is perhaps one of the most fundamental yet underexplored ideas in Cuban history post-1959. The history of science in Cuba is the history of Cuba's decolonization, as Cuban scientists undid the country's colonial past through the development of scientific and technological innovation that would reclaim the island's resources for the benefit of Cuba and defend Cuban interests in the face of foreign intervention. This article examines the encounter between ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Las anchas fronteras de la solidaridad: La campaña de alfabetización
           cubana desde los comunistas uruguayos (1961)

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      Abstract: Como "la nueva conciencia de América Latina," así definía a la Revolución cubana el maestro y militante comunista Selmar Balbi, un mes después de la visita de Fidel Castro a Montevideo en mayo de 1959. "En las calles de Montevideo, en los cafés, en las colas de las ferias populares, en las salas de profesores y en las escuelas, en los más diversos sitios de la ciudad, se ha establecido un fuerte lazo de unidad" con el triunfo cubano, agregaba.1 Ya desde el mismo 2 de enero de 1959, El Popular—diario oficial del Partido Comunista del Uruguay (en adelante PCU)—titulaba "Los trabajadores de La Habana declararon la huelga general. Cayó la dictadura en Cuba. Fidel Castro exige rendición incondicional de la Junta".2 El ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Detectives, criminales y libros de policías: La Habana moderna en el
           imaginario literario cubano de finales del siglo XIX

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      Abstract: Cuanto menos sosegada se hace la gran ciudad, tanto mayor conocimiento de lo humano, se pensaba, será necesario para operar en ella.Mucho se ha hablado de cómo un cuento de Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849), "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841; "Los crímenes de la calle Morgue"), tiene el raro mérito de constituirse en el iniciador de la literatura moderna de detectives. El relato del crimen y su resolución ocurre en París, el arquetipo de la gran ciudad moderna en el siglo XIX. ¿Por qué Poe elige esa ciudad como topos para su historia' Las respuestas a este interrogante pueden ser muchas. Acá la palabra modernidad, aplicada como adjetivo al sustantivo detective, tiene connotaciones muy precisas. Lo que resulta más ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Los confinados de Fernando Poo, de Francisco Javier Balmaseda: viejas
           identificaciones e idénticas tachaduras para un proyecto nacional

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      Abstract: El proyecto colonial español implementado en Guinea Ecuatorial ha sido objeto de importantes estudios en las últimas décadas (Nerín, Creus, Sánchez Lobera). Dentro de estos, ha ocupado un lugar central la isla de Bioko y el desarrollo del cultivo del cacao desde el último cuarto del siglo XIX. Los topónimos mismos de esta isla y su ciudad más importante son una muestra del drama colonial—Formosa, Fernando Poo, Bioko, Clarence, Santa Isabel, Malabo—y evidencian las complejidades del mundo transatlántico, irreducible al par colonia-metrópolis. Por la realización efectiva del proyecto español a partir de 1883, con la llegada de las misiones claretianas y el despegue del cultivo del cacao, los analistas se han centrado ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • De cimarrones: Raza y disidencia en Autobiografía de Juan Francisco
           Manzano

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      Abstract: En la Cuba musical contemporánea, Erik Alejandro Rodríguez destaca entre los artistas de mayor arraigo popular. Su nombre de pila podría resultar desconocido al lector, sin embargo, si nombramos Cimafunk—calificativo artístico—de inmediato sería reconocido. Su etimología parte de la unión de Cima—cimarrón—y Funk—género afroamericano de los años 60, mezcla de soul, jazz y rhythm and blues (R&B).1 Cimafunk y el tema "Me voy" parten del imaginario del cimarrón, donde la raza deviene categoría social y cultural. El artista exhibe al poeta Juan Francisco Manzano (1797–1854) entre sus padres intelectuales.La figura del negro fugitivo trasciende en el campo cultural cubano mediante la obra de Manzano, cual expresión de ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Estética de la (auto)destrucción: Identidades punk en Cuba

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      Abstract: En una reciente discusión con Jaime,2 un joven punk de La Habana, sobre la importancia (o no) de la estética como marca de pertenencia a esta cultura, él se quejaba de que, en Cuba, "es fácil ser punk cuando no lo pareces" (Jaime). Como participante en las escenas punk de otros países (España y Estados Unidos principalmente),3 me sorprendió notar que, mientras que fuera de Cuba hay una tendencia a llevar un aspecto cada vez más casual (la pertenencia a una contracultura particular se demuestra yendo a conciertos o exhibiendo conocimientos específicos),4 en la isla—al menos según Jaime—llevar una estética específica (p. ej. cresta, tachuelas y parches, tatuajes y piercings) era importante no solo como elemento de ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Serie estadística 1960–1975, en el Sistema de Cuentas
           Nacionales

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      Abstract: El objetivo de este trabajo es presentar, para la economía cubana, una serie estadística del período 1960–1975, de los principales indicadores macroeconómicos en el Sistema de Cuentas Nacionales (SCN).Desde los inicios de la década del 60 del siglo pasado, con el comienzo del período revolucionario, en la economía cubana se utilizó como sistema de medición para los indicadores macroeconómicos el Sistema de Balances de la Economía Nacional (SBEN), aplicado en aquel entonces por la Unión Soviética y demás países del campo socialista. El empleo de este enfoque conceptual estuvo condicionado por las definiciones políticas del país y los métodos de dirección de la economía, con el papel rector de la planificación ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • "Granada, septiembre–noviembre, 1983: Por el ex embajador de Cuba
           Julián Torres Rizo" Testigo del suicidio de la Revolución granadina

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      Abstract: A mis nietos, Rafael, Ignacio y Omar Julián, si algún día quieren saber un poco más de su abuelo, les estoy dejando este testimonio.Lo acontecido en Granada fue una experiencia que marcó mi vida.Igualmente, desde que llegué a la conclusión que era el momento de escribir, pensando sobre todo en las generaciones futuras, el testimonio de cómo un participante directo vio y sintió lo ocurrido, he comenzado a sentir una paz espiritual.Esa paz no la alcancé en un día porque, como casi siempre sucede con las cosas que involucran los sentimientos, llegar a esa paz fue y continúa siendo un proceso.Quiero agradecer en primer lugar a mi esposa, Adriana Brull Saborit, quien me ha acompañado con lealtad, paciencia y ternura ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • My Embrace of Politics: A Cuban Public High School in the 1950s

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      Abstract: I am the youngest of three children born, on the eve of World War II, to a Polish Jewish couple who separately immigrated to Cuba in the 1920s, met each other, married, raised a family, and became Cuban citizens. Along with my siblings, I attended the largest bilingual Yiddish-Spanish elementary school in Old Havana, a good distance (seven miles) from my home in the neighboring city of Marianao. Although it was there that I began to openly rebel against what I perceived as unjust behavior by my superiors toward me and others, it was only after I entered a far more diverse public high school in Marianao, in September 1951, shortly before General Fulgencio Batista's coup d'état in March 1952, that I became ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Obituario: Cuban Studies rinde homenaje a Víctor Batista Falla
           (1933–2020)

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      Abstract: El domingo 12 de abril, en la tarde, falleció Víctor Batista Falla en el Instituto de Medicina Tropical Pedro Kourí de La Habana. A principios de marzo, el importante intelectual y editor cubano había viajado por primera y única vez a la isla, después de seis décadas de exilio. La pandemia del coronavirus lo sorprendió en la ciudad donde nació en 1933.Batista Falla perteneció a una de las familias más ricas de la Cuba anterior a 1959. Su padre, Agustín Batista y González de Mendoza, era dueño de uno de los mayores bancos de la isla, The Trust Company of Cuba, y su madre, María Teresa Falla Bonet, fue una de las herederas de la fortuna azucarera del santanderino Laureano Falla Gutiérrez. Ambas familias de banqueros ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-05-05T00:00:00-05:00
       
 
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