On the eve of World War I, Havana boasted the second largest urban community of Iberian Galicians in the world, after Buenos Aires. The size of its immigrant population made it a core of Galician politics and culture, as one of the main centers of the Galician diaspora community in Latin America, which amounted then to more than half a million persons between Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay, Brazil and the United States. Galicians left a deep imprint on modern Cuban society. This legacy could be seen in the persistence of ambiguous stereotypes about gallegos in Cuban popular theatre and cinematography until the 1950s. Numerous Galicians experienced fast-paced, upward social mobility during the first decades of the twentieth century. And the network of Galician local associations in Havana influenced the development of social mobilization in their country of origin during the first decades of the twentieth century. This was a multifaceted phenomenon, which found expression in dozens of initiatives that took place at the local level, linking Galician parishes in Europe with their "neighbors" now residing in Havana. The present essay looks at the diverse forms of interaction between the Galician community in Cuba and the sociopolitical movements that developed in Spain during the first half of the twentieth century.


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pp. 705-730
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