Welcome to Guantánamo

Guantánamo created its own indigenous music genre (changüi), claims one of Cuba’s three legendary Tumba Francesa (French-Haitian song and dance) troupes; supports an active West Indian social club; and exhibits a distinct subgenre of eclectic architecture spearheaded by the intricate work of Leticio Salcines.

'Discovered' by Columbus during his second voyage in 1494, the settlement wasn't built until 1819, when French plantation owners evicted from Haiti founded the town of Santa Catalina del Saltadero del Guaso. In 1843, the burgeoning city became Guantánamo. In 1903, the US Navy took up residence in the bay next door. Sparks have been flying ever since.

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