Courtesy Copy for English Translation from Spanish — For Reference and Information
1607-2007: 400th Anniversary for the Municipality of Santiago de Cuba—“Heroic City of the Republic of Cuba, Ciudad Héroe de la República de Cuba” , “City of Pilgrimages and Pilgrims”, Santiago de Cuba, UNESCO World Heritage: Patrimonio de la Humanidad.
Spanish to English Translation by Gardenia C. Hung Fong, M.A., B.A.
The Municipality of Santiago de Cuba was founded by the Spanish conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, as one of the first seven cities in the Republic of Cuba during the year 1514 Anno Domini. The City of Santiago was the first official capital of Cuba until 1550. Since its foundation, this historical colonial town has had a Municipal City Hall and was granted the title status of city in the year 1522 A.D., on the same date in which the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba was built by order of Pope Adrian VI of Utrecht, Regent of Spain, at the Vatican in Rome for the Catholic Church.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, Cuba suffered from the siege of pirates, corsairs, and buccaneers in the Caribbean, the Greater Antilles, the Gulf of Mexico, to include those from Central and South America, as well as North America and Europe.
The city of Santiago de Cuba is privileged for its geographical location and central Caribbean placement. Consequently, Santiago de Cuba became a haven for the French colonists, settlers who emigrated to the nearest town across the waters from Haiti to escape the consequences of the Haitian Revolution. These French settlers developed within their surrounding area vast coffee plantations and other agricultural staples, while sponsoring interaction and integration of Spaniards, French, and African slaves, as well as defining the socio-economic and political profile of Santiago de Cuba and the cross-cultural identity of its inhabitants and native residents.
During the 19th century, with the heat of the independent struggles for nationalism throughout the Americas, the rebellious heart of the city Santiago de Cuba became exalted. Thus, Santiago has given to history many immortal patriots to the independent struggle against the Spanish colonial bond at the time, such as the descendants of Maceo, Lora, and other Cuban heroes, like Frank País, in the revolutionary strife during this century and beyond… Hence, it is with justice, fairness, and equity that Santiago de Cuba has been granted the honorary title of “Heroic City of the Republic of Cuba–Ciudad Héroe de la República de Cuba.”
Not only is Santiago de Cuba a vintage city full of historical legacy, but it is also the cradle of poets, writers, musicians, minstrels, and artists, painters, from Heredia to Soler Puig.
Santiago de Cuba is considered to be the Cuban capital of the world since its beginnings, in the measure of its efforts which this Cuban regional area invests to develop and expand its markets; thus increasing its word-wide investements–given its privileged geographical location and importance as the second city in the Republic of Cuba.
Santiago is complemented by an international seaport and adjoining industrial sector, which includes a thermoelectrical plant, oil refinery, cement manufacturing, and other industrial facilities.
The economy of Santiago de Cuba is distinguished by its diversified agriculture in the sugar industry and in the development of the agrarian sector for such important staples as coffee, dairy products, produce, and fruit harvests, particularly for citrus.
This Cuban city also relies on important natural resources in forestry and environmental vegetation, rich in species, which have promoted Santiago de Cuba to become one of the principal forestry regions in the Republic of Cuba. These ecological assets combined with hydraulic resources and the variety of landscapes and seascapes Cuba has reserved in Santiago, allows the City of Pilgrimages and Pilgrims to have an enormous potential for tourism from around the world.
Source: Brochure for “Santiago de Cuba”, published by the Banco Internacional de Comercio, S.A., Sede Central, 20 de Mayo y Ayesterán, Apartado 6113, La Habana 6 , Cuba.
Spanish to English Translation by Gardenia C. Hung Fong, M.A., B.A., from a brochure pamphlet given by my Aunt Xiomara Fong Ramos
For reference, the city of Santiago de Cuba was named after the biblical evangelist and apostle Saint James who preached the gospels of Jesus Christ in Spain as Santiago de Compostela, during the 9th century through the 11th century on behalf of Christianity. During the Middle Ages, Santiago was the patron saint of pilgrims, pilgrimages, and the knights. Santiago was represented as one of the apostles of Jesus Christ.
Spanish to English translation by Gardenia C. Hung Fong, M.A., B.A.
La Biblia y los Santos. Guía iconográfica. Alianza Editorial, Madrid, Spain, 1996,pages 347-348. Authors Gastón Duchet-Suchaux and Michel Pastoreau. Versión española de César Vidal.