The Spanish-Caribbean Remains Spanish Much Longer

Spain did not lose full control over its remaining Caribbean colonies until the end of the 1800s. The Dominican Republic did not fully cut ties with Spain until its second war for independence in 1865. After a few attempts at liberation, both Cuba and Puerto Rico received U.S. intervention in the Spanish-American war of 1898, resulting in Cuba becoming a U.S. protectorate until its full independence in 1902. Puerto Rico remains a U.S. territory today. Considering Cuba and Puerto Rico, revolutionary literature is quite popular with writers during the independence and post-independence eras as you will see in some examples in this and the next module.

One writer,  the poet Lola Rodríguez de Tió (who we will further discuss in this module), wrote the poem “To Cuba” in 1893 to express the solidarity between the two islands–their shared culture and their longing for freedom:

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“To Cuba”

Cuba y Puerto Rico son
de un pájaro las dos alas,
reciben flores o balas
sobre el mismo corazón …

Cuba and Puerto Rico are
As two wings of the same bird,
They receive flowers or bullets
Into the same heart …


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