The US government announced today that it was reopening an embassy in Cuba, a step towards normalizing relations with the Caribbean country. Cuba lies just 89 miles from Key West, Florida and was once seen by Southerners as the center of the Golden Circle, a neo-classical plantation-based civilization. The Golden Circle was an extremely wealthy civilization and Cuba’s sugar and coffee plantations produced valuable cash crops sold throughout the Western world. There were numerous efforts by Southerners and many Cuban leaders in the 1840s and 50s to bring the island into the Union as a Southern State, much like Texas, Louisiana and Florida – all of which were once Spanish or French colonies. The national flag of Cuba comes from this era and was flown by Southern filibusters who led an attempt to wrestle the colony from the liberal government of Spain.
Today’s move by Washington, DC is to be applauded as it will improve relations between neighbors and enable us to rebuild ties with another post-plantation culture with which we share much history.
Southern nationalists are presently active in the Cuban community in south Florida (and are defying anti-Southern hostility from US forces) and we hope to see these efforts greatly expanded on the mainland and on the island.