National Geographic : 1947 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine M. Cold us, Marti was Ss killed in the Battle of Dos Rios in Oriente. We were fortunate that Dr. Salvador Mlas sip, head of the De partment of Geography, Havana University, could accompany us. In recognition of his outstanding services as a teacher of geography and for his notable books on the geogra phy of Cuba, the Board of Trustees of the Na Stional Geographic So ciety has elected Dr. S1\ Massip a Jane I. Smith Life Member of The Society. Shaded by old laurel trees, the Central High way runs smooth as velvet with gentle curves to Matanzas. Approaching Giiines, we passed through "the market basket of Havana," where veg etables and fruits are grown for the Cap ital. Sugar fields, too, stretched as far as the eye could see across red, rolling soil. "Unlike tobacco, which Columbus found Mr. Bequer Chats with a Sefiorita Behind Her Bars in Trinidad native in Cuba, sugar His great-grandfather, John William Baker of Philadelphia, settled here, made was introduced by the a fortune, and was knighted by the Spanish king. Great-grandson Manuel, Spaniards," said Dr. though he has mannerisms of an American, cannot speak English and spells his Massip. "Cane prob name Spanish style (page 31). He wears a comfortable guayabera, a thin, coatlike shirt, ideally suited to Cuba's climate, ably came from India; Arabs imported it into "A cockfight is a duel to the death. Bets Spain. Later the Spaniards took it to the are not paid off until one is dead." Canary Islands and thence, by way of His That rooster fought on valiantly. Even paniola, to Cuba. Since early days sugar has when he lost his other eye he made blind been the main source of income for Cubans." passes at his opponent and would not give up. Matanzas once was one of the island's rich That was how the term for a brave man arose, est Provinces and its capital an important "game as a fighting cock." sugar port. But today the "Athens of Cuba" "Gallos become so much a part of an owner still feels the effects of the great cane depres that he actually feels disgraced if his bird sion of the early twenties. Although much quits and runs," said the attendant. cane is still grown in the Province, the bulk Off to Santiago and Points East of Cuban production has moved eastward. The city of Matanzas sprawls at the head On May 19, Marti Day, we left Havana of an aquamarine bay. Driving through its for our 800-mile trip by car to Santiago, narrow streets, with pastel house fronts, we visiting the principal cities of Cuba. Fifty- caught quick glimpses of home life through one years ago this day, front-page editorials the grilled windows.