National Geographic : 1898 May
CUBA island, winning battle after battle, and was only checked by treachery and assassination. Baracoa at the beginning of the present revolution was again becoming an important commer cial city, being the seat of the banana and cocoanut trades. Returning again to the south side of the island, there are three ports of importance east of Trinidad, and these are all situated on the south or west coast of the Sierra Maestra peninsula. The westernmost of these is Manzanillo. This is the chief outlet of the fertile valley of the Cauto. Since the close of the ten years' revolution and up to the recent outbreak it was acquiring an in creasing trade in tobacco, sugar, wax, honey, and other produce. Santiago, as it is called by the Americans, Saint Jago or sim ply Cuba by the natives, is a port second only to Habana in strategic and political importance. It is the capital of the east ern department as well as its most flourishing seaport. It is lo cated on one of the many pouch-shaped harbors which outlet to the sea through a narrow gateway, like that of Habana, but with an entrance dotted by many islands with handsome villas. At its narrowest part this outlet is only 180 yards wide, but it gives access to a magnificent basin, with many indentations, large enough to accommodate all the shipping of the island. Its many-colored structures, promenades, gardens, and superb pros pects over the valley make Santiago one of the most marvel ous cities of the Antilles. The town is well fortified and has been practically the only stronghold of the Spanish authorities in eastern Cuba during the present revolution. Back of the city the overtowering cliffs of the Sierra Maestra separate it from the interior. Several lines of railroad run from the city to the iron mines, 16 miles east, where Pennsylvania capitalists were employing nearly 2,000 hands at the date of the recent outbreak. The city is the telegraphic center from whence radiate the sub marine coastal cables of the island for the western department, Mexico, Jamaica, South America, Haiti, Porto Rico, and the Lesser Antilles. INHABITANTS Perhaps there is no question upon which the American people are so ill informed as upon that of the population of Cuba. It is impossible to obtain accurate statistics, owing to the fact that no reliable census has been taken by the government for many decades. All figures which may be presented are merely estimates, and great variation is found in those given by different authorities.