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Victor Subirana de Veliz was originally a peasant fisherman that found refuge as a shipmate in Diego Vel?zquez de Cu?llar’s crew. Little is documented of Subirana’s life therefore history, depending on the author’s account, has portrayed him as both a hero and a traitor. Subirana was believed to be one of the original Cuban colonists who facilitated in establishing Baroca in 1511. Little is mentioned of Subirana’s roll in the development of the colony however, letters by Vel?zquez indicate that Subirana quickly took “…shame in the harsh tactics used to convert the heathens …” and eventually sided with “the pagans in an effort to overthrow…” Diego Vel?zquez de Cu?llar. In contrast, the Siboney Indians (also known as Ciboney) revered Subirana and considered him a worrier and leader. According to Siboney historical account; Subirana led the Forucan faction (a group of twelve elite worriers) in guerilla style attacks against the colonies leaders. The guerilla attacks were ruthless and in many cases involved the scalping and slaying of colonial hunters. Some historians believe that Subirana orchestrated most of the Siboney attacks in an attempt to dissuade Vel?zquez from enslaving the natives; few scholars accredit Subirana for Vel?zquez’s decision to import African slaves in 1513.

Sources

  • W. F. Johnson, The History of Cuba (4 vol., 1920);
  • Samuel Freeman, Virginia Garrard Burnett, and Fred Koestler, Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Empire 1402-1975 (Greenwood Press 1992)
  • H. de On?s, ed., The Golden Land: An Anthology of Latin American Folklore in Literature (1961)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Subirana



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