July 1, 2022

Barbados Honorary Consul to host book launch for new publication on Barbadian migration to Cuba

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Grand Cayman, CAYMAN ISLANDS (Monday, 06 February 2017) The Honorary Consul of Barbados, Mrs. Juliette Gooding-Michelin, GCM, will host the launch of a new book on Barbadian migration to Cuba later this month.

Tell My Mother I Gone to Cuba: Stories of Early Twentieth-Century Migration from Barbados (University of the West Indies Press) chronicles the migration of Barbadians and other British West Indians to Cuba. It also tells how American investment in sugar plantations created the work opportunities for them, and the turbulent events that led to the West Indians being at the centre of a diplomatic storm involving Cuban and British authorities.
Mrs. Gooding-Michelin says, “Barbadians have a well-earned reputation for migration, and for being found in all corners of the globe. While the West Indian migration to Panama for the construction of the Panama Canal is well known, the migration to Cuba is not as familiar to most persons. I am really pleased to be able to play a part in bringing this work to the attention of the people of the Cayman Islands.”
Noted Barbadian journalist and public relations professional, Dr. Sharon Marshall, is the author of the book. She served for three and a half years as Public Relations Executive with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, and brought the manuscript to publication while resident in the Cayman Islands. She will return to Cayman for the Cayman launch, following a book launch in Havana, Cuba, on 10 February hosted by the prestigious publishing house, Casa de Las Americas.
Dr. Marshall says, “I am well aware of the long history of the migration between Cayman and Cuba, and I am certain that the subject of this book will be of interest. So I am pleased to be returning to my second home to share with former colleagues, friends and other interested persons, some insights on this topic which I have passionately pursued.”
While the book’s focus is on Barbadians who migrated to Cuba, their stories are told in the wider context of British West Indian migration during that period. Given its proximity and population size, Jamaicans were the largest proportion of this group, and the West Indians in Cuba were often referred to as jamaicanos or jamaiquinos. So Jamaicans resident in the Cayman Islands should also be able to identify with the book’s contents.
The book launch will introduce the Caymanian public to these resilient people, through video and live presentations. This event will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, 24 February 2017, at the Church Hall of St. George’s Anglican Church, 64 Courts Road (off Eastern Avenue), George Town.
There will be books on sale, and the author will be on hand to sign copies for patrons. The book is available on amazon.com as well. Local Cuban restaurant, The Paladar, will have typical Cuban food on sale.
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