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  History

The expeditionary Diego Velazquez founded the city of Santisima Trinidad in 1514. It was one of the first 7 cities of the island founded by the Spaniards. In 1544 a large number of the city's neighbors enrolled in the Hernan Cortes army hoping to conquer Mexico. The city was therefore declared officially depopulated. It wasn't until 1585 that the Spanish population settled again in the region.

During the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries, the development of the city was partially interrupted by the frequent pirates' attacks. Trinidad not only fought with its own militia, but also had to establish a system of fleets to protect its coasts of such incursions. The economic set-backs were compensated by the illegal selling of the exquisite Tabaco Trinitario, the contraband of salty meats, cattle and skins with the neighboring ports of Jamaica and other Caribbean islands. Moreover, Trinidad was the first entry port of the island for African slaves and for several expensive products such as alcohol, glassware, spices and sets of dishes that could not be legally obtained in Cuba.

Parallelly to the Haitian anti-slave revolution of Toussan Louverture, the Real Seat for Blacks was created to facilitate the import of African slaves and to increase the interchanges of commercial goods with Jamaica, country inserted in the english industrial development. In just a short time, these actions contributed to the fast development of Trinidad, positioning itself between the main sugar production zones of the Carribean and creating a city of luxury and palaces.

Around 1755, the city counts on an important economy with 262 block of houses, 32 streets, 25 sugar plants, 55 cattle properties, 104 tobacco fertile valleys and 3 tile shops. These are irrefutable proofs of its growth. It is for that reason that from 1797 to 1850 the city became a government possession, with political and military jurisdictions on the large central territory of the island.

Between 1857 and 1866, the country goes through of one its worse crisis. The anti-slaves rebellions combined with the beginning, in 1868, of the 10-Year War, caused a decline in the economic development of the city. As a result, the rich landowners slowly began to leave the city. It did not have railroads until 1919 and was not connected by means of highways with the rest of the country until 1950, being for always frozen in time.

Today, Trinidad's major economic activities are tourism, crafts and tobacco.

 

 


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