A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 18, 2007
Texas of Cuba (Camagüey province nickname)

Camagüey province is a large province in Cuba, with an agricultural economy of primarily cattle and sugar farming. The province is known for its cowboy culture and has been called “the Texas of Cuba” since at least 1900.


Wikipedia: Camagüey Province
Camagüey is the largest of the provinces of Cuba. Its capital is Camagüey. Other towns include Florida and Nuevitas.

Camagüey is mostly low lying, with no major hills or mountain ranges passing through the province. Numerous large cays (including what used to be one of Fidel Castro’s favourite fishing spots; the Archipiélago Jardines de la Reina) characterize the southern coasts, while the northern coast is lined by Jardines del Rey of the Sabana-Camaguey Archipelago.

Sandy beaches are found on both coasts also, and despite a large potential for tourism, the province has seen little development in that area with the exception of Santa Lucía beach, on the province’s North coast.

The economy of the Camagüey province is primarily cattle and sugar (in the north and south) farming, and the province is known for its cowboy culture, with rodeos frequently held. Chickens and rice are also farmed, and a small citrus fruit industry exists. The capital city also has one of the few breweries on the island. 

27 February 1900, New York (NY) Times, pg. 3:
Col. Davis was disposed to be reticent about affairs in Cuba, declaring that army officers should not talk for publication, but he did say:

“Gen. Wood is giving the people an excellent administration, and is rapidly gaining the confidence of Spaniards and Cubans alike. In my opinion, the Nuevitas district is the Texas of Cuba, and it will soon regain its prestige as a cattle-raising locality. The parana grass there is the clover of the island. it is succulent and nutritious, and I should like to see some like it grown in the United States. I hope, too, in a short time that the sugar plantations will be in active operation. machinery for the sugar mills is arriving by every vessel.”

16 August 1959, Oakland (CA) Tribune, “Hungry Cubans Dream of Farm-Fed Utopia in Future” by Reeve Waring, pg. 19, col. 1:
When I arrived in the ancient aristocratic City of Camaguey, nestling in the heart of Cuba’s richest cattle, sugar cane and rice region, I could look out of my hotel window on a mass of humanity milling under a broiling tropical sun and chanting in unison: Fi-del, Fi-del, Fi-del.
(...)
They were here from all over this second-largest province, “land of hospitality, brave men and beautiful women” that many have called “the Texas of Cuba.”

Time magazine (September 1, 1961)
The meat shortage is a good example of Castro’s reckless ways and the later reckoning. Seizing the great cattle ranches of Camaguey province, the “Texas of Cuba,” Castro’s men slaughtered breeding cattle by the thousands to show Cubans what a good life the revolution had brought.

Google Books
Fodor’s Guide to the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda 1963
New York, NY: D. McKay
1962
Pg. 271:
CAMAGUEY PROVINCE
The province has been called “the Texas of Cuba”.

6 October 1963, Lima (OH) News, pg. A4, col. 4:
Also being battered was Camaguey Province, known in the days before Fidel Castro took over with his Communist regime as the “Texas of Cuba” because of its cattle ranches and sugar plnatations. 

1 November 1987, Miami (FL) Herald, pg. 1G:
Maidique’s own armchair analysis takes him back 47 years, back to Camaguey Province, “the Texas of Cuba, lots of cattle.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (1) Comments • Tuesday, December 18, 2007 • Permalink


Camaguey should be called the Cinderella of Cuba. Yes it is true it was once known as The Texas of Cuba because of its cattle ranges but today there is not much left of it. Castro’s experimentation with cattle breeding almost brought an end to it. Trying to mixed Holstein and Cebu breeds did not turned out to be a good idea.

Posted by Cuba  on  08/06  at  06:38 AM

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