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Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba is the capital city of Santiago de Cuba Province in eastern Cuba. Santiago de Cuba is located on the south-east of the island, some 540 miles east south-east of Havana, at 20.01N, 75.82W. Historically Santiago de Cuba has long been the second most important city on the island after Havana, although is no longer the second largest. It is on a bay connected to the Caribbean Sea, and is an important sea port. In 2003 greater Santiago de Cuba had a population of about 500,000 people.


Santiago de Cuba was founded by Spanish Conquistador Diego Velasquez de Cuellar on June 28, 1514. From 1522 until 1589 Santiago was the capital of the Spanish colony of Cuba.

The city was plundered by French forces in 1553, and by British forces in 1662.

The city experienced an influx of French immigrants in the late 18th century and early 19th century, some coming via Haiti. This added to the city's ecclectic cultural mix, already rich with Spanish and African culture.

See also the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, 1898

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