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Hatuey was a chief of the Indian region of Guahabá in Hispaniola (currently Dominican Republic and Haiti), and he courageously defended his territory against the Spanish invasion.

Hatuey burned by the spaniards

He loved liberty, and the customs and traditions with which he had lived since he was a child, and to maintain them he was disposed to fight to the death.

In the pursuit of this noble ideal he made a canoe and, together with comrades who had escaped Spanish persecution, he put to sea.

After many vicissitudes, Hatuey and his companions managed to land on the eastern coast of Cuba, where they met with Indians from the area who told them about their experiences and the cruel treatment which the conquistadors had meted out to them in their search for gold.

Hatuey was successful in establishing Indian resistance, but after some months the rebels decided they could not continue the unequal struggle and decided to conceal themselves in the thickest of the woods.

Diego Velásquez sent various bands of troops after them and finally Chief Hatuey was captured and condemned to be burned to death.

Here we find the bust of the legendary Indian Hatuey by the prestigious artist Rita Longa, donated to a local Masonic lodge by José Bosch and unveiled on 1st April 1953 by Carlos Manuel Piñeiro y del Cueto.

Monument to Hatuey in Central Park

It is said that when he was being taken to the place of execution, Hatuey asked a Franciscan friar called Olmedo who had spoken to him about the sweetnesses of Heaven, whether the Spaniards also went there, and when the priest replied that the good ones certainly did, the chief responded that in that case he had no intention of going to Heaven for fear of meeting more Spaniards.

The friar Bartolomé de las Casas, referring to this, said: "And this is the fame and honour that GOD and our religion have gained through the Christians that have gone to the Indies.’

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