Key West (United States)

Key West (English, Key West). It is an island of the United States, in the extreme southwest of the Florida Keys. According to agooddir, its population is 31,335 residents. It was populated during the years of the Spanish colony in Cuba by emigrants from this island who were looking for economic improvements, who collaborated with the Cuban writer and revolutionary José Martí in the work of this for a Cuba free from Spanish rule.


In the past, these tropical islands were the haven of pirates, fishermen, merchants, treasure hunters, and socially rejected people.

As Spain ceded Florida to the United States, Key West was granted to Juan Pablo Salas. This Mr. Salas sold Key West to an American named John W. Simonton, he had actually sold the Key to another American before. The 25 of March of 1822 Lt. Matthew C. Perryof the US Navy came to Key West and planted the US flag, thus being defined so that Key West is a land of America and shortly thereafter in the courts that John W Simonton was its owner.


Currently, it is possible to travel by car from the mainland to Key West, the southernmost city in the United States, through a highway formed by dozens of bridges that cross all the keys. Passing through the bridges it is possible to stop and observe the crystal clear waters and the seabed at a depth of about 6 meters, being able to observe the schools of fish.

Key West and Cuba

The beginning

Around 1760 Key West began to be populated by people from Cuba. This seat did not last long since when Florida was ceded to the English in 1763, all those people returned to Cuba. Twenty years later, when Spain regained Florida, some people from Cuba, perhaps the same people from the previous seat, re-established themselves in Key West. It was during these twenty years that some families from the Bahamas, loyal to the English Crown who had abandoned the thirteen colonies during the American War of Independence, moved to Key West and as soon as the United States achieved independence, some Americans they also settled on the Cayo.

Ten Years War

When the Ten Years War broke out, the colony of Cuban exiles in Key West increased, reaching the number of Cubans in the Key in thousands. The impact of such a large exodus soon altered the course of life in the small town, taking it to the forefront of the State of Florida. In the immediate preceding decades Key West had suffered a series of fires that destroyed much of the urban area. With the arrival of the Cubans and the need for reconstruction, the Cayo soon began to acquire a new image of modernization and prosperity. In many of the buildings the wood was replaced with red brick, some of these buildings remaining to this day as a testimony of this era.

The Cuban influence was also noted in other aspects, such as cultural, social and economic. Since 1831, a tobacco factory had been established in the Cayo, indisputably there has been some communication, or perhaps even business, with Cuba since then. The Cuban exile raised this industry to the hundreds of tobacco factories, sending millions of cigars wrapped in Key West to the rest of the continent. From 1875 to 1876, nothing less than the son of the Father of the Cuban Nation, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes (son), was elected mayor of Key West., being the first Cuban mayor in the United States of America. Spanish was the second language of the Cayo, but the first in daily use; It is said that even many of English descent learned some words in Spanish, the truth was that with only Spanish you could solve all the needs of the day.

Several bilingual schools were created and a newspaper in Spanish was also printed which, in addition to all the world news, kept the exile aware of what was happening in Cuba. Of course, there were many other advances in Key West where Cubans stood out and institutions of exile were created, such as the founding of the San Carlos Institute in 1871, and many others.

After the Ten Years’ War in the Zanjón Pact, the Cuban community in Key West, like the Cubans in Cuba itself, goes into a state of uncertainty. Some of the largest tobacco factories relocate to Tampa as a result of worker strikes and the economic benefits offered by this other north Florida city. Life goes on and the Key waits.


Many Cubans live in Key West who have come to the United States and have decided to settle as close as possible to their longed-for Cuba; And it is a good place to live because the city is very beautiful and prosperous, and the climate is very similar to that of Cuba. There are also many descendants of the aforementioned Cuban colonies who chose to stay in the Cayo where they put down their roots.

The port of Key West continues to see Cubans set foot on US territory for the first time in search of the so-called American dream under the Cuban Adjustment Act. Of course, nothing compares, and now we are talking at the level of world history, to the exodus that occurred in 1980 when more than 125,000 Cubans from Puerto del Mariel arrived in the United States through the port of Key West.

Key West (United States)