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Caribbean, Spanish migration, 19th century to present

Migration A–Z


  1. Norma Fuentes-Mayorga

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm104

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Fuentes-Mayorga, N. 2013. Caribbean, Spanish migration, 19th century to present. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


The region of the Caribbean and the human migration of its people have played a fundamental yet not well understood part in the emergence of the modern world. Its strategic location between Europe and the Americas has placed the Spanish-speaking Caribbean nations of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic at the center of competing political, economic, and globalization forces. Before the Dutch imported the first black slaves into the Island of Manhattan or the British appropriated North America's indigenous territory, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean region had already endured centuries of European conquest, colonization, and forced miscegenation of its people in the creation of economic plantation systems destined mainly for extraction. Since the arrival of Columbus in the middle of the 15th century, and the Americans in the early 20th century, the history of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean has been defined by European and North American expansionist quests for economic investments, geopolitical strategies, and democratizing imperatives. Not surprisingly, the complex history of this region requires the emergence of analytical frameworks which can help explain how a history of colonization, including mostly that of its people's productive capacities, affected and still affects racial identity formation processes and socioeconomic stratification as well as a sense of transnational nationhood as diasporas move across ex-colonizing territories.


  • revolution;
  • empire;
  • foreign interventionism