This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Cuba (EN)

Sugar in Cuba

Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean, has become one of the region's largest sugar producers. The history of the sugar industry in Cuba is turbulent, like that of all industries based on slavery. The attraction of Europeans for sugar dates back to the Middle Ages, but the massive use of sugar extracted from sugar cane will be at the origin of one of the most tragic human adventures, with the establishment of the triangular trade, where slaves are shipped to Africa, sugar (and other commodities at the time such as cotton) are shipped to America, and money is flowing in the purses of unscrupulous European traders.

As sugar production was labor intensive and the price of sugar had to remain within the reach of buyers in Europe while not limiting the profits of white producers in the New World, the Spanish colonizer of Cuba appealed, as so many did. other colonies, to the shameful slave labor.

the transport and manufacture of sugar

In addition to the harassing work of the fields, the work of processing sugar also takes place in the factories. Large factories were built in order to be able to refine the precious liquid extracted from the cane and transform it into consumable sugar. Cuba had many sugar refineries, and that of Marcelo Salado (a remarkable name for a sugar industrialist, since Salado means "salty" in Spanish) has been recycled into an extremely interesting museum.

As the sugar factories were working at full capacity, the necessary quantities of cane as well as the refined sugar demanded efficient means of transport. The railroad is one of the most economical and fastest means for this kind of transport. This is why Cuba's rail network predates that of the Spanish "motherland". The Marcelo Salado Museum has kept a large fleet of perfectly maintained old locomotives (a bit like limousines apparently in good condition) which allows those who wish to take a short train ride inside the locomotive...

about the place, musée Marcelo Salado :

A few kilometers from Remedios, 5 kilometers from the northwest coast of Cuba, in the center of the island, an old sugar plantation has been transformed into a museum. The sugar industry was very important during the time of Spanish colonization, and to ensure the transport of sugar across the island, the main means of transport was the train. 

The museum has an exceptional collection of beautifully restored steam locomotives.

Spoken comments in the film: 

When Cuba was a Spanish colony, the railway was established there more than 10 years before the first train ran on the Iberian Peninsula. It must be said that sugar, the white gold of the time, was extremely profitable. Free labor and high yields on land not yet impoverished by years of monoculture made sugar one of the best investments at that time. 

There remained the problem of transport. A train made it possible to transport enormous quantities from all regions of the island to the ports from which the boats departed for Spain. Some locomotives have been restored and are exhibited in the Marcello Salado Sugar Museum.



 - YouTube video library - Achilles, (© Alchemists Tower - Strings by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.



 - YouTube video library - Anamalie, (© Anamalie by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.



• Disclaimer: As traditional music is often subject to copyright (claimed by major music distribution groups), the musical illustration of this film "Remedios, Marcelo Salado Sugar Museum • Cuba (EN)" does not use typical music of Cuba but is borrowed from a collection of royalty-free music. Despite the painstaking care given to the musical choices in this film, some people may regret this choice, but it is the price to pay for not incurring unnecessary lawsuits. This decision was difficult to take, but it's the only viable solution, unfortunately. •

Reedios • Cuba. Sugar museum Marcello Salado

What's the weather like at Marcelo Salado museum?

museum entrance, Marcelo Salado museum • Cuba
museum entrance
view of the old sugar factory, Marcelo Salado museum • Cuba
view of the old sugar factory
old locomotives, Marcelo Salado museum • Cuba
old locomotives
locomotive in operation (for tourists), Marcelo Salado museum • Cuba
locomotive in operation (for tourists)

Marcelo Salado, Cuba