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Groups Believe Creole Will Be Second Official Language in Cuba

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Staff

The dominant languages in Cuba are Spanish and Haitian Creole. Spanish is the official language but with more than 400,000 indigenous that have kept the Creole language and a growing population of Creole speakers, Hilario Batista Felix and his group, believe Cuba could see the language become official.

SiBelle Haiti published a recent interview between Mr. Batista and a news agency on the languages advancement in the country.

How is Creole evolving in Cuba?
Hilario Batista: Creole is a reality in Cuba because we consider it our second language. Everywhere on the island, there are people who learn to speak Creole. The language has now been strengthened thanks to the relations that are developing with the Caribbean. We believe that there are more than 400,000 people who speak or have kept the Creole language in Cuba. It is a language that is rooted in Cuban culture. It is found in music, dance, theater, cooking, etc. Several generations of Haitian descendants have preserved the language of their ancestors. They are very rare those who do not speak it.

If I understand well the Creole is spoken on all the Cuban territory?
Hilario Batista: It must be recognized that Creole is present from Guatanamo to Sancti-Spiritus, (practically half of the island), because this is where the Haitian community who came to work as a cutter developed of cane. Even in Matanzas, the third largest province of Cuba, Creole is present, including in the north of the island, Pinard el Rio.

What are the activities you are doing to promote the development of Creole?
Hilario Batista: We have several activities. At the national level, there are several Houses of Culture. It is a group of descendants of Haitians who has always kept the culture from Guantanamo, Camagüey, Holguín and others. They work for the preservation of culture. In Cuba, we have radio Havana. It has been broadcast daily in Creole since 1962. Which means that the Cuban government has always given it importance. The Cuban revolution took place in 1959 and radio Havana was created in 1962. The first programs in Creole date back to this date. Creole is part of their language through which are transmitted all the realities of Cuba, Caribbean countries and Latino countries.

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