The fourth club organized here with a group medicine function
was Circulo Nacional Cubano (National Cuban Club), founded in 1899.
V. M. Ybor, co-founder of Ybor City, was its first president. Its name
was later shortened to Circulo Cubano or Cuban Club. Beginning with
about 100 members and a rented building as its social and recreational
center, the society progressed and in 1918, with about 2,000 members,
erected a clubhouse costing $65,000. Mario G. Menocal, president of
Cuba, donated $1,000 to the building fund.
In 1926 the Cuban Club created nation-wide publicity by
presenting a modified bull fight to help its finances. Professional bull
fighters in their picturesque costumes were imported from Spain and
Mexico, and wild Florida bulls were brought to the arena behind the
clubhouse. To conform with the law no blood was shed, but the
spectacular exhibition drew a large crowd and was a financial success.
Having no hospital of its own, the Cuban Club provides medical
aid on the group plan by contract arrangement with other hospitals and
clinics. Dues are from 55 to 75 cents a week. By 1939 this association
had 2,000 members and approximately $125,000 invested in club
property and other assets.
Many Cuban Negroes who immigrated from the island and settled
in the Latin colony of Tampa, after centuries of life among Cuban-Spanish
people, are more Spanish than African in customs, and have followed these
practices. Cigarmakers for generations in Cuba, they came with their