to public positions. They usually vote en masse according to the instructions
of their leaders.
Latins are politically-minded. From the days of 1898, when they
supported the revolutionists that freed Cuba, through the later revolution
that displaced Machada, and the sending of funds to the Loyalist party in
Spain, they are as intensely interested in politics in their native lands as in
affairs at home.
Even the poorest has a favorite coffee house, restaurant, or private
club in which to spend evenings in search of discussion and recreation. The
colony's national club buildings rank well in architecture and equipment.
Most of these clubs originated as societies of mutual aid to members in
sickness and financial distress. About 75 per cent of all Latins belong to one
or other of these orders, dues being as low as 20 cents a week. The leading clubs
maintain their own hospitals for members.
The cultural, philanthropic, and social activities of the Italian,
Spanish, and Cuban clubs have been important factors in the community's
development. Upon their stages are heard grand opera by local talent and
star casts from Havana and Madrid; leading concert artists; variety bills by
Spanish, Italian and American performers. The clubs sponsor such typically
Latin festivals as La Verbena Del Tabaco.
The Verbena is in a true sense a fiesta or folk gathering, usually held
before the beginning of the Lenten season. The largest Latin clubs--