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"Finding Napoleon in Cuba." Topic


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332 hits since 27 Jan 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse27 Jan 2018 2:49 p.m. PST

"Who knew one of the world's great Napoleonic museums is in Cuba? Surprisingly, Havana's Museo Napoleónico contains the Western Hemisphere's largest collection of artifacts associated with Napoleon Bonaparte. Thanks to the Napoleonic Historical Society, I got to visit it.

The collection belonged to Julio Lobo (1898 – 1983), Cuba's richest sugar cane magnate. Lobo, who was of Sephardic Jewish descent, admired Napoleon Bonaparte. For one thing, the Emperor had freed Europe's Jews from centuries-old restrictions on landownership, political activity and professions. Second, Lobo emulated Napoleon's ambition. Like Napoleon, he rose to great heights on his own merit, hard work and risk-taking. By the 1950s, Lobo was one of the richest men in the world.

The 20th-century sugar cane industry was a cut-throat business. I imagine Lobo saw himself as the Cuban Napoleon of Commerce, always one battle (or commodity trade) away from disaster. Like Napoleon, he worked intensely, relishing every challenge. And, like Napoleon, he was fearless, even in the face of assassination attempts. Cuba's Communist Revolution was his Waterloo. In 1960, Fidel Castro's government seized all his property. Lobo, who had spent a fortune collecting rare artifacts from Napoleon's exile, was forced into his own exile…"
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