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El Club Cubano Inter-Americano Inc.

Founded in 1945, Club Cubano Inter-Americano was created as a self-help and social club. Much of the impetus for its founding came from the migration of Cubans from Tampa (most of whom were of Afro-Cuban descent and worked in the cigar industry there) during the 1930s and continuing through the early 1940s. By late 1945 there were enough members of the transplanted Tampa community in New York City to form Club Cubano, which was similar to the Tampa Afro-Cuban concept of worker’s mutual self-help organizations. The New York club grew out of a 1945 fundraising campaign by the Cuban American community to celebrate Antonio Maceo, a national hero in the Cuban war for independence. The money raised was used to hire a hall and give a banquet. The success of this event led to the formation of the social club. The “inter-americano” in the name was a conscious statement of inclusion other of Latin Americans in the club. In the 1950s and 60s, Club Cubano had a large dance floor and regularly booked many Latin music bands including Arsenio Rodríguez and local orchestras for dances that were open to the public. Regular attendees at the club's dances were very close and have continued to get together for over 30 years at a reunion dance called La Fiesta del Mamoncillo (named after a Caribbean fruit). Since Club Cubano closed several years ago, the reunion dance has been held annually at the Bohemian Hall in Queens.

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