Who among us has not read the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” or watching the same film? However, few people know that the island is described in the novel, according to many scientists – not fancy fruit.
Take a look at the map in the waters of the Caribbean Sea, near the southern coast of Cuba, it is a small group of islands, which belong to this country. The largest of them, the Juventud Island, until recently, it was known as Pinos. Comparing maps of the island, which was drawn up in the XVIII century. In addition, the one that is placed in the novel, it can be easily seen in the striking similarity of their shapes. Much in common and can be found in the landscape of these islands. For example, one of the hills on the Island of Youth, as well as on the “Treasure Island”, is the name of the “Spyglass” (Spanish for “La vihia”). Writer dense pine forests that cover half of the island have been described. That can only boast of Youth, in fact on all other islands of anything like that is not growing. The island is quite large – more than 3 000 square meters that is even greater than that of Luxembourg. It is believed that the events described in the book, have occurred here. Before Columbus discovered America, the representatives of a small Indian tribe, engaged in agriculture and fishing inhabited the island.
This beautiful piece of land discovered by Columbus in 1494, the Spaniards called Isla de Pinos (or “island of pines”). Fast enough colonizers exterminated the entire population of the island, and a significant portion of coniferous forests, but realized that there is no gold, and lost a piece of land all interest. However, the island soon have new owners – filibusters. They are attracted by the fact that the skeleton was located near the Yucatan Channel, right on, the ways by which one went to Spain with a fleet of wealth; the colonizers have selected the enslaved peoples of the Americas. From pirates made many attacks not only on vehicles but also to the commercial ports, placed in the Caribbean Sea.
During almost 300 years as Tortuga, Pinos served the pirates of all stripes supply base, the scene of action adventurers, as well as a place for parking, repair their ships, and replenish drinking water supplies. At various times in the Pines stayed all famous pirates of those times – Drake, Morgan, Dampier, Ohlone, Hall, Baskerville, and many, many others. On this island, they did a little breather and sometimes hid the stolen wealth. Places of their hiding places were kept in the strictest confidence and are marked on special maps, which were made all in one piece. One of these cards, and fell into the hands of Jim Hawkins of the famous novel.
It is believed that Stevenson, who has not been to these places, to describe the use of materials from the island published in England, notes Drake, Morgan and other pirates.
Realizing the dangers are filibusters, the Spaniards have sought to destroy the pirate’s lair, but to no avail. Only in 1830, after 300 years of domination pirate, Pinos returned into the hands of the Spaniards. The colonialists immediately turned the island into a place for links and concluding criminals, thus adding to the glory of the pirate lair, and yet the glory of the prison-island, a place of eternal suffering.
The life of the island has not changed even when Spain lost American possessions, and the island was ceded to Cuba, a country independent only “on paper”, but in fact the United States colony. At that time, the only serious construction was only “a model prison” that was built at the foot of the Sierra de Kabalos near the quarry. It is noteworthy that in 1953 in prison was awarded Fidel Castro.
In fact, the island turned into a “Cuban Siberia”, nothing has changed, except for the appearance of a huge number of foreign, mostly American adventurers, ancient maps tried in vain to search for treasures that were once hidden by pirates. For one of the maps found by treasure hunters, it was attached text, which stated that in a cave-hidden treasures of 20 million. Piasters. In addition, the depths of the sea are a few Spanish ships with untold wealth. Sea Hunters for gold is much luckier – one of the expeditions failed to find sunken galleon with gold and silver.
In 1958, a great hotel for tourists was built on the island, where the hall is decorated with a mosaic panel depicting a scene from “Treasure Island”. The new history of the island began in 1959, when the prison was abolished forever, and generous fertile land was turned into blooming gardens.
Those who were lucky enough to visit the renewed Pines, call it emerald in a setting of the Caribbean waters. Once an abandoned piece of land became known for its citrus plantations. In the dry season, they irrigate two dozen reservoirs. In addition, the inhabitants of the island are engaged in cultivation of pineapples and bananas, animal husbandry and fishing. Impassable trails of the island changed other than the highway, on the island began to develop deposits of tungsten ore and marble. There is also booming light and food industries. In today’s Pinos 70 thousand. Man lives.
The island is unique for its beaches of black and red sand, attracts many tourists from different countries, all of them are willing to relax, go fishing and get healthier in paradise. However, of the times resemble filibusters only museum exhibits. In 1978, in recognition of the young republic, to change this island, during the Ninth World Festival of Youth and Students, he received a new name, becoming the island of Isla de la Juventud (“Island of Youth”).