Luis Martínez-Fernández, "Key to the New World: A History of Early Colonial Cuba" (U Florida Press, 2018)


From pre-contact, to first-contact, to colonization and beyond, Key to the New World: A History of Early Colonial Cuba (University of Florida Press, 2018) by Luis Martínez-Fernández is an easy-to-read, yet incredibly fascinating and informative book on the history of early Cuba. In this interview, Martínez-Fernández talks about his Latin American upbringing, the history of pre-contact Cuba, the historical context of Western Europe in 1492, the deep connection between sugar production and slavery, and so much more. Key to the New World manages to effortlessly combine multiple elements of Cuban history, people, cultures, and stories with an objective tone and appealing style. As we continue to learn more about the truths of the “discovery” of the Americas, Martínez-Fernández’s book is an essential read toward a further understanding of those truths. Dr. Luis Martínez-Fernández is a professor of history at the University of Central Florida. Born in Havana, Cuba and raised in Lima, Peru and San Juan, Puerto Rico, he holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in History from the University of Puerto Rico and a Ph.D. in History from Duke University. He is recognized as one of the most prolific and influential scholars in the field of Caribbean Studies. He is the author of numerous publications and his new book, Key to the New World, is the winner of the 2018 Florida Book Awards' Bronze Medal for Nonfiction.
Colin Mustful is the author of four historical novels about Minnesota’s settlement and Native history. He holds an MA in history and an MFA in creative writing. He is the founder and editor of a small independent press called History Through Fiction. You can learn more about Colin and his work at

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Colin Mustful

Colin Mustful is an author, historian, and publisher. You can learn more about his work at
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