Was Eamon de Valera a cuban -american?

Was Eamon de Valera a cuban -american?

Eamon de Valera’s father was born in Matanzas, Cuba. Under the spanish colonial rule of the island every new born was legally consider a spaniard (not a cuban).

Matanzas is a port city in the northen cost of Cuba best known for the incredible mixtures of races: spaniards, africans, taino indians, chinese, arabs, jews, irish, americans…and more! And for the beautiful Varadero beach!

The children of cuban inmigrants brought into life in the USA are called cuban-americans or “cubanazos” (slang).

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A Link to Cecil’s Column is always appreciated.

Not only is there no proof that Eamon de Valera’s supposed father Juan Vivion de Valera was born in Cuba (or in Spain, which is where he is more commonly said to have been born), there is no proof that he actually existed:


Eamon de Valera’s mother Catherine Coll emigrated from Ireland in 1879 to settle in New York. She claimed to have married a Spanish or Cuban sculptor named Juan Vivion de Valera in 1881, a year before Eamon was born. She claimed that Juan died in 1885, at which point her brother Ned brought Eamon back to Ireland. She later moved back to Ireland, but Eamon lived mostly with the rest of the Coll family. There is no record of Juan’s existence. It’s suspected that Catherine Coll invented him to hide the fact that Eamon was born out of wedlock.

I was fascinated to learn just now that Eamon was a mathematician. I had heard him described before as a math teacher and assumed that he taught high school math. In modern terms though, it would be more correct to think of him as a mathematician who didn’t get as far as a Ph.D. and taught in junior colleges.

It’s great what you can learn from Wikipedia.

Only a DNA test can clear the discussion whether or not de Varela was half hispanic half irish!

That seems a fair assessment of de Valera as a mathematician. He never did any significant original research, but he maintained an interest throughout his life. Probably the most important consequence of this was that it was his own idea to invite Schrödinger to Dublin after the Anchluss to head a specially created Institute for Advanced Studies there.

I may have mentioned the detail on the Dope before, but when I went round the (excellent) museum in Kilmainham Gaol about 5 years ago they had the visitors book he signed when he toured the site late in life. Beneath his signature he’d added the equation i[sup]2[/sup] = j[sup]2[/sup] = k[sup]2[/sup] = ijk = -1. The display explained that, to stave off the boredom of captivity while imprisoned there after the Easter Rising, he did maths in his head and had recorded this result by carving it on the wall of his cell.
Um, not quite. He may have done maths to while away the hours, but the carving inself was an obvious mathematical in-joke. What else would a bored Irish mathematician amuse themselves with by inscribing into a wall?

(As Wendell knows, the equation is the one William Hamilton carved into Brougham Bridge in 1843.)

I don’t think that DNA tests can determine what nationality a person is.

Generally, a DNA test only matches one DNA sample against another sample, thereby establishing that a person is or is not the child of a specified person. So if we had some DNA from Juan de Valera (from about 125 years ago), and some from Eamon de Valera, we could accurately determine if Juan was Eamon’s father.

But we still couldn’t tell where Juan was born, which is the original question here.

The question is not where was he born, but “was his father of Hispanic origin”.

Of course, since the place where de Valera Sr is supposed to have been born has a genetic soup that would make any geneticist happy, picking a group to match de Valera’s Y chromosome is kind of difficult.

Plus there’s the little detail that, if his dad’s name was Juan Vivion de Valera… then, and unless Vivion is some obscure saint (hey, there’s names like Abilio and Teofrasto around), Eamon’s name should have been Eamon Vivion. His pa may have been Cuban, but any color from ebony to milk-white and mommy may not have been sure of the name.

“since the place where de Valera Sr is supposed to have been born has a genetic soup…”

That genetic soup have been “cooked” for almost 500 years and has a name… Cuban People! :stuck_out_tongue:

BBC said he was Irish Spaniard. Both white European races and catholic :slight_smile: born in the USA. If his father was born in Cuba, of Spanish parents, at that time it was a colony of Spain so he would had been also Spaniard.

So much ignorance in the USA :confused:smack:

Despite what the BBC claims, De Valera’s father remains unknown. The name may have been invented by his unwed mother.

De Valera was taken from the USA to Ireland to be reared by his mother’s family. She married in the USA & started a family but had little contact with her son.

But his mother did step in after his arrest in the Easter Rising. She pointed out that he was a US citizen & could not be executed for treason.

When and where did you hear the BBC claim that De Valera was of Irish-Spanish ancestry, JuliaJT?

Many Irish and Spanish men are in the same haplogroups and share much in common in genetic terms. I am not sure what most people mean when they say “Hispanic” (Spaniard? Mestizo?)

Strictly speaking, he probably could have been*, but it wouldn’t have been politic to risk antagonising American public opinion any more than it might already have been, at that stage of the war.

*The Easter Rising leaders weren’t charged with treason but other offences under wartime legislation, so questions of formal allegiance and citizenship would have been irrelevant.

Didn’t stop them murdering Lord Haw-Haw.

Ah, but he’d claimed British citizenship in order to get a passport, and to renew it just in time to go to Berlin.

Had they cared about Dev, and at that period they were fairly ambivalent about Irish freedom-fighters generally and he wasn’t that important anyway, I’m sure they could have found a loophole to hang him from as well.
He hung quite a few bhoys himself in his war against the IRA, and doesn’t seem to have been a highly scrupulous man.

Yes he could, under British law. The British law of treason bases allegiance both on formal allegiance (being a subject or citizen of the country), and on temporary allegiance (being present in the country and thereby owing a temporary duty of allegiance to obey the laws and the sovereign).

Louis Riel was found guilty of treason in Canada in 1885 under the British law and was hanged, even though he had renounced his British status and was an American citizen.

He had some peculiar scruples of his own, though (hence the bizarre business of his signing the German Embassy’s book of condolence when Hitler’s death was announced - because protocol “required” him to do so for a foreign head of state).

But he was sentenced to death by the military tribunal in 1916, and later reprieved. A loophole wouldn’t have been needed.

Well he was not wrong.
Protocol is what separates us from the hooligans.

Winston S. Churchill: “But after all when you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite.”