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The officers and crew of the Tecora waited at sea for darkness to come to Cuba.Closer to shore, British cruisers patrolled the waters looking for slave ships.The Misericordia barracoon stood just off a busy road that connected the city and the white palace of the Governor General.
Indicating with his hands, Celestino told Cinque that the slaves would have their throats slit, be chopped to pieces, salted, and eaten as dried meat.
Cinque, who had seen the barbarism of the Middle Passage, believed him.
They connected each collar by a chain to another slave, and whole string of collars they chained to the wall.
The Africans were kept in the suffocating heat of the hold most of the voyage.
Two thousand miles of Cuban coastline made capture at sea difficult, and once on land the slavers were outside British authority and under the protection of complicit Cuban officials.
The weak glow of lights on shore guided the Tecora to a secluded inlet along the Cuban shoreline.For the Africans, the voyage was to be endured, not enjoyed.Crew members placed iron collars around the neck of each slave.Arriving at their destination, the crew locked the Africans in crude human warehouses.About ten days after their arrival in Cuba, the captives marched again, this time to a barracoon, or slave stockade, within sight of the city of Havana.He ordered blacks to stand in a row, then inspected their bodies and teeth one-by-one.Ruiz bought the forty-nine adult males that passed his inspection for 0 each.Fifty-eight-year-old Pedro Montes, meanwhile, selected four children, three of them girls.The two Cuban plantation owners obtained fraudulent passports for their human property from the captain general--passports that would allow them to transport their “black Ladinos” to Puerto Principe by sea.None of the slaves spoke Spanish and the children were far too young to have been born in Cuba before 1820.At midnight, the Amistad, captained by Ramon Ferrer, sailed out of Havana harbor with its cargo of fifty-three slaves and about ,000 in provisions.