Officers Ascertained That The Canal In Its Whole Development Would Be
Nineteen Leagues Long (5000 Varas Or 4150 Metres), That The Point Of
Partition Would Be At The Taverna Del Rey, And That It Would Require
Nineteen Locks On The North, And Twenty-One On The South.
from the Havannah to Batabano is only eight and a half sea-leagues.
The canal of Guines would be very useful for the transport of
agricultural productions by steam-boats,* because its course would be
in proximity with the best cultivated lands.
(* Steam-boats are
established from the Havannah to Matanzas, and from the Havannah to
Mariel. The government granted to Don Juan O'Farrill (March 24th,
1819) a privilege on the barcos de vapor.) The roads are nowhere worse
in the rainy season than in this part of the island, where the soil is
of friable limestone, little fitted for the construction of solid
roads. The transport of sugar from Guines to the Havannah, a distance
of twelve leagues, now costs one piastre per quintal. Besides the
advantage of facilitating internal communications, the canal would
also give great importance to the surgidero of Batabano, into which
small vessels laden with salt provisions (tasajo) from Venezuela,
would enter without being obliged to double Cape Saint Antonio. In the
bad season and in time of war, when corsairs are cruising between Cape
Catoche, Tortugas and Mariel, the passage from the Spanish main to the
island of Cuba would be shortened by entering, not at the Havannah,
but at some port of the southern coast.
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