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Portrait from “25 anos de Labor - Club de Cantinero de Cuba”, by Hilario Alonso, 1951

José Cuervo Fernández


Co-founded the Club de Cantineros de Cuba, served as its first President, and co-wrote its first book

José Cuervo was born into modest circumstances in Asturias, Spain, probably in the late 1890s. As a youth, he emigrated to Cuba in search of opportunity. There, he began working in restaurants and bars. As a well-known bartender, he was associated with the café at the Havana hotel Ambos Mundos, and later, he helped open the Hotel Nacional. In 1924, Cuervo co-founded the storied Club de Cantineros, which combined the functions of a labor association and social club. Cuervo is also credited with setting up the first educational programs for the club members, and co-writing the organizations first book of best practices and recipes, Manual Oficial (1930), with Gerardo Corrales.

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