Originally - P Y g Y residents at Santiago de Cuba, the captains-general resided after 1589 at Havana.
Partly because of political and social divisions thus revealed, conspiracies being rife in the decade 1820-1830, and partly as preparation for the defence against Mexico and Colombia, who throughout these same years were threatening the island with invasion, the captains-general, in 1825, received the powers above referred to; which became, as time passed, monstrously in disaccord with the general tendencies of colonial government and with increasing liberties in Spain, but continued to be the spiritual basis of Spanish rule in the island.
The policy of successive captains-general was alternately uncompromisingly repressive and conciliatory.
The captains-general corresponded directly with the council of the Indies, and were independent of the viceroys except in war time.
The Palace, which served as a residence for the captains-general during the Spanish rule, is the home of the city government and the residence of the president of the republic. It is a large and handsome stone structure (tinted in white and yellow), and stands on the site of the original parish church, facing the Plaza de Armas from the east.