I found this on the web. Maybe some of this is the reason Jose Quintana came to the US in 1836?
Cuban immigration to the U.S. began in an era of peaceful coexistence between the two nations. In the latter part of the 19th century, workers moved freely between Florida and the island, and the trade in sugar, coffee, and tobacco was lucrative. Cigar companies soon began relocating from Cuba to avoid tariffs and trade regulations, and Cubans came by the thousands to work in the factories. Soon the towns of Key West and Ybor City were the capitals of a tobacco-scented empire, and also became the centers of new Cuban enclaves. Even as these communities grew, Cuban workers continued to shuttle across the Straits of Florida as work allowed. At the beginning of the 20th century, between 50,000 and 100,000 Cubans moved between Havana, Tampa, and Key West every year.
1834 - Civil war breaks out in Spain between supporters of Don Carlos, including the Church, Basques, Catalonians, and conservative forces, and those of his niece, Isabella II, including Britain, Portugal, and France. The foreign countries send troops to defend the child's right to the throne against the Carlists. Twenty-eight million acres of public lands will be offered for sale in a land boom in the United States driven by immigration and also by speculative interests.