John . . as I recall . . . the African slaves fled from the British to freedom at Spanish Fort Moses (spl).
I seem to remember including an article in Somos Primos about that history.
Sugar cane workers in the Caribbean islands were perhaps slaves but sugar cane was for rum and it was the English who produced and sold rum to Europe. The English also traded with hemp and produced tobacco. Those were plantation economies . . .
The Spanish had a ranch style of economy, raising cattle, horses, sheep, and goats. Those do not require the man power . . . which raising sugar cane, tobacco and hemp require.
Yes . . the Portuguese were involved in slave trade, but again, they were best known for their sheep tending economy.
There were probably some slaves among the early Spanish colonizers, but I would think VERY few. Those ships were small, they brought their own horses, and were responsible for their own equipment. I would think only the wealthy would bring A slave with them, and most of the Spanish soldiers were not of the landed-Spanish wealthy.
h u m m m . . .