Gibara was one of the forts in the West Indies during the early 18th century that protected important trade routes. Like many of the forts in the West Indies, it was under the control of the Spanish Navy.
At some point between 1717 and 1722, the pirate Edward Kenway attacked the fort, using his ship, the Jackdaw to destroy its defenses, before his crew invaded the fort on foot. Edward managed to kill the fort's ranking officer and commander, after which the fort fell under pirate control.
After the fort was taken from Spanish control, a harbormaster's station was built down on the docks, where Kenway was also able to accept two naval contracts from an agent representing the Dutch merchant Milo van der Graaff.