This article explores one of the most incidental, and thus least studied, equivocations in Michel Foucault's work: his understan-ding of slavery in relation to his conceptualizations of power, domination, resistance and freedom. The article also considers the heuristic value of these equivocations for thinking about the regimes of the large slave plantations of the Americas. Does slavery describe a relation of power or a state of domination? What distinct analytical and ethical implications would this distinction have upon examining the problem of freedom under subjugation? Through a careful exegesis of two late instances in the work of the French thinker, "Subject and power" (1982) and "The ethics of care of the self as a practice of freedom" (1984), this article identifies the conceptual ambiguities that accompany his brief observations on slavery, and takes them as a starting point for highlighting a series of moments in which games of power during the period of slavery in the Americas show the limits that were intuited, yet not theorized, by Foucault; limits which are no other than extreme violence and death. This is exemplified through a discussion of certain paradoxes in the phenomena of the fugitive slaves (cimarronaje) and of the aporias, that were manifested through the uses of the Christian pastoral as a means of subjection at the beginnings of the Cuban slave plantations during the 18th century - and in dialogue with their symbolization in art.