Independence Wars against Spain on el Oriente de Cuba.
During the Independence Wars several battles took place in Cuba against Spain Colony for freedom. The three more impportant wars are: The Ten Years’ War (1868-1878), The Smallest War (1879-1880) and The Independence War (1895-1898)
The Ten Years’ War (1868-1878)
Ten years'War, also well-known as Great War (1868-1878), began in October 10 of 1868 under the direction of the attorney at law Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and supported by a group of patriots in the Sugar Mill La Demajagua in the Oriente of Cuba, in called to the freedom and independence of the island. During the first days the insurrection almost failed. Céspedez attacked the village of Yara in October 11. From there taking its name this revolution, although the attack to Yara was not victorious. The date of October 10 is commemorated in Cuba like national party under the name of "Grito de Yara."
The Revolution of Yara extended through the whole area of the Oriente of Cuba and patriots' groups met in several parts of the island to support to Céspedez.
During the course of the Ten years' war many cruelties were made by the Spanish government and for the spanish sympathizers too.
April 10 of 1869, a Constituent Assembly takes place in the town of Guáimaro in the county of Camagüey. Grasses were elect President of this assembly and General Ignacio Agramonte y Loynaz and Antonio Zambrana, principal authors of the proposal Constitution, were elect Secretaries.
Due to political and personal conflicts, the Assembly deprived to Céspedes like President, the one that was replaced by Cisneros. But Céspedes was died in an ambush by Spanish troops in February 27 of 1874
The activities in the Ten years' War arrived to its high development in 1872 and 1873 but, postmortem of Agramonte and displacement of Céspedez, the military operations were limited to the regions of Camagüey and the Oriente of Cuba, due to a lack of supplies.
As a result of the successive disasters, February 8 of 1878 the constitutional organisms of the Government from Cuba were dissolved and the negociations for the peace were begun in Zanjón, Puerto Príncipe. February 10 of 1878, the terms of peace were accepted by the governments from Cuba and Spain, and the Ten years' War arrived to its end, except for some subsequent protests of a petty group of followers of Antonio Maceo, the one that made a revolt in The Mangos of Baraguá. These protests were concluded by Maceo in May 28 of 1878.
The Smallest War (1879-1880)
Passed not too much than a year from agreements of Zanjón, August 24 of 1879, begun in the Oriente of Cuba a new rising against the Spanish authorities, which was called Smallest War.
Given the way that finished the Ten years' War, and the political and economic consequences of the war, left dissatisfaction to those that had fought heroically for the freedom during ten long years. This turned out in a new revolution fomented for several Generals of the Revolution - Calíxto García, José Maceo (brother of Antonio) and Guillermo Moncada, seconded by Francisco Carrillo and Emilo Núñez.
This new war began full with energy and enthusiasm, but it didn't arrive to enough magnitude because the country wanted the peace. Smallest War lasted less than one year, but it was a clear indication that the Peace of Zanjón it was not the last peace's chapter.
The Independence War (1895-1898)
The Independence War began in February 24 of 1895, under the writer and philosopher's intellectual direction José Martí who is considered by all the Cubans as Father of the Homeland. Martí gave the order of beginning the revolution in that date, and this began simultaneously in four places of the Oriente of Cuba - in Bayate, under Bartolomé Masó's command; in Ibarra, under Juan Gualberto Gómez and Antonio López Coloma's command; in Baire, with the siblings Saturnino and Mariano Lora; and in Guantánamo, with Periquito Pérez, Emilio Giró and others. The date of February 24 is commemorated in Cuba like national party under the name of "Grito de Baire."
Unfortunately, Martí, that had desired of participate actively in the conflict, it was killed in May 19 of 1895 near Dos Ríos' town in the Oriente of Cuba, when their group was surprised by a column of Spanish soldiers at Colonel Jiménez de Sandoval's command.
September 13 of 1895 an Assembly formed by delegates of the five squads that formed the Liberator Army made a meeting in Jimaguayú and chose to Salvador Cisneros Betancourt like President of the Republic, Bartolomé Masó like Vice chairman, Maximo Gómez like Generalissimo, Antonio Maceo like Lieutenant and Tomás Estrada Palma like diplomatic representative in the United States.
Máximo Gómez, a military leader brilliant, organized several highly successful campaigns, including the Circular Campaign around Camagüey, and the Invasion of Oriente to West of the complete island, everything in the short period of November 8 of 1895 to January 22 of 1896. The most outstanding action was the victory over Spanish General Martínez Campo in Coliseo's town.
The Spanish government's reaction was Martínez's Cámpos replacement for General Valeriano Weyler and the increase of troops in the island that added 180 000. Weyler ordered to all the inhabitants of rural areas to be confined in the cities and he declared that all those that were in the field would be considered insurrectionists. This cruel "concentration" had devastating side effects for the economy of the island. At the same time, the yellow fever continued taking as victims to tens of thousands of soldiers in the island. For this time, the Senate and the Congress of the United States both made separate court decisions recognizing the Cuban Revolution.
In September of 1897, it took place a constitutional convention in Yaya, where a new revolutionary government was chosen. General Bartolomé Masó was chosen as President and Domingo Méndez Capote as Vice chairman. During this year, the tensions between the United States and Spain increased markedly. Spain finally removed General Weyler and it granted to Cuba autonomy in domestic matters in 1897. The Government from Cuba in Weapons doesn't accepted all these new reforms that came too late. Due to the unstable situation, the Consul from United States in Havana, Fitzhugh Lee, advised to the President McKinley that sent units of the marine of war to the ports of Cuba. Following this commission, the American battleship Maine was sent to the port of Havana. In the night of February 15 of 1898, a tremendous explosion destroys completely to the ship, killing 2 officers and 264 sailors.
April 25 of 1898, as a result of pressures of public opinion in the United States following the explosion of Maine, the United States declared the war to Spain. The United States invaded with troops to Cuba in June 20 of 1898. After the Spanish fleet was sinked in the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba and of several battles in the surroundings of Santiago de Cuba (helped by Cuban troops under General Calixto García's command), and also in Puerto Rico and Philippines, Spain entered in negociations of peace. Julio 16 of 1898 Spain signed a treaty of peace in Santiago de Cuba. This was followed of a formal treaty signed in Paris in December 10 of 1898 that it finished the Spanish dominance of Cuba. It's to notes that the total duration of the Hispanic-American war was for only 3 single months.
January 1 of 1899 Spain gave up and formally passed the government of Cuba to the United States. A Constitutional Convention met November 5 of 1900 and this was followed by elections in December 31 of 1901. The United States passed the government of Cuba to the elect government of Cuba in May 20 of 1902. The date of May 20 takes place in Cuba like the Day of the Republic.