Grito de Yara

October 10, 1868 marks the beginning of the Ten Years War in Cuba and is known as El Grito de Yara and is the Cuban equivalent to the War of Independence.

From CubaFacts:

Ten Years War

On October 10, 1868, Carlos Manuel de C?spedes and a group of planters from the province of Oriente proclaimed the independence of Cuba in the historic Grito de Yara (Cry of Yara). Initially, there was no mention of the social question of slavery, but as the military campaign went on, it became clear that revolutionary success depended upon uniting all Cubans against Spanish rule. Men like Antonio Maceo, a mulatto from Santiago de Cuba, and M?ximo G?mez, a black Dominican exile, contributed to the revolutionary effort. The Cuban masses changed the character of the revolution into a democratic one that sponsored abolition. After a few military victories, the nationalist forces controlled half the island of Cuba. However, the Spanish government was not about to lose its prize possession in the Caribbean. Royalist forces launched a “total war” of destruction, inflicting terrible losses throughout the island.

Even though the Spanish armies were being supplied by the United States, the Cubans remained confident that people in the United States supported them morally and would eventually influence their government to render the Cubans much needed assistance. After ten years of bloodshed and the loss of an estimated 50,000 Cuban and 208,000 Spanish lives, the war was over. Under the 1878 Pact of Zanjon the crown agreed to enact reforms. However, the end of the war represented only the beginning of a truce between Spain and the Cuban revolutionaries. Men like Maceo and G?mez had become experts in guerrilla fighting and led the Cuban nationalists during the following years of the independence movement.

Wikipedia has more here, in Spanish.

2 thoughts on “Grito de Yara”

  1. Here is part of a letter from Carlos Manuel de Cespedes to President Ulysses Grant on January 12, 1872.
    I found this letter in the National Archives in Washington.
    The entire letter can be read at:
    http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/1868/cespedes-grant.htm

    The principles defended by the Cubans, and the form of Government which they have established, written in the constitution promulgated by them, render it the duty of the United States, more than of any other power, to favor them. If, from motives of humanity, and in the interest of civilization, all nations are under obligations to interest themselves in behalf of Cuba, demanding a termination of the war which she is waging against Spain, the United States have a duty to perform which is imposed upon them by the political principles which they profess, proclaim and defend.
    To the public and official manifestation of the sympathies in our favor of that country which gave birth to Washington and Lincoln, and to so many martyrs to the social emancipation of a race, there can only be opposed motives of selfishness, fears of expense likely to arise from an imaginary war, which, should it be quixotically undertaken, would soon be terminated by the force which right and justice give. The expense which is now incurred by the United States, on account of the present abnormal state of things, will, perhaps, in the long run, be quite equal to the expense of a war. These outlays, moreover, are now productive of no benefit to the country, and, in a measure, compromise the honor and dignity of the country.
    You know, Mr. President, by experience, that the Cubans can expect nothing from the promise of Spain, and that it is in vain to expect that country to become convinced of the advantage which she would derive from recognizing our independence. Our struggle, like all those of its kind, will be long, but the act which justice demands of you, Mr. President, i.e. the recognition of our belligerency and independence, would shorten it very much.
    Excuse me, sir, if in the midst of your numerous and important occupations, I appeal to you, not as a suppliant, but in order to furnish to you the occasion of performing this act.
    Believe, Honorable President, that if you do so, a thousand families will bless your name, and you will gain, beside the profound gratitude of my country, the admiration of
    your most faithful servant,
    C. M. C?spedes
    President of the Republic of Cuba

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