Thursday, June 14, 2007
June 14: Antonio Maceo was born unknown and became a Titan
Remembering the details of the life of the Deputy General of the Liberation Army of Cuba.
By: Luis Hernandez Serrano
The mixed race child was born 162 years ago in the city of Santiago de Cuba, on June 14, 1845, without being mentioned in the society page, first born child of Marcos Maceo and Mariana Grajales, and was named José Antonio de la Caridad. In the short time that is the life of man, he became one of the most lofty and helpful figures of the history of Cuba.
From his father he had in his veins the notion of social generosity and hard work, and from his mother the highest degree of patriotic feelings for liberty.
Of Mariana, for example, Martí would write: «What did we have in that woman, what epic and mystery had that humble lady, what sanctity and unction had the motherly bosom, what decorum and nobility had her simple life, that when we write about her is like writing about the root of the soul?».
He joined the fight against the Spaniards when he was 15, and very soon, with only 23 years, he had the stars of Lieutenant Colonel of the Liberation Army of Cuba.
He became the bravest Santiaguero of all times, Deputy General of the Liberation Army of Cuba, the second chief in the struggle against Spanish colonialism and the most audacious and courageous opponent of an invading enemy of 200,000 men, who were better armed and trained than the Cuban native rebels.
The Apostle would say in a memorable instance that General Antonio «with his thinking would serve the fatherland more than with his courage», and Maceo himself had confessed to his wife María Cabrales, in a letter that is also unforgettable: «I live on the horse (...) and have the courage of my thinking (...)».
To the struggle he dedicated 28 years of his life, and was the general that received the most wounds, and his response to the ignominious Pact of Zanjón is one of eternal pride, when it was thought that everything was lost, because he never put down the flag raised by Céspedes in October 10 of 1868, nor did he put down the flag raised by Marti in 1995.
The Teacher would say a few years later: «I have before my eyes the Baraguá Protest, which is the most glorious of our History».
He always had faith in the revolutionary capacity of Cubans, and he opposed any foreign interference, when he assured pessimist José J. Hernández, who had said that Cuba would be one more star in the constellation of the United States: «I believe, young man, that would be the only case in which I would be on the side of the Spaniards».
Translation by JG.
The Baraguá Protest
Speech by the President of The Republic of Cuba on the Centennial of The Baraguá Protest
JG: Today, it is more important than ever that we Cubans continue to fight to make sure that the lonely star in the triangle of blood of our flag will never join the stars of any foreign power flag. Long live the memory of The Titan of Bronze!