Antonio Maceo Grajales (1845-1896)

Born in the city of Santiago de Cuba, Province of Oriente.

“The Bronze Titan” , as he was called by the Mambises. Major General and Commander of the Mambí Amy during the course of the Ten Years War (1868-1878) and the Cuban War of Independence (1895-1898). A mulatto and one of eleven sons sent to war by their Cuban born mother, Doña Mariana Grajales. Maceo was assistant to General Máximo Gómez y Báez. At the early age of 33, he successfully commanded some of the most glorious and victorious battles of our history and took the Columna Invasora (invasion column) from East to West all through the island. He had been considered as a genius of military tactics.

Maceo said, “Liberty is not to be begged for… Liberty must be conquered with the edge of the “machete”.

Maceo died in battle in the town of San Pedro in the outskirts of Havana together with his aid, Francisco Gómez Toro, son of General Gómez , on December 7, 1896. This date was chosen as a National Day of Mourning in Cuba in memory of all of our fallen national heroes. He was buried at the Cacahual Hill, some twenty minutes from the center of Havana. A simple marble structure was erected at his grave site. Spacious gardens planted with Ficus trees and Australian pines surround the tomb. This is a very solemn, peaceful and inspiring place. A bronze equestrian statue of Maceo can be found in a park in Havana. It faces the Malecón drive and the Casa de Beneficencia (National Orphanage).

“My duties to country and to my own political convictions are above all human effort; with these I shall reach the pedestal of freedom or I shall perish fighting for my country’s redemption.” (November 3, 1890).”

-Daisy Barrera and Esteban Perez