Guáimaro and Cuba’s enduring constitutional spirit


The determination of Cuba’s Mambi forces to unite in the struggle for independence is central to the nation’s heritage. Photo: Milenio.com


Miguel Fernández Martínez | [email protected] Jan 22, 2019 – Some six months have passed since the anniversary of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes’ call for liberty at the Demajagua plantation, when patriots took up arms against Spanish colonialism and slavery, providing a lesson in unity and citizenship.

Some six months have passed since the anniversary of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes’ call for liberty at the Demajagua plantation, when patriots took up arms against Spanish colonialism and slavery, providing a lesson in unity and citizenship.

The small settlement of Guáimaro was one of the first to be liberated by the mambises after the beginning of the armed struggle, and had the honor of serving as the site for a transcendental event in the Revolution of ‘68.

Gathered in an assembly April 10-12, representatives from the three insurgent areas (Oriente, Camagüey, and Las Villas) sought to establish agreement to form a single, united front to combat the Spanish.

José Martí, who considered the event a great symbol and passion, would write 23 years later in the newspaper Patria, “Free Guáimaro had never been so beautiful as the days when it was about to enter into glory and sacrifice.”

With barely enough time to get to know each other, and facing divergent, even antagonistic, opinions on the issues at hand, delegates settled their conceptual disagreements, putting love of the country and desire to serve Cuba first.

After bitter debates, they approved a unique type of state – the Republic of Cuba in Arms – democratic institutions, and a basic constitution that would serve as a programmatic base in the national liberation struggle.

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