Calixto García, the three-war fighter for the independence of Cuba

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The history of Cuba is as long as the list of its heroes who fought against the oppressors of the Fatherland in different stages, from 1868 to 1898. Among them is General Carlixto Garcia Iñiguez, born on August 4, 1838, for his participation in three of the wars for the independence of the island: the Ten Years’ War, the Chiquita War and the War of ’95, the Spanish-Cuban-American War.

This Cuban patriot was born in Holguin. In the Ten Years’ War he tried to take his own life so as not to be captured. He was the maximum leader in the Chiquita War, which failed due to lack of organization and unity. He arrived in Cuba in 1896 to join the struggle. He participates in the seizure  of Guáimaro, Las Tunas and Guisa. In 1898, in the middle of the Spanish-Cuban-American War, he meets Shafter and Sampson to prepare the capture of Santiago de Cuba. He participates in joint maneuvers with the United States Army. After the capture of Santiago de Cuba, his troops were denied entry to the city. During the U.S. occupation, he traveled to the United States to discuss the recognition of the island’s independence, the duration of the occupation period and the discharge of the Liberation Army. He died during that trip.

The legacy of his great feats of war remains in the memory of the Cubans, where Monsignor Calixto García showed his courage, conviction and decision to fight without truce until he achieved the definitive independence of Cuba. A soldier who was under the orders of Major General Ignacio Agramonte, and General Máximo Gómez, he participated in 400 war actions, wounded on multiple occasions and died on August 4, 1876 in the Yaguaramas action. His letter to Major General Julio Sanguily, dated August 24, 1875, is a sign of dedication and personal disinterest, when he wrote: “…I do not care about the position. I would give up what I have for the command of any force in the vanguard.

On September 16, 1874, he was caught with only 20 men by the Spanish forces. Wounded and unable to continue fighting, he decided to take his own life before being taken prisoner. But he survived to continue turning over glorious pages to Cuba’s rich history.

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