Zanjón Pact temporary triumph of Spanish colonialism

The Pact of Zajon vs Baragua protest

“The Cuban war rested in the sad February”, ten years of fight from the manigua. Thus José Martí sentenced the lamentable outcome when evaluating the Zanjón Pact, expression of the Cuban arms surrender and the approval of a peace without independence and without the abolition of slavery.

The event, signed on February 10, 1878 between the so-called Revolutionary Committee of the Center and the Captain General of the Island Arsenio Martínez Campo, in Camagüey, was irrefutable proof that the fracture of unity at the beginning of our independence struggles was the worst enemy of the revolutionary process.

Unquestionably, the bases approved in that document were so ambiguous and so astutely drafted by the Spanish side, that what was granted to Cuba was nothing, or so little, that it was almost a mockery, beyond how disastrous it would be for the subsequent course of the wars of independence.Cuba was granted the same status as Puerto Rico, although it was later learned that these apparent advantages referred only to the electoral system and the administration of the territory. Cuba was invited to forget the past under the premise of unconditionally laying down their arms and accepting Spanish rule over the island.

Freedom would only be obtained by those black slaves and Chinese colonists who had served in the ranks of the Liberation Army, and Cubans would be given the possibility of creating political parties, as long as they were not contrary to the Metropolis or put their interests in danger.In good Cuban terms, what was agreed upon were crumbs.

Nothing of what Carlos Manuel de Céspedes demanded in the Manifesto of October 10, nor what was approved in the Constitution of Guaimaro in April 1869 was contemplated in that Pact; it was as if the blood shed by the Father of the Homeland, Agramonte, Miguel Gerónimo Gutiérrez and other anonymous patriots, had been in vain.

The signing of the shameful agreement, 146 years ago, illustrated that regionalism, caudillismo, the lack of support from Cuban emigration abroad and the intelligent policy of Peacemaker Martinez Campo, were causes that ruined the wear and tear of almost 10 years of struggle, also taking advantage of the skepticism of others.

One month and five days later, on March 15, 1878, the Zanjón would find in the Baragúa Protest the best of its answers with General Antonio Maceo as the architect.If in that historical fact the sword had been dropped, as Martí judged, in Baragúa the sullied honor would be saved and the Cuban ideal of continuing fighting for the Independence of Cuba and the abolition of slavery would be reaffirmed.

Moraima Zulueta Gómez

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Periodista de Radio Grito de Baire

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