Máximo Gómez was born in the Dominican Republic and he came to Cuba as a Spanish soldier. That is the irony of the situation, because as soon as he arrived in Cuba he defected and started organizing the Cubans. He tried to get them to use tactics and to train, things which were novel to the insurgents at the time.
The revolt known as the Ten Years War failed to win the Cubans their independence. But the struggle for “Cuba Libre”—a free Cuba—continued as Spanish promises for reform were never fulfilled. Gómez withdrew to his native Dominican Republic, leaving the Spanish with a depressed sugar industry. Spain could not afford to lend money to Cuban planters. Many turned to the United States.