Either the republic is founded upon the integral character of every one of its sons, or the republic is not worth one of our mothers’ tears or a single drop of our heroes’ blood. Will we fear the Negro? The black man has drawn his noble body to its full height and is becoming a solid column for his native liberties. Others may fear him; I love him. José Martí.
TITLE CARD: “Cuban March (Viva Cuba Libre)”
In April 1895, Martí joined sixty-year-old General Máximo Gómez in the Dominican Republic. They hitched a ride aboard a German banana boat, then rowed to the rocky shores of Southeast Cuba to lead the rebellion. The travelers hacked their way through dense jungle to make contact with insurgent forces.
Martí was radiant with pride and satisfaction because he was able to hold his own in all this with five rugged men. General Máximo Gómez.
A month later, despite warnings from General Gómez, Martí rode ahead of his troops and was killed in his first battle. Cuban insurgents gathered strength from his martyrdom. They reclaimed the eastern provinces that they had occupied during the Ten Years’ War. Gómez now knew that the insurrection against Spain would only succeed if taken to Cuba’s wealthiest provinces. Gómez pushed westward—his objective, Havana.
All plantations shall be totally destroyed, their cane and outbuildings burned. Laborers who shall aid the sugar factories shall be considered traitors to their country and shall be shot. General Máximo Gómez.