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When Maceo saved the Revolution

01/04/2019 07:26 Mara de Labat Domínguez mara@cmdx.icrt.cu 134
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Obelisk of Duaba, in Baracoa Foto: Miguel Ángel Sánchez Pineda
Obelisk of Duaba, in Baracoa Photo: Miguel Ángel Sánchez Pineda

The night is dark, stormy, the strong waves shake the old schooner with its valuable cargo, whose members try to orient themselves by the shadow that is glimpsed, but the captain of the ship recommends not to approach the coast, it is too dangerous.

But another greater danger threatens, the Spanish cruisers are close, precisely in the hunt of any expedition that can encourage the recently raised insurgents: Antonio Maceo rises energetically and directs to ground the ship against the coast; the Revolution, he says, will pay the damages.

Thus, 23 patriots arrived in Cuban territory, after countless efforts, to join the struggle that Martí ordered to start on February 24, but which did not yet have its main leaders.

General Antonio immediately sent a pilot, a resident of Duaba neighborhood, to give the news of his arrival to Félix Ruenes, a patriot from Baracoa who already fought in the previous war and knew about the possible arrival of Cubans along these coasts, at the same time he cut the telephone line but that of the telegraph, so the Spaniards themselves would divulge the news of their arrival.

A few hours later, in the morning, the Spanish force of 75 men commanded by Lieutenant Fernández, of the 64th Simancas Regiment, sent to confront the expedition members, is defeated. The stretchers with 2 dead and 9 wounded encourage the Baracoa´s people, which confirm the rumors of the arrival of the Titan.

In the afternoon, Félix Ruenes, in a store located in La Playa neighborhood, says his historic phrase: Maceo arrived, the Revolution is saved. Viva Cuba Libre!. And he arrives with 300 men to the Juncal, where the General camped.