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Manifesto of Montecristi - An Intro

The war of independence had started in Cuba on February 24 1895, but José Martí and Maximo Gómez were still in Montecristi, Santo Domingo, trying to get to Cuba, when Martí wrote the document.

Known as the Manifesto of Montecristi, the document was a message to the Cuban people, outlining the policy and goals of the Cuban liberation movement. Martí and Gómez signed it on March 25 1895. In it, Martí paints Cuba as a completely independent republic, free from economic or military control by any outside source. He sees an end to Cuba's one-crop economy and U.S. domination, an end to racial discrimination, and the embrace of Cuba's African population.

The document also outlines what is to be the policy for Cuba's war of independence:

  1. The war was to be waged by blacks and whites alike;
  2. Participation of all blacks was crucial for victory;
  3. Spaniards who did not object to the war effort should be spared,
  4. Private rural properties should not be damaged; and
  5. The revolution should bring new economic life to Cuba.

Within weeks of signing this document, Martí and Gómez returned to Cuba to participate in the war. Martí was killed in battle on May 19 1895, and three years later, when the war ended, Cuba emerged as a pseudo-colony of the U.S.

Read the Montecristi Manifesto | Return to 1895

Letters and Articles by José Martí
Our America | Last letter to his mother | Incomplete letter to his friend Manuel Mercado | On Antonio Maceo

Antonio Maceo | War of independence | Independence Gallery