Grito de Yara.  Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y del Castillo’s call to rebellion, which initiated the Ten Years’ War, was issued from this town near his plantation of La Demajagua, on October 10, 1868, against Spain, in the name of the newly organized Junta Revolucionaria de Cuba.  The manifesto proclaimed Cuban independence from Spain, stating that this was a response to arbitrary government, excessive taxation, corruption, the exclusion of Cubans from government employment, and the lack of religious and political liberty, particularly of the rights of assembly and petition.  It called for the establishment of a republic with manhood suffrage, and the gradual abolition of slavery – which had the immediate effect of attracting large numbers of abolitionists and former slaves to his cause.

Jaime Suchlicki is Director of the Cuban Studies Institute, CSI, a non-profit research group in Coral Gables, FL. He is the author of Cuba: From Columbus to Castro & Beyond, now in its 5th edition; Mexico: From Montezuma to the Rise of the PAN, 2nd edition, and of the recently published Breve Historia de Cuba.