Death in Combat of Jose Marti in Dos Rios
2011.05.18 - 10:10:01 / ACN
When Cuba´s National Hero Jose Marti fell in combat on May 19th, 1895 in Dos Rios, Maximo Gomez wrote in his dairy “(…) in an instant of pleasure, another of bitter pain”.
These words summarize daily life: today we can be alive, but tomorrow we can die; but also the recognition of whom put his life at the service of the Homeland organizing the emancipation process which began on February 24th.
Marti had analyzed the independence actions which began on October 10th, 1868 and after studying the process and the interpretations taken from its successes and failures allowed him to understand the bases in which they should begin a new struggle and steps to take in preparation of the new uprising.
His speeches in the US were key to the new process. The center of his most eloquent speeches was aimed at achieving unity among the independence fighters that were discouraged by the failures of previous battles and made them feel confident in order to continue their struggle.
He also dedicated time to collect funds that would allow acquiring what was necessary for the struggle and attract the new generation to participate in the future action to be taken for the island’s independence.
Marti was also outside the country when the initial struggle began and it was not until April when accompanied by Maximo Gomez that they arrived in Cuba through the area of Playitas.
What he wrote in his dairy illustrated that moment: “On my way to the cove. The moon appeared, red under the clouds. We arrived to a stoned beach. The small beach.”
During the time between his arrival and transit he remained with Gomez. After the meeting in La Mejorana both continued towards the Cauto and Contramaestre in search for Bartolome Maso and continued to Camaguey.
On May 17th, close to Contramaestre they set up camp. On the day of the death of Jose Marti a Spanish force of some 800 men arrived to Dos Rios headed by Coronel Jose Ximenez de Sandoval who knew that the Mambises (Liberation Troops) were searching for them.
After being informed on the location of the Cuban troops by a campesino, the Spanish soldiers almost reached the camp but were detected by a small rebel detachment that were able to repel them allowing the rest of the troop to learn about the presence of the colonial troops.
After the action began, Gomez understood of the complex situation after learning of the good knowledge of the terrain on behalf of the enemy as well as the superiority of their weapons.
General Gomez instructed Marti who galloped alongside him to return to the rearguard but the National Hero did not comply and pledged in participating in the struggle. He had urged his troops to fight until death to achieve a free Cuba, how would he not be alongside his men? Despite the fact that the Cuban National Hero knew what his life represented for the Revolution, he also considered that it was a moral duty to be in the battle field alongside his men. For Jose Marti death constituted a normal risk for those that had chosen the path to struggle.
With this idea, he launched himself to combat, practically confronting the Spanish infantry; he was the target of three shots to his body, his hands released the reins of his horse and fell as he always wanted, facing the sun, draining his blood onto the Cuban soil.
A catastrophe at Dos Rios, Marti was dead. Gomez was not able to prevent it and was not able to rescue his body which as a war trophy fell into the hands of the Spanish troops, Gomez was only able to recovery his camp dairy: “We are now without the best of our comrades”.