General Information on Maximo Gomez Baez
Maximo Gomez Baez was born on November 18, 1836. He belonged to a wealthy family from the Bani Village, Peravia Province, the capital of the Dominican Republic. At the age of 16 Gomez joined the Dominican army to fight against the Haitian invasions of Faustine Soulouque. There he reached the rank of second lieutenant. He also fought for the annexation troops in the Dominican Restoration War. His determination to fight for the island until the breakup of the Spanish colonial occupation made him take the determination to be declared Cuban citizen, a condition that he always honored. Gomez joined the Mambi army on October 14th, 1868 and he gave ample proves to the independence cause. Among his many exploits is the direction of the first machete charge; this weapon that was to become the most fearsome used by mambises liberators.
Main Activities of Maximo Gomez Baez
On March 25, 1895 Maximo Gomez Baez signed with José Martí the Montecristi Manifesto, which was considered the program of the 1895Revolution. Finally he and Marti got to Cuba on April 1895 when they arrived Playitas de Cajobabo ashore on the south coast of Guantánamo. A few weeks after the Liberation Army military hierarchy was constituted. Maximo Gomez was appointed as Commander in Chief and Antonio Maceo as Lieutenant General. Later that same year the invasion to the West would begin. That military achievement was accomplished by Gomez and Maceo from Mangos de Baraguá and it was extended to Mantua, where Maceo finally arrived in 1896. In what is today the border of Las Villas with Matanzas Gomez made his famous “Loop Invasion”. There he backed up a few kilometers before strong Spanish columns. In Havana, besides receiving his second and final gunshot wound he carried out a strategy of extremely simple but effective movement to avoid open combat. After the American intervention in the war was produced Gomez came into contradiction with the assembly. He was in favor of taking the donation from the US government for fear of the birth of an indebted Republic. The Cerro Assembly favored a larger loan – although the Republic was born in debt – as it would be recognized as the legal body representing the interests of the Cuban people and the main responsible for returning the loan to US banks. Then the masses held demonstrations condemning the Assembly Cerro and showing solidarity with Gomez. Under the slogans “Down with the Assembly members” and “Viva Maximo Gomez” for three days, the people spontaneous paraded outside the Havana Quinta de los Molinos. Throughout the island people burned marionettes representing the assembly. It also appeared in the press and strong critics of the assembly members, whom the people accused of going into the abyss of annexation. Days after the removal of Gómez, the Assembly is dissolved under popular pressure and the people of Cuba had no representation. General Maximo Gomez Baez died on June 17, 1905, without personal fortune in his village Havana at the age of 69 years.