Relevant data on the Zanjon Pact
The Zanjon Pact is the sum of seven agreements or peace proposals that were signed on February 10th , 1878.
This agreement was assumed by the Center Committee of the island, composed by seven members who replaced the Chamber of Representatives – dissolved shortly before, during the San Agustin Assembly – and then the committee assumed illegitimately the functions of government of the Republic in Arms.
The pact was signed with General Arsenio Martínez Campos – General Captain of Cuba – in the Spanish headquarters of the San Agustin del Zanjon, Puerto Principe, Camaguey and by which it adopted its name.
The Zanjon Pact and its Origin
The Cuban forces situation in the battlefield were not the best.
In fact the Mambi troops got weakened and weakened. Some officers and soldiers did not obey the orders of superiors and refused to fight outside the areas in which they lived.
Lack of ammunition and weapons, fighting against an army trained and more prepared than them.
In order to establish a plan that would allow them to end the war in Cuba, without spending more resources on weapons and the military, the Spanish colonists used the situation that Cuban troops were experiencing to send General Arsenio Martínez Campos in the year 1878.
Thus a pacification plan was put into action, in which was included the Zanjon Pact. This document offered to all Liberation Army officers a good sum of money in exchange for handing over their weapons and the immediate surrendering.
Also, the possibility of freeing the slaves who participated in the war was offered. Thus, it was a peace without independence and without the solutions to the two main objectives of the Guaimaro Assembly that were the independence of Cuba and the abolition of slavery.
These demands of the Cuban people were not achieved.
Many were the officers who signed this peace, which did not guarantee the objectives for which they had fought and for which so many Cuban patriots had died.
Antonio Maceo against the Zanjon Pact
On March 15th, 1878 as a strong protest against the Zanjon Pact, the General Antonio Maceo made one of the most patriotic acts of the History of Cuba: The Baragua Protest.
It took that name alluding to the place called Mangos de Baragua in the Cuban East, where Maceo personally met with General Captain Arsenio Martínez Campos.
From there the General Mambi stood and rejected all kinds of negotiations with Spain. With this heroic act Maceo transformed Zanjon´s capitulation of a fecund truce.
It should also be noted that this act is written in history as one of the most glorious pages of the Cuban independence struggles.