A General in the Cuban army, Antonio Maceo was second in command during the War of Independence.
He was known as the “Titan of Bronze” since he was one of the heroic guerrilla leaders in Cuba in the late 19th century.
General Maceo was son of a Venezuelan father and AfroCuban mother who began his fight for the freedom of Cuba from Spain as an enlisted man in the Cuban army in 1868 when the Ten Years War began. Within just five years he was promoted to the rank of General due to his noteworthy bravery and demonstrated ability to outmaneuver the Spanish army.
His most famous campaign in the War was the invasion of western Cuba when his troops, mostly Afro-Cubans on horseback, covered more than 1,000 miles in 92 days and fought the Spanish in 27 separate encounters. However, on December 7, 1896 Maceo was captured and killed as he attempted to rejoin Maximo Gomez’s forces.
Hero of a hundred encounters with the enemy, having borne the flag of Cuban rebellion from one end of the Island to the other during the invasion campaign, the Bronze Titan fell in an enemy encounter at San Pedro field in Punta Brava. The corpses of Maceo and Panchito were picked up the next days by Colonel Aranguren, from Havana, who ran immediately to the battle scene after hearing the news.
They were later buried in secret in the farm of two brothers who swore to keep the burial place in secrecy until Cuba would be free and independent and the correspondent military honors could be given to the hero. Nowadays, the remains of Antonio Maceo and Grajales and Francisco Gómez Toro lie in the monument of the Cacahual, close to the limits of the former farm of San Pedro, and the site is one of pilgrimage for Cuban people.
This massive, raised platform monument to Antonio Maceo features a startling equestrian statue of the great patriot surrounded by 23 enormous iron machetes slicing toward the sky, like daggers in the sides of the colonial power.
Location of the Antonio Maceo Monument in Santiago de Cuba