Guillermón Moncada: the knight of war

Florida, April 5 – The patriot José Guillermo Moncada, outstanding hero and one of the most admired and loved chiefs in the wars of independence of the Cuban people, whom history recognizes as «the gentleman of the war».

Born on June 25, 1841 in Santiago de Cuba, he was the son of a freed slave who did not recognize his offspring, so he only had the surname of his mother, Dominga Moncada, who was three times in the prison of the Morro santiaguero when she refused to convince her children to abandon the fight, as the Spanish authorities asked her to do.

At an early age he learned to read and write and was trained as a carpenter; his comrades-in-arms called him Guillermon, because of his stature, physical strength, courage and bravery that distinguished him from early on in the combats, in several of which he was wounded.

Moncada covered himself with glory by extending the war to the region of Guantanamo, scene of some of his most fabulous exploits; agile and audacious in the handling of the machete, Guillermon challenged and defeated in the battlefields several Spanish officers recognized as excellent fencers and starred in legendary duels with that weapon, among which is the one consummated against Miguel Perez, Cuban at the service of colonialism and famous for his vandalism.

Guillermón Moncada rejected the Zanjón Pact to become one of the men of the Baraguá Protest, and during the Chiquita War he kept up arms for almost a year in the East, in spite of the fact that his promoter and chief, Major General Calixto García, could not arrive in time and that adverse factors led to its failure.

Moncada became a decisive leader in the preparation of the War of Independence of 1895 in the eastern region of the country, and when the time came, he was entrusted with the task of leading the insurrection in the East and organizing the forces until the arrival of Antonio Maceo and Máximo Gómez, the main military leaders of 1868, and he fulfilled his duty despite being seriously ill, due to tuberculosis he contracted in prison.
He died in the Joturito camp, in Mucaral, in the municipality of Songo – La Maya, Santiago de Cuba, on April 5, 1895; when assessing the role he played in the beginning of that conflict, General Enrique Collazo wrote: «Guillermo Moncada could do little, he was a dying man who came in fulfillment of his word, and guided by his patriotism to die in the shadow of his flag».

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Acerca de Martha Martínez Duliet

Licenciada en Educación en la especialidad de Historia y Ciencias Sociales en la Universidad de Camagüey. Labora como periodista en Radio Florida desde el año 1993 desempeñándose actualmente como editora del sitio digital de esta emisora. Contactos: Twitter: @MDuliet Facebook: Martha Martínez Duliet Blog personal:

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