The Manifesto of Montecristi

Cuba’s revolution of independence, which initiated in Yara, has entered a new period of war. Cuba’s war of independence is not only for the good and the benefit of Cuba and America, but for the benefit of the world itself. The elected leaders of the revolution today confirm, admit, and recognize their obligation and duty, which is to let Cuba know that their homeland will not be bloodied without a reason or without a hope of triumph. Cuba is embarking upon this war with full certainty, of the capacity and ability of the Cuban people, to save the homeland and to obtain their liberty and govern its independence. Cubans return to war with more educated and capable individuals, which are willing to fight, even though they know the dangers that this war represent, to help Cuba to become an independent nation, free from the intervention and the abuses of the Spanish regime or of any outside source.

The revolutionary war is not the a capricious tentative of an independence more fearsome than useful, neither the triumph of one Cuban Political Party over another, or even the humiliation of one group of Cubans, which are mistaken in their beliefs or decisions, but the demonstration of the will of a nation that accomplished too much in the last war to get involved into a conflict that will just end in victory or defeat, without very deep causes to stand against human cowardice and its many disguises.

This war is not against the Spaniard, who will be respected and even loved, and who will enjoy the liberty that will sweep away only from those who try to block its path. This war will not aloud tyranny or disorder, which shows the moderation of Cubans. They will show respect to all the honorable Spaniard who remain neutral and do not oppose, or who even help, to the war of independence against the colonial regime over the island. However, the ones who oppose the war of liberation will be bloodied and persecuted; the Cubans started the war, and the Cubans and Spaniards should finish it. We will treat respect with respect, mistreat with mistreat, war with war, and friendship with friendship.

There is another intolerable and unjustified thought, which the revolution wants to profit now: the senseless fear of the black race. Cuba, the revolution, all its heroes and martyrs, now deny the notion of any threat by the Negro race; this nonsense thought was inspired by the Spanish regime, for their benefit and to stir up fear in those individuals seeking for the revolutionary war. In Cuba, there are many inhabitants of one color or another; there are many white Cuba's sons who have forgotten their duty to their homeland and their country. Why do novelty and a social status are more important for white men than the humanity, integrity, intelligence and even the life of a black compatriot? The revolution knows and proclaims that the black race should have the same rights as any other individual in Cuba; since they have demonstrated their intelligence and their virtue. Upon the shoulders of the black man, the republic of Cuba has moved in safety.

Montecristi, 25 de Marzo de 1895.

José Martí, Maximo Gómez