August 30, 2006

Maximo Gómez Wrote to President Cleveland

On February 9 1897, as Cuba waged her 3rd and final war for separation from Spain, General Maximo Gómez wrote a letter to U.S. President Grover Cleveland asking that he issue a statement against the brutal methods of Spanish General Valeriano Weyler. On the third paragraph Gómez writes: “The wisdom of the American people should alone decide what course of action you should take.”

Today it seems sad that “the wisdom of the American people” has never been invoked in the U.S. government policies towards Cuba. Most Americans do not support the embargo and the fostering of hostilities, or the use of terrorism against their small neighbor.

Gómez would not be happy with the role that the U.S. government continues to play in the history of Cuba, but he would not be surprised. The people of the U.S. have always had a great compassion and support for Cubans over the centuries, recognizing their right to a self-made identity.

So, how is it, then, that the resolve of the “freest people of the world” is so different from the actions of their government?

Further down in the letter Gómez writes: “Is it possible that civilized people will consent to the sacrifice of unarmed and defenseless men?”

And this is how he describes the Spanish empire: “It is logical that such should be the conduct of the nation that expelled the Jews and the Moors; that instituted and built up the terrible Inquisition; that established the tribunals of blood in the Netherlands; that annihilated the Indians and exterminated the first settlers of Cuba; that assassinated thousands of her subjects in the wars of South American independence, and that filled the cup of iniquity in the last war in Cuba.”

Gómez was not only a brilliant war strategist, but a fierce warrior loved and respected by his men. He was also, and this still surprises many, not a Cuban (he was born in Santo Domingo, 1836), and, like Ernesto “Che” Guevara a half-century later, adopted Cuba as the country he would fight for.

The outcome of Cuba’s war for independence was not what Gómez and the Cuban rebels fought for. In his diary of January 8 1899 he writes: “Nothing is more rational and fair than that the owner of the house should be the one to live in it with his family and be the one who furnishes and decorates it as he likes and that he not be forced against his will and inclination to follow norms imposed by his neighbor.”

He adds, “There is so much natural anger and grief throughout the island that the people haven’t really been able to celebrate the triumph of the end of their former rulers’ power.”




An eye-witness look at pre/post-revolution Cuba:
Recently Cuban dictator Fidel Castro temporarily handed power over to his brother, Raul, while he underwent surgery and recuperation from intestinal problems. As the news media reviews the legacy and rule of Fidel Castro, now would be a good time to look a that legacy from the point-of-view of one who lived in Cuba pre- and post-revolution. Oscar Ramírez-Orbea is one who grew up pre-revolution and saw all that his family work hard for be taken by the Communists under Castro.

As the title suggests, this book is bi-lingual, written by a professor who actually was born and raised in Cuba and fled Cuba as a boy with his family. The Ramírez-Orbea family lost all they had worked for when Castro seized private property "for the common good."


About family, love, relationships, and survival in difficult circumstances in Cuba's pre and post revolution of the 1950's and 60's. A collection of 14 short stories, all in Spanish and English, based on the author’s experiences of childhood before and after the Communist revolution. Lots of nostalgia for those who knew Cuba in the 50’s and 60’s and plenty of humor for readers in general. Includes also many period family photographs that illustrate the stories and bring them vividly to life! and lots of detail of a life gone that all readers will find to be a wonderful reading experience

See more about the book at:


About the Author

Dr. Oscar M. Ramírez-Orbea, was born in Camagüey, Cuba, in 1955. He emigrated with his family to the US in 1966, after completing elementary school in his home country. He longs one day to return to his native city of Camagüey and to all the fond memories it holds for him. CUBA, I REMEMBER YOU/CUBA, TE RECUERDO is Dr. Ramírez’s first narrative work.

Available now from Airleaf Publishing ( or call today to order your copy at 1-800-342–6068.

§ Product Details

§ Paperback: 392 pages

§ Publisher: Airleaf Publishing; 1st edition (January 10, 2006)

§ Language: English, Spanish

§ ISBN: 1594539553

New work by the same author, published and in bookstores by winter of 2007:

Cuba, Between History and Legend

A collection of short stories based on Cuban legends and unusual histories, all told in thoroughly original and creative ways. All stories are narrated in English and Spanish on facing pages. Includes also substantial background information on the actual events on which the stories are based, as well as references for follow-up reading, and historical illustrations for all the stories. For brief descriptions of the stories, go to On the market by year’s end. Cuba … like you’ve never read it before!

Por el mismo autor:

Cuba, Entre la Historia y la Leyenda

Una colección de cuentos cortos basados en leyendas cubanas y en eventos insólitos de la historia de Cuba, todos narrados en un estilo originalísimo y de gran fantasía. Se narran todos los cuentos en inglés y en español, en páginas opuestas. Incluye considerable información adicional sobre el fondo histórico de cada cuento, al igual que sugerencias para otras lecturas sobre la misma temática, y se incluyen ilustraciones históricas de cada uno de los cuentos. Para leer breves descripciones de cada cuento, favor de dirgirse a En venta hacia finales del año. Cuba ¡como nunca te la imaginaste!

3:39 PM, September 03, 2006  

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