Grito de Yara

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Grito de Yara

Grito de Yara, declaration of Cuban independence made in the eastern region of Yara (10 October 1868). Efforts at reform having failed, Carlos Manuel Céspedes led the organization of eastern Cuban planters in a conspiracy against continued Spanish rule in Cuba. On 10 October 1868, at his plantation of La Demajagua, near Bayamo, he proclaimed Cuban independence, universal suffrage, and an end to slavery. Freeing his thirty slaves, who then joined his rebel army, his "grito de Yara" thus launched the Ten Years' War (1868–1878). It became the rallying cry for the rapid expansion of the rebellion across eastern Cuba. The rebels enjoyed substantial early success, but the revolt eventually succumbed to internal divisions and Spanish repression. Although declaring his opposition to slavery, Céspedes called only for "the gradual, indemnified emancipation of the slaves." He later modified his position even more to reassure slaveholders of western Cuba whom he hoped to attract to the movement. This ambiguity contributed to the division within the independence movement among the Creoles.

See alsoCreole; Cuba: The Colonial Era (1492–1898); Cuba, War of Independence.


Fernando Figueredo, La revolución de Yara (1902; repr. 1969).

Hugh Thomas, Cuba, the Pursuit of Freedom (1971).

Louis A. Pérez, Cuba, Between Reform and Revolution (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Abreu Cardet, José Miguel. Introducción a las armas: La guerra de 1868 en Cuba. Havana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2005.

Ferrer, Ada. Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868–1898. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Pérez, Louis A. Cuba and the United States: Ties of Singular Intimacy. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1990.

Prados-Torreira, Teresa. Mambisas: Rebel Women in Nineteenth-century Cuba. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2005.

                              Ralph Lee Woodward Jr.