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    Orden "Carlos Manuel de Cespedes"

    Herr General

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    An excerpt from


    by Jaime Suchlicki

    from Part Two - Towards Independence

    Born in Bayamo, Oriente on April 18, 1819, C?spedes attended secondary schools in Havana and later enrolled at the University of Havana. He traveled to Spain to attend college and receive a bachelor of law degree from the University of Barcelona and a doctorate of law from the University of Madrid.

    In Spain C?spedes had his first taste of revolution. The Iberian nation was undergoing a period of political turmoil and C?spedes joined the conspiratorial activities of Army General D. Juan Prim against the regime of Baldomero Espartero. The failure of an anti-Espartero uprising in 1843 forced C?spedes to leave the country.

    From Spain C?spedes traveled throughout Europe, finally returning to Cuba in 1844. The handsome, cultured, and energetic C?spedes opened a law practice and engaged in business in Bayamo. But law soon gave way to politics, as a strong anti-Spanish movement began to develop in Cuba. Narciso L?pez's unsuccessful filibuster expeditions against Spanish power in Cuba and his subsequent execution in 1851 had an impact on the young C?spedes. Arrested because of his anti-Spanish statements and banished from Bayamo, C?spedes began to organize a war for independence in Oriente province.

    After the 1868 "Glorious Revolution" in Spain, he saw an opportunity for revolt in Cuba and called for immediate revolutionary action, claiming that "the power of Spain is decrepit and worm-eaten" and that if it still appeared great and powerful to Cubans it was because "for more than three centuries we have looked at it from our knees."

    C?spedes and his group were determined to strike a blow at Spanish control of Cuba. When they learned that their conspiratorial activities had been discovered by the Spanish authorities they were forced to act. On October 10, 1868 C?spedes issued the historic "Grito de Yara" from his plantation, La Demajagua, proclaiming Cuba's independence. He soon freed his slaves and incorporated them into his disorganized and ill-armed force and made public a manifesto explaining the causes of the revolt. Issued by the newly organized Junta Revolucionaria de Cuba, the manifesto stated that the revolt was prompted by Spain's arbitrary government, excessive taxation, corruption, exclusions of Cubans from government employment, and deprivation of political and religious liberty, particularly the rights of assembly and petition. It called for complete independence from Spain, for the establishment of a republic with universal suffrage, and for the indemnified emancipation of slaves.

    The manifesto was followed by the organization of a provisional government with C?spedes acting as commander-in-chief of the army and head of the government. C?spedes' almost absolute power as well as his failure to decree the immediate abolition of slavery soon caused opposition within the revolutionary ranks. Facing mounting pressure, C?spedes conceded some of his power and called for a constitutional convention to establish a more democratic provisional government.

    Delegates from several eastern towns met at Gu?imaro in April 1869 and adopted a constitution that provided for a republican-type government. Unhappy with C?spedes and fearful of concentrating too much power in the office of the president, a faction led by Camag?ey's rebel chieftain, Ignacio Agramonte, obtained a large degree of authority for the House of Representatives, including legislative power and control over presidential decisions. This group, as long as it retained power, was also able to legalize the abolition of slavery by introducing Article 24 of the constitution which declared "all inhabitants of the Republic to be absolutely free." C?spedes was elected president of the new republic and Manuel Quesada was appointed commander-in-chief.

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    Apparently, Like the Order of Emigration & The Jose Marti Order, this award pre-dates the Cuban Revolution of 1959 but was continued on afterwards, albeit in a modified version perhaps. Post-1959, the award ribbon for the order looked like this. It is number two (2) in the Cuban ODM hierarchy.

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    QUOTE(JBFloyd @ Jan 14 2007, 20:32 )

    Many of the Cuban Republic's orders were made by Villardebo y Riera, a Havana firm that made insignia of the highest quality (as shown in the photos). They also made some order insignia for other Latin American countries.


    Edited by Dave Danner
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    • 11 months later...
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    On 04/10/2018 at 15:39, cuba1959 said:

    here attached a diploma of Cespedes post revolution date 1960. They used the same document than before the revolution. No the comunist style carnet. 988887137_cespedes1962.thumb.jpg.461523fcb90f5aae26e52430e1aa08b3.jpg


    Collar of the order of Céspedes in Gold owned by general Fulgéncio Batista. Made by Vilardebo y Riera. 


    Edited by cuba1959
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