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Capitanía General | University of Miami Finding Aids

Name: Capitanía General


Historical Note:

This is a collection of “bandos” (edicts), “Reales Ordenes” and official forms (1896-1898) published during the governments of Valeriano Weyler and Ramón Blanco, Captain Generals of the island of Cuba. Weyler was a central figure in Cuba's War of Independence against Spain.

It was Don Práxedes Mateo Sagasta, who in the Spanish Congress of March 8, 1895, inspired the attitude of Spain against the Cuban rebellion: it was necessary to find the harshest and most despised general to lead a war to the death between the metropolis and the colony. General Valeriano Weyler was the man chosen to complete this task.

Weyler, following his acts perpetrated during Cuba's Ten Years War, was already manifesting a policy of proceeding with great energy and without contemplations. After the battles of Coliseo and Peralejo and the advance of Cuban troops into Pinar del Río, Weyler did not vary the general Spanish attitude. Spain showed its vehement desire to retain the beautiful island of Cuba.

It was the general support of the Spanish people that kept the assassin and torturer of 1868 as interpreter of the sentiments of those who wanted to maintain the Cuban people subjected to the oppressive authority of the Spanish government. Weyler carried out a war of extermination against the Cuban people and came to symbolize that terrible time in which ignorance, rage, and blind stubbornness governed the attitude of Spain.

As a result of the barbaric repression of Weyler, thousands of civilians were killed, hundreds of revolutionary patriots were assassinated, and thousands of political prisoners filled the prisons of La Cabaña, El Moro, and La Cárcel. Despite the overwhelming support of the Spanish government, the time came when exasperated with defeats, Spanish leaders branded Weyler as careless and inefficient. In 1897, Weyler was replaced by Captain General Ramón Blanco.

During his government, Weyler dictated many “bandos” (edicts) to be carried out by the Cuban people. One of the most censored was the one related to the “concentración.” The punishment for not following the “bandos” was execution by firing squad.







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