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Evaristo Teno, Mayari Arriba
Memorias de un simposio, Ginebra, Suiza, 1912-2012, Aline Helg, ed

Estenoz Autopsy - full screen

Photo Gallery on the Autopsy

Hablando con Evaristo Estenoz, 6/2011, Raúl Ramos Cárdenas: resacate de una entrevista con Evaristo Estenoz en 1910

The 1912 Massacre

Partido de los Independientes de Color

The Mambi Army

Cuban History Time Line

Roots of My Heart, a new film by Gloria Rolando on 1912


Evaristo Estenoz Corominas
"Adorela como Martí!"  - Arsenio Rodriguez

Evaristo Estenoz (left, surrounded by party members) was a founder of the Partido de los Independientes de Color, the Independents of Color, the first independent black political party in the hemisphere.   The Independientes de Color was founded in 1908 in Havana by Evaristo Estenoz, Pedro Ivonet, journalist Gregorio Surín, and a group of followers many of whom were veterans of the Mambi Army (80% - 90% black). Estenoz himself had been an aide to General Quintín Bandera, who was killed on the orders of president Estrada Palma, much as Estenoz was killed on the orders of president Miguel Gomez. Los Independientes wanted their rightful share after winning the wars against Spain for the independence of Cuba (1868-1878 and 1895-1898).  For that presumption, the Cuban ArmyEstenoz8y.jpg (16831 bytes) massacred over 6,000 of them in 1912. Estenoz was among those killed - he was "shot point blank" in the back of the head. We present a photograph in evidence with the medical desecrators of his body showing off the wound on the back of his head surrounded by army officers, perhaps those who killed him and brought him in.

In 1908, the date of the founding of the Party, José Miguel Gómez was elected President of Cuba.  In 1909, the US ended its second U.S. military occupation of Cuba.   The AfroCuban integrationist Martin Morúa Delgado was elected speaker of the Cuban Senate. In 1910, Morúa proposed a law, the Morúa Amendment, which passed and banned the Independiente de Color as a political party because it was said to be based on race.  He argued that since African born Cubans had been given citizenship and could vote, racial privileges had disappeared and a party based on color was unconstitutional. He was supported in this by the miguelista newpaper El Triunfo which initiated the strong anti-black line that the Independientes were rapists favoring a Haitian style revolution.

Morúa died days after being named minister of agriculture. In the midst of the repression of the Partido Independiente de Color, he was given a state funeral to show blacks that those who were integrationists were acceptable. Also in 1910, there was widespread repression of blacks, even those not in the Independientes de Color, but for example in the Sociedades de Color. There was a purge of blacks from the security forces.

Finally, in 1912, the Cuban Army did a search and destroy on the Independents of Color, massacring over 6,000 and effectively killing the dream. The repression was severe and extended far beyond the Party - for example, the Villamil of Matanzas had to hide their drums in certain wells.

"Adorela como Martí!"  -- Arsenio Rodriguez, singing of the leaders of the liberation army and the Independents of Color, while having to disguise what he was doing by using the feminine singular. Or maybe he was referring to "la jefetura!"

Links Cuba article

General Evaristo Estenoz by Schomburg, The Crisis, 7/1912

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