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Carlos Manuel de Céspedes del Castillo was a Cuban planter who freed his slaves and made the declaration of Cuban independence in 1868 which started the Ten Years' War.

Céspedes was a landowner and lawyer in eastern Cuba, near Bayamo, who purchased La Demajagua, an estate with a sugar plantation, in 1844 after returning from Spain. On October 10, 1868, he made the Grito de Yara (Cry of Yara), declaring Cuban independence, which began the Ten Years' War. That morning, after sounding the slave bell that indicated to his slaves it was time for work, they stood before him waiting for orders, and Céspedes announced they were all free men, and were invited to join him and his fellow conspirators in war against the Spanish government of Cuba. He is called Padre de la Patria (Father of the Country). In April 1869 he was chosen President of the Republic of Cuba in Arms.

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Carlos Manuel de Céspedes del Castillo was a Cuban planter who freed his slaves and made the declaration of Cuban independence in 1868 which started the Ten Years' War.

Céspedes was a landowner and lawyer in eastern Cuba, near Bayamo, who purchased La Demajagua, an estate with a sugar plantation, in 1844 after returning from Spain. On October 10, 1868, he made the Grito de Yara (Cry of Yara), declaring Cuban independence, which began the Ten Years' War. That morning, after sounding the slave bell that indicated to his slaves it was time for work, they stood before him waiting for orders, and Céspedes announced they were all free men, and were invited to join him and his fellow conspirators in war against the Spanish government of Cuba. He is called Padre de la Patria (Father of the Country). In April 1869 he was chosen President of the Republic of Cuba in Arms. More...

 
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