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Mariana Grajales: an example of the Latin American woman

By: Lázaro David Najarro Pujol / Radio Camagüey

Mariana Grajales Cuello, mother of the Maceos, was immense not only because she gave birth heroes, but also because she educated her children to take the path that would lead to the freedom of Cuba.

From  home, she was an unbeatable example as a human being in a totally adverse scenario, for which she became the paradigm of Cuban and Latin American women.

She was born in Santiago de Cuba, Oriente, on July 12, 1815. Of Dominican parents: José Grajales and Teresa Cuello, Mariana was enrolled in the baptism book of the Santiago parish of Santo Tomás, in the current historical center of the Hero City .

It was a family of peasants, although they owned a house in the city of Santiago, according to the Master of Science Edelmira Rodríguez Portal, professor of History at the University of Camagüey "Ignacio Agramonte Loynaz ".

Mariana distinguished herself for her role in the fight for the independence of the Island, to which she gave, with the love of a mother and the pride of a patriot, all her children.

He came from a free mulatto family, who had not suffered slavery. Their education corresponded as a free black and mulatto family with economic independence.

The family grew: José, Rafael, Miguel, Julio, Tomás and Marcos Maceo Grajales, who were joined by three females: Baldomera , Dominga and María Dolores Maceo Grajales.

On October 12, 1868, before the news of the armed uprising of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and the group of patriots who supported him, Antonio, José and Justo joined the fight, marching towards Ti Arriba, while Mariana made his children swear on their knees and in front of a crucifix ... "We swear to liberate the country or die for it."

At the end of the Ten Years War, Mariana only had four boys left: Antonio, José, Tomás and Marcos, who survived with their bodies full of scars, while Baldomera and Dominga also joined the battle in field hospitals.

The Maceo Grajales were heroes in the fight for the independence of Cuba. "Antonio not only distinguished himself on the island, but also in other nations," said Rodríguez Portal.

Mariana, an unquestionable mother, personifies the Cubans who joined the war and healed wounded in field hospitals.

Mariana stimulated Antonio's rebellion in the historic Protest in Baraguá on March 15, 1895.

In the formation of Antonio Maceo and all his children, this kind woman influenced by his example, who only left Cuba forced by the adverse circumstances generated after the Pact of Zanjón.

Antonio himself prepared Mariana's trip to Jamaica in the face of the danger of arrest by the colonialist army.

Mariana Grajales Cuello died in exile on November 27, 1893 at the age of 78. His remains arrived in Cuba at dusk on March 23, 1923, aboard the gunboat " Baire ".

On the afternoon of the 24th the urn was taken to the Santa Ifigenia cemetery. Currently, she rests with Dominga Maceo and María Cabrales in the Santa Ifigenia cemetery.

José Martí wrote when he learned that Doña Mariana, mother of the Maceo and Cubans, had died: "She is the woman who has most touched my heart."

(Author's Photos)