Joaquín de Agüero
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Joaquín de Agüero (1816, Puerto Príncipe - August 12, 1851, Puerto Príncipe) was a Cuban revolutionary. In 1843 he freed all his slaves. In 1851 he headed an insurrection against the Spanish government, in the central part of the island, was defeated after a desperate contest, and was captured and shot, together with his principal followers.
Joaquín de Agüero studied law in Havana but returned home as his father was terminally sick. After his father's death, he came to own the land and six slaves his father had. A generous man, he established a school with free education to all in a small town called Guáimaro, some 70 km (43 mi) southwest of Puerto Príncipe. The site of the free public school later in 1869 was selected for the venue for the first Constitution of a Free Cuba.
He freed his eight slaves in 1843 and handed them each a plot of land to make a living. This action was a little alarming for the Spanish authorities and large landowners. Despite the common public outcry to abolish slavery, Agüero's action was declared as a serious breach of law, and to escape the inquiry of the authorities, he had to leave Cuba with his family for the United States. But the love of his homeland brought him back to Cuba just within three months.
After his comeback, Agüero stayed in his farm at El Redentor, near Guáimaro, but actively participated in the clandestine independent movements against the Spanish rule and became a key figure by 1849 in the "Puerto Príncipe's Sociedad Libertadora", involved in armed revolt against the ruling government. The liberation group led by him denounced the Spanish rule, demanding independence. With only forty men leading his group, they had to face defeat before the Spanish troops. Agüero was arrested en route for Puerto Príncipe while trying to flee to the United States. The armed revolt had failed miserably, but as historian Cento Gomez puts it, it was a breaking ground in the history of Cuban struggle for independence. In August 12, 1851, he was shot by the Spanish troops along with three of his compatriots in Puerto Príncipe (today’s Camagüey province).
Eventually, Cuba saw independence from the Spanish rule. As a tribute to his long standing dedication to the Cuban War of Independence (1895–1898), several public places and buildings have been named after him. Even fast food joints have their billboards named after Agüero.
- "Unidad básica Joaquín de Agüero, Camaguey". Painted signs and mosaics. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- Tejera Diaz, Lucilo. "Joaquin de Aguero Showed Cubans the Path for Independence". acn cuban news agency. Retrieved 15 June 2013.