Those whose careers are here recorded may fairly be taken as representative of Cuba. They are drawn from every important field of the national life, as from every profession and calling; they include Artists, Authors, Churchmen, Diplomats, Journalists, Lawyers, Merchants, Officials, Orators, Poets, Soldiers, and Teachers. The biographies of the elder men reflect the tremendous part which the struggle for Independence played in their time and show how military prestige overshadowed for a time other 'kinds of distinction just as the lives of the younger men disclose the increasing value being attached to scientific, commercial, literary, and scholastic attainments.
Under the severe limitations of space which the large number of studies inevitably imposed, the aim htas been kept steadily in mind to write genuine "lives"; and while avoiding bald summary and mere eulogium alike, to produce miniature but none the less veritable and, it may be hoped, readable biographies. Thomas Barbour, and Senfor Luis M. Perez for sound advice and suggestion; to Dr. Salvador Massip and Dr. Ernesto Dihigo for loyal and skillful assistance and to the whole company of the subjects of the biographies for their polite and friendly cooperation. He takes pleasure also in recording his sense of obligation to the members of the press of Havana and to the Library of Congress of Cuba for unwearied and gracious assistance, in accord with the best traditions of Hispanic courtesy.
Westfield, N. LIKE many of his compatriots of recent times President Menocal has spent much of his life away from his own country. His boyhood was passed largely in Mexico and his youth in the United States where he was educated. Menocal, an experienced and skillful sugar planter who, when his son Mario was about two years old, had to flee from Cuba in consequence of his revolutionary activities. Here the future President of Cuba spent his boyhood, but when he was thirteen he was sent to school in the United States, first at the Institute of Chappaqua, New York, and later at the Maryland College of Agriculture whence he passed in to Cornell University where he was graduated in the Engineering School in i He first associated himself with his uncle Aniceto Menocal on the commission for the study and construction of the Nicaragua canal route, a task which occupied the greater part of three years.
Then in he returned to his native land, which as yet he hardly knew. He was employed for a time as Engineer for a French Company owning salt works and banana plantations on the Island of Cayo Romano and later entered upon railway construction work, having been employed to. As a soldier Menocal exhibited talent for military affairs, and definite aptitude for strategy.
In the capture of this fort he was mentioned as performing "gallant feats of valor" and given the rank of Colonel. Soon afterwards he took a very active part in the siege and capture of the town of Guaimaro in Camaguey for which he was made Brigadier General, but it was the battle of Victoria de las Tunas that marked the climax of his martial career. He made such skillful disposition of men and guns that competent witnesses have said that the conduct of this battle stands out in the entire record of the Revolution as the one combat in which the Cuban forces were disposed and directed in accordance with the principles of military science.
Not only did General Menocal direct the operations in pursuance of a well-considered plan but he is said to have led his soldiers in the assault with intrepid courage.
Victoria de las Tunas was the crowning achievement of his military career and gave him the rank of General in the Cuban Army, but when war was declared by the United States on Spain, Menocal was appointed Commander of the 5th Army Corps, comprising the Provinces of Havana and Matanzas, where it was expected that American action would be more concentrated.
This appointment carried his promotion to the rank of Major General. This task General Menocalfulfilledwith credit and distinction. Meantime the growth of his reputation had brought him within the field of politics. President Menocal's first term was characterized by a constructive policy including the following practical proposals: i Administrative and financial reforms.
Again in i 9 I 6 he received the nomination and was declared reelected, but after a contest so close and so much disputed that the unsuccessful party fomented an armed uprising which for a tirr e threatened to overturn the government and was only subdued after bloodshed and some destruction of property. During General Menocal's presidency the European War presented many problems of the utmost difficulty, some of which were solved and the quality of President Menocal's statesmanship shown, when, following the example of the United States, Cuba espoused the cause of.
Thereat the age of fifteen he began to study law,. He began his literary career as editorialist and contributor to the Revista Europea and other publications including the Revista Contempordnea of which he was Chief Editor, taking an active part in the proceedings of the Atheneum of Madrid, having been elected Vice-president of its Political and Moral Sciences Section in ; also Second Secretary of the Association of Spanish Writers and Artists.
Shortly after his arrival he joined a party of friends in founding El Triunfo of which he became one of the, editors; he also joined the Liberal Autonomist party, devoted to the cause of Cuban autonomy. The following year he was chosen as member of the Central Committee of the party, and likewise elected Deputy to the Spanish Cortes representing the Province of Havana.
To this difficult post for which his sentimental regard for Spain and his familiarity with Cuban affairs particularly fitted him, Dr. Montoro was twice afterwards elected, in i and again in i to represent the Province of Puerto Principe. From I he practiced his profession as a lawyer, having appeared in that capacity before all the Courts.
Montoro took no part in the bloody struggle of i When in I in the midst of the final struggle for independence Spain granted autonomy and a new government was formed, Dr. Montoro accepted the post of Secretary of the Treasury.
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The solution came too late; the new government found no support and was lost in the intervention of the United States in i Thereupon Dr. Montoro retired from public office and also declined to continue filling the position of Professor of Philosophy and History of Philosophy, to which he had been appointed in the University of Havana and withdrew to complete obscurity.
The following year he took part in the reorganization of the National Conservative party and was its first candidate for the Vice-presidency in I Notwithstanding his defeat in the elections he resumed his position as Minister to London and Berlin, at the request of the new government, and remained in that position until i, when he was again elected to represent Cuba at the Pan-American Conference at Buenos Aires.
On the success of his party in the elections of I9I2 he was made Secretary of the Presidency, which position he still holds. The place which Dr. Montoro has held in the esteem and admiration of his fellow countrymen, has been due in great measure to that gift of oratory which is so brilliant a part of the Spanish heritage and which he was enabled to cultivate to- so much advantage as member of the Cornes of Spain. Montoro is a member and Director of the National Academy of Arts and Letters, a member of the Academy of History and various other literary corporations.https://reojeszaitran.tk
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His more advanced studies he pursued in the University of Havana which he entered in i and in which he obtained the degree of Licentiate in Law in and in that of Doctor of Laws. Benard took up his residence in Cardenas and entered upon the practice of his profession, becoming in due course Member of the Board of Education, Member of the Board of Patrons of the "Santa Isabel" Hospital, and legal representative of his party.
In he returned to Congress to represent the same district. He is an active and strenuous member of the Conservative party. Benard has contributed occasional articles to various professional magazines and published in the Revist-a del Foro his doctor's thesis: Principiosfundamentales de Derecho Internacional Privados consignados en nuestro Codigo Civil.
He wrote much also for the theater. In i he founded La Republica, a newspaper in which he vigorously opposed the colonial administration and the unjust course of the Spanish authorities toward the legitimate aspirations of the Cubans; in consequence of which he underwent much persecution and many interruptions of his paper.
On his return to Cuba and on theorganization of the first Board of Aldermen of Havana, Pardo Suarez was appointed, jointly with Colonel Saturnino Lastra, to a position of trust in the Administration of the Municipal taxes. When those who had suffered imprisonment, penalties, and deportation formed an association for patriotic purposes, he was elected Secretary; he also became an honorary Member of the Patriotic Committee of Havana of which Don Salvador Cisneros Betancourt, who had been President of the Republic in arms, was Chairman.
He has traveled widely, visiting the Parliaments of Washington, Toronto, Madrid, Paris, and Rome to study their methods of administration and to adopt such as seemed suitable and advantageous to the Cuban House.
By the law of the seventeenth of August, , he was made Secretary of the Committee of the Cuban Congress to attend the Centenary of the Constitution of Cadiz, Spain, and in the same year he was elected a corresponding member of the Royal Hispano-American Academy of Arts and Sciences of Cadiz. He was Secretary of the Anti-Germanic League, founded in Havana to lend aid to the Allies and to conduct propaganda in opposition to the German pretensions.
He was educated in Havana, completing the courses for the Bachelor's degree in the Jesuits' Colegio of Belen and obtaining his degree of Doctor of Laws at the University in While he was an undergraduate he was elected President of the Federation of University Students, organized at the close of the Spanish sovereignty, and then gave signs of promise as an orator in the speech he made in salutation to General Maximo Gomez when he entered Havana at.
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National Cuban Party, which had for one of its chief aims to put an end to the American Intervention which followed upon the withdrawal of Spain in Cortina has been active in journalism. For two years he edited the newspaper Democracia and was at one time or another a member of the staffs of El Mundo, La Lucha, and La Revista de derecho, besides being a contributor to La Naci6n and other papers. After the "Revolution of August" which overthrew President Estrada Palma, a division arose among the Liberals who had made the revolution and Dr.
Cortina was chosen to bring about a reconciliation. His negotiations were successful and resulted in the Liberal party coming into power with the election of General Jose Miguel Gomez as President. Again at a later time when a fresh division occurred between the two wings of the party, under the leadership of Dr. Alfredo Zayas and General Gomez respectively, Dr. Cortina once more acted as. He has been the leader of the Liberals in the House and has been influential in legislation.
He is the author of the Workmen's Accident Law now in force, and of Bills to regulate strikes, to establish a Court of Arbitration for labor disputes, to make compulsory the provision of hygienic dwellings for rural workers, to provide secretaries for the House of Representatives, etc. He is Chairman of the Committee on'Public Works. Among the public offices with which Dr. Cortina has been honored are: Counsel to the Secretary of Public Instruction, and to the Board of Aldermen of Havana; member of the Board of Inspectors of the University, and member of the Special Committee of Congress to revise all the legislation in accord with the economic and social changes brought about by the World War.
At the age of fifteen he passed on to Havana where he entered the preparatory school for special careers maintained by Colonel Eduardo Martin Perez. This was for a brief period, however, and in he entered the School of Engineers of Troy, New York, where he completed the course in Civil Engineering. During this historic period he fought side by side with Maceo, and it was not until the end of May, , that they gave up fighting, and Figueredo left Cuba with his wife and child.
After twenty years of exile he returned to Cuba in when the American flag was floating over the Island and soon afterwards was appointed by the American authorities Second Customs Officer at Cienfuegos. Later, in , he came to Havana to take the post of Sub-Secretary of State-a position which he occupied until the twentieth of May, , when President Tomas Estrada Palma appointed him Director General of Communications. In , he was made Interventor of State and in , on the death of General Roloff, he was appointed by Mr.
Magoon American Governor during Intervention to succeed him as Treasurer General of the Republic-an office which he still holds. Here also he gained his first military training, in the Massachusetts National Guard which he joined in I Later he went to Florida where he studied agriculture in general and especially tobacco culture. Hehnandez enjoyed the confidence of Jos6 Marti, "the apostle of Cuban freedom," who commissioned him in I to make preparations for the Revolution.