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General Máximo Gómez

General Maximo GomezCuban General Maximo Gomez at age 45 Cuban General Maximo Gomez Gomez fights on horseback

Born in Santo Domingo in 1836, Máximo Gómez Báez ended his education so he could join the Spanish army, and his first assignment was Haiti. For some time he fought on the Spanish side, until, in 1865, he commanded reserve troops in Cuba.

His views changed, however, after seeing the lives of slaves in Cuba, and he adopted the values of those seeking independence. He joined the rebels, and in four days he went from sergeant to General, becoming Chief of the First Corps.

After the Ten Year War fizzled, Gómez returned home, and he was a figure in The Little War in 1880, which also failed.

During Cuba's War of Independence (1895-98) Gómez and Maceo were collectively known in the Spanish press as "the fox and the lion."