Cuban Presidents

The first Cuban to hold the office of president was Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y Castillo. He was elected after freeing his slaves and initiating the first war for Cuban independence, now remembered as the Ten Year War.

The constitutional convention that met in Guaimaro (April 10 1869) not only elected de Céspedes as Cuba's first president, but article 24 of the constitution passed at this meeting ended the practice of slavery in Cuba. (Of course, their authority extended only to areas controlled by the rebels, and it would not be until October 1886 that slavery in Cuba legally ended.)

The Cuban rebels had six presidents before the Ten Year War came to a stalemate ending in 1878, and neither the Spanish empire nor the U.S. government recognized any of these presidents, nor the Cubans' right to define their own government.

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Front Door to Cuba

Los Presidentes

Cuban Presidents More Cuban Presidents

From top:
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, Tomás Estrada Palma, José Miguel Gómez,
Mario Menocal, Alfredo Zayas, Gerardo Machado