Biography of Francisco Vicente Aguilera (1821-1877)

Lawyer and Colonel in the Cuban army, born in Bayamo on June 23, 1821 and died in New York in 1877, which was one of the main promoters of the revolutionary movement in his country.

He belonged to a distinguished and wealthy family. His father, Colonel Antonio María Aguilera, took part in the contest fighting courageously against the French and on his return to Cuba was appointed Colonel of the white militia of Santiago of Cuba and Bayamo. Then he/she married Juana Tamayo Infante and had two children: Antonio María and Francisco Vicente. The mayor, Antonio María, married to Manuela Lenur, daughter of the Spanish general Lenur. The two always resided in Havana and died young and without succession.

The second son, Francisco, made his first studies in Santiago, and in 1836 he/she was sent to Havana to pursue the career of attorney. He/She joined the College Carraguao and was Professor José Silverio Jorrín who exerted a great influence on his training and the future of his career.Professor Jorrín was the time and product ideas that agitated to Cuba. It was the year of 1837, when refused Cuban representation in the Spanish Cortes and tempers were very exalted. Jorrin had great emphasis in their protests against the authoritarian governments that did not allow the intervention of anyone in the formation of laws, or the appointment of rulers; It thus contraponía the reality of colonial Cuba, with the United States.

Francisco Vicente was then 16 and the Liberal and democratic ideas influenced him mightily. In 1843 he/she moved precisely to the United States, and in 1846 he/she returned to Havana to continue their studies and obtain a Bachelor's degree in laws. That same year his father died and he/she moved to Bayamo to support his mother, Juana Tamayo Infante. In 1848 Aguilera married Ana Kindelan and Griñán, of equal prosapia and wealth; 10 children were born of the union.

Aguilera was a man of gentle manners and natural goodness but of great firmness and tenacity, qualities that won him the sympathy of the people, to the point that in the covered regions between Manzanillo, Bayamo, Santiago, Holguin and Las Tunas, there was nobody more popular. All this popularity brought many setbacks: the incomprehension of the rulers and repression made to finally be convince of the need to break ties with the metropolis.

Thus, after the death of his mother in 1863, he/she began his revolutionary campaign. Thus, was in contact with the main leaders of the Dominican contest in order to learn about their strategies and logistics. Topographical and physical conditions of Santo Domingo were similar to the Cuban, and were therefore valid forms of combat and sustain itself in the field. On the other hand, the writings of the century of La Habana newspaper in favour of the freedoms and rights of the Cuban people powerfully attracted its attention. Thanks to them, he/she understood the importance of propaganda to "illustrate the people" and pave the way to claim their rights by forceful means. In 1867, based in Bayamo, Aguilera was devoted to preparing discrete view of the East for the revolution, with the help of a young and honest man, Francisco Aguero Arteaga, who had been sentenced to prison for his pro-independence ideas. Aguero was familiar to people in the field, knew to treat it and extended pro-independence agitation with great efficiency.

Soon after, Aguilera convened a meeting of pro-independence leaders and made them know your plan: was attracting the largest amount of funds for essential elements of war. He/She declared himself willing to REList in all its innumerable possessions by what you give, if all those gathered, big landowners and owners of Eastern Cuba, did the same. All the resulting money would be invested in the journey of an emissary and the purchase of weapons in the United States. Aguilera saw the revolution as his work and understood that the war which were inexorably doomed needed considerable resources to achieve their ends. Although he/she knew that the vast majority of Cubans had no resources or experience, it was decided to jump into the fight without measuring the dire consequences of lack of foresight. With the emergence of the notice in a newspaper of Bayamo from the sale of their properties, were opportunists to buy farms, livestock, houses and mills in the provinces of Manzanillo, Bayamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin and Las Tunas. When everything was ready, Francisco Vicente Aguilera, Pedro Figueredo, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, Vicente García, Salvador Cisneros and Miguel Jerónimo Gutierrez proceeded to backbone the anti-colonial conspiracy by contacting the committed of each region, particularly the Oriente and Camaguey. This created the first Revolutionary Committee of Bayamo, home of the independence movement against Spain which would lead to the war of ten years (1868-1878).

Lawns, as head of the revolution, in the date determined (October 10, 1868) launched the cry of independence in its ingenuity of La Demajagua; as for Aguilera, he/she served as Vice President of the Government of Cuba until in 1871 he/she was forced into exile in the United States. There, abandoned by his countrymen and impoverished, he/she found soon after death.

As a tragic epilogue, at the beginning of the 20th century the courts concluded that, despite the sacrifice of the family fortune in the revolution of 1868, corresponding to each of the sons of Aguilera by all heritage 6,000 pesos, allocated in solar and barren land razed.


Martinez ARANGO, f. heroes of Santiago de Cuba. Havana, 1920.