Famous military chief of exceptional qualities who took part in numerous combats and other military actions, some of them in the Ciego de Ávila region then located in the former province of Camagüey. He was assigned the highest responsibilities within the Cuban Army during the independence wars against Spain by the end of the 19th century. For his contribution to the Republic of Cuba for over 30 years, he was declared Cuban citizen by birth.
Máximo Gómez was born in Bani, Dominican Republic, in 1836. In his native island he was appointed Captain of the Spanish Army. In 1855, he participated in the fight against the Haitian invasion to his country. In 1865 he settled down in Cuba with his family and short after he applied to be discharged from the Army; then devoted himself to work on the land and started to make acquaintances with the Cubans who conspired for the independence.
On October 14, 1868, four days after the beginning of the First Independence War, he joined the insurgent forces. For his military knowledge he was appointed sergeant and assigned the mission to instruct inexperienced soldiers. On October 18, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the leader of the movement, appointed him Mayor General.
In November 4, Gómez lead the first machete combat. With a handful of men, only armed with that work tool, he annihilated two enemy companies in a few minutes. Thus he gave the first lesson on the use of what became the most terrible weapon of the Cuban combatants until the end of the war.
During 10 years of struggles, up to 1878, he not only lead important battles but also distinguished as the most gifted strategist and taught a great many military figures.
When the war restarted in 1895, he returned to Cuba together with José Martí, with the position of General in Chief of the Liberator Army.
Again Gómez showed his great military skills. His plan to invade the west side of the Island, executed in company with Lieutenant General Antonio Maceo, constitutes one of the most outstanding military feats of the period.
Frustrated after the US military occupation and the enthronement of a republic very different from what the Cuban people had fought, he died in Havana on June 17, 1905.