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Group photo of revolutionaries in uniform.

Cuban Revolutionaries

Under Spain’s colonial regime, dissidents were exiled. This forced them to organize and plot the revolution from abroad. In 1891, the exiled General Antonio Maceo (1848–1896) established himself in Costa Rica after its government granted him approximately twenty-four thousand acres to build a tobacco colony on the peninsula of Nicoya. Populated by exiled Cuban veterans and families, the site was intended as a safe haven for revolutionary activity. 

This portrait pictures Maceo in the center back row with other Cuban generals—including the Afro-descendants Flor Crombet (1851–1895), on his left, and Agustín Cebreco (1855–1924), on his right. Maceo’s dog, "Cuba Libre," rests in the foreground. Rather than wearing military uniforms, the generals wear formal clothes, presenting themselves as men of distinction who are equally at ease in the city as they are at war. With his chin up and his face turned to the right, Maceo conveys a sense of command over the group.

Unidentified artist
Biblioteca Nacional de España