Cuban Rebel Leader Slain
In 1908 the Partido Independiente de Color (PIC) was founded composed almost entirely of African former slaves who were war veterans of the1896 Cuban War of Independence. The PIC took votes away from the ruling liberal party. President Gomez ordered the party disbanded under laws which outlawed political parties based on race. Rather than addressing racial inequality, these laws favor white Cubans over Afro Cubans. Members of the PIC under General Evaristo Estanoz staged a revolt and many of the impoverished Afro-Cuban population backed their goals.
General Jose de Jesus Monteagudo suspended constitutional rights and attacked black Afro Cubans. The PIC rebels were centered in Oriente where the fighting has been concentrated. The US responded by sending troops to back president Gomez and protect US interest such as sugar mills. Unarmed Afro Cubans who did not take part in the fighting were targeted and murdered by lynch mobs. Just having black skin color was reason enough to be under suspicion. It is said that as high as 5,000 people have been killed.
On June 27, 1912 Evaristo Estanoz was killed during a battle with Cuban troop under the command of General Montegudo at Bellabellaca, Cuba. Many feel now that they have lost their leader, this will be the end of the rebellion.
Afro-Cuban web page – The 1912 Massacres : http://www.afrocubaweb.com/history/eldoce.htm