Sunday, October 28, 2007

Blog Review: Claudia4Liberty

It would be true to say that Claudia Fanelli's blog, Claudia4Liberty, is the best new blog about Cuba written by a non-Cuban, but that would do her a great injustice; first, because her blog is as good as any Cuban-American blog and better than most; and, secondly, because in her devotion to Cuba she is as pure and disinterested as any Cuban blogger. If there were more Americans like Claudia, there would be no need for more Cubans like me. That is, Cubans who feel dutybound as myself to pull out the thousand knives that the U.S. has stuck in Cuba's back over the last 200 years and especially over the last 48.

I commend her blog to your attention, and Ms. Fanelli herself to the special place in our hearts where Cubans hold "El Inglesito" (General Henry Reeve) and all Americans like Reeve who have selflessly aided us in the conquest of our liberty and independence when their government would not.


For more information on Blooklyn-born Cuban General Henry Reeve (1850-1876), see "Comments" section.


Manuel A.Tellechea said...


There was once a famous Reeve who possessed powers beyond those of ordinary men; he did not, however, star in a 1950s television series. His name was Henry Reeve, born in Brooklyn in 1850, the son of the Rev. Augustus Reeve and Maddie Carroll. Henry Reeve was destined to become one of the greatest generals which the United States has produced; yet his service in the U.S. Army was limited to his experience as a drummer boy in the Civil War. Reeve's military career was realized in Cuba, where he is still venerated as the island's Lafayette.

In 1868, Cubans revolted against Spanish rule, and Reeve, who had no family or any other connections to the island, joined the rebel forces led by Carlos Manuel de Cespedes.

The first act of this first and only true Cuban Revolution (1868-1878) was to free the slaves. It is said that it was this gesture that convinced 18-year-old Henry Reeve of the rightness of the Cuban cause. Many famous foreign figures such as Victor Hugo and Garibaldi supported the Cubans in their bid for independence; but none more energetically than this American teenager, who enlisted as a private and rose to the rank of brigadier general in Cuba's Army of Liberation. It is important to point out that Reeve was no mercenary: soldiers in the rebel army received no pay or any other emoluments; they fought for their country's freedom for 10 years and Reeve fought alongside them because of his own love of liberty and his desire that all men should share in the birthright of his own countrymen.

Reeve rose through the ranks from private to general and was Ignacio Agramonte's favorite general. He always fought at the head of his men and was often wounded. On one occasion, the enemy captured Reeve and decided to execute him by cannonade (i.e. the Spanish literally shot a cannonball at him). Naturally, he was knocked out and left for dead. But he was not dead; he regained consciousness and dragged himself to his own lines. And, yes, he lived to fight again, crippled and strapped to his horse like "El Cid."

His greatest feat was the famous "Rescue of Sanguily, where he liberated another Cuban general who had been captured by the Spanish, strategically extricating with a small force of men and then outrunning the pursuing Spanish army.

In his last battle, at age 25, Reeve was once again in danger of being captured; but this time he fought until he had only one bullet left, and he used that last bullet to cheat the enemy of the honor of killing him.

No foreigner, and certainly no American, is more revered in Cuba than the Brooklyn-born Reeve, known to Cubans as "El

Vana said...

Again you wow and teach me something, thank you Manuel, I was totally ignorant about this good and brave man Henry Reeve, if only all Americans were like him

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Thanks from Claudia via e-mail:

Hola Manuel:

Through my site meter I was taken to your post about my blog
Claudia4Libertad and I wanted to say thank you very much for the accolades and high praise. I
will do what I can to educate the ignorant about Cuba's plight!

Claudia Fanelli

Charlie Bravo said...

Claudia has an excellent blog. Auguri, Claudia...