The Maximo Gomez Museum
The Maximo Gomez Museum is the former residence of Maximo Gomez and is the place where the Cuban declaration of independence was written.
Maximo Gomez y Baez was born November 18, 1836 in Bani, Dominican Republic. He joined the Military as a teen and dedicated his life to military service. Maximo Gomez fought in many wars throughout his life. He fought against Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Spain.
The two most notable wars that he fought in were against Spain. The was Ten Years’ War and the second was the Cuban War of Independence. Both wars were a part of a series of wars in Cuba’s fight for independence.
As Major General during the Ten Years’ War, Maximo Gomez taught the Cuban forces the machete charge. This was the most lethal tactic they used against the Spanish troops. The machete charge combined the use of a firearm and machete in battle. Cuban soldiers fired their guns once. Then they charged the Spanish infantry carrying a machete to cut down their enemy. These attacks terrified the Spanish. The attacks always produced large numbers of Spanish casualties.
Maximo Gomez retired and move to a villa outside of Havana, Cuba at the end of the Cuban Independence War. He died about seven years later in 1905. Maximo Gomez was laid to rest in the Colón Cemetery, Havana.
The house was built in the 19th century. It is a typical wooden house with a gabled roof. It is one of many homes in Monte Cristi from that period that still remain today. Máximo Gómez bought the house on November 22, 1888 for 400 pesos (Mexican Reales) from Cayetana Portes.
Jose Marti made his last trip to Monte Cristi in 1895. He stayed in the home with Maximo Gomez for two months. It was during this stay that they wrote and signed the “Montecristi Manifesto.”
The Montecristi Manifesto set forth the ideas, and it inspired Cuba’s war of independence from Spain. It is states that the war wasn’t against Spain, but against the three centuries old colonial regime that had existed in Cuba. It also expresses Cuban desires to be a nation totally independent nation economically and militarily. A nation free from the control of any external forces.
Máximo Gómez and the José Martí signed the “Montecristi Manifesto” on March 25, 1895. Not long afterwards, Máximo Gómez, José Martí and three other men left Monte Cristi for Cuba to fight for Cuban independence.
The home is a small museum. The Ministry of Culture recently remodeled the house. The Maximo Gomez Museum contains important documents as well as historical and personal objects that belonged to Jose Marti and Maximo Gomez. There is even a replica of the machete that Maximo Gomez used while fight in Cuba.