Who’s Henry Reeve? Nobel Peace Prize for Cuban medicine, perpetuates Brooklyn’s son (+ Photos)

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By Lázaro David Najarro Pujol / Collaborator.

May, 2020.- The American Henry Reeve, El Inglesito(The Englishman), is known throughout the world more for the work of the International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics that is honored with his name, than for the solidarity of the brave combatant who gave his life for the independence of Cuba against Spanish colonialism.

When Ignacio Agramonte’s fall in combat was officially verified by the Cuban Government in Arms, immediately, on June 13, Major General Máximo Gómez left to take over the leadership of the Center Department.

On the 30th, Gómez’s forces crossed the town of Jobabo and on July 1, they camped at the La Aurora farm in Najasa, where the Cavalry Headquarters was located. Gomez is received on July 6 by Inglesito and General Julio Sanguily. That day, with the announcement of the arrival of the escort, Reeve spoke for the first time as El Mayor, referring to Ignacio Agramonte.

According to Fernando Crespo Baró, in his unpublished book Passions and Thoughts by Ignacio Agramonte, on July 6, 1873, a couple from the Mambisa observation that was conducting a reconnaissance between the limits of the La Crimea and La Aurora estates, noticed the Gomez’s presence with his escort very close to the paddock La Aurora. One of them rides on his horse to report to Lieutenant Colonel Henry Reeve. In the camp, he dismounts from the beast: «–Lieutenant Colonel –said the soldier standing up and bowing. “” Lower your hand, “Reeve replied. What’s new? «–That there comes El Mayor –answered the soldier. “-The oldest? How Big is that? «–Major Gomez, appointed head of the Department –answered the soldier. «- Ah! General Máximo Gómez; don’t say El Mayor; because El Mayor was one and died in Jimaguayú ».

In this way the Inglesito highlighted the figure of Agramonte, more than the military hierarchy. Henry Reeve also entered the history of Cuba among other feats, for the victorious combat of the Liberation Army in Santa Cruz del Sur. In the book Sueños y turbonadas, by myself, I specify that on the 26th the Generalissimo, with the South Brigade and the Camagüey Cavalry, under the command of Henry Reeve, meets in Loreto, in the municipal area of ​​Santa Cruz del Sur, with the troops of Las Villas.

With these forces, it organizes a single column of 450 infants and 170 horsemen. With momentum the insurgent troop continues; on September 27 they march to Santa Cruz del Sur and, at 11 at night, they arrive at Lunarico, located one league from the attack point. Colonel Gregorio Benítez, in the main direction, with 100 infantry men, would advance through the western part of the town with the determination to occupy the barracks and the dock.

At the orders of José González Guerra, 200 infantry would support Colonel Benítez, while Lieutenant Colonel Bernardo Montejo, with fifty infantry men, would cross the royal road of the Calzada to the east of the town with the aim of attracting attention enemy, standing in Playazo, an impassable place due to the existence of an extensive area of ​​mangrove swamp.

Colonel Manuel Suárez and Lt. Col. Henry Reeve with 150 riders would occupy the entrance to the causeway, main access. At the first shots, the Inglesito, as the Cubans called Reeve, had the precise order to launch himself into the race, penetrate the town and reach the coast in order to distract the opponent: «Three pieces of Spanish artillery, perfectly placed, they dominated the entrances of the town, so that their fire could direct it front and cross; furthermore, at the end of the Causeway, where Reeve was to advance, was a fort defended by regular troops.

«The simultaneous and impetuous attack overcame the first obstacles. On the west side, the main blow of the Mambí attack, the surprised garrison of the enemy outpost retreated to the next barracks and abandoned one of the three cannons in the Plaza in a hasty escape.

From this point the Spanish fall back into a continuous trench, from which they then offer tenacious and prolonged resistance. “Occupied the barracks, the powder keg was also taken, where it had stored a considerable amount of war material. »For his part, El Inglesito, at the head of his assault troop, with Commander Federico Diago, second, under immense garrison fire from Fort El Monitor, which defended the Calzada or main road of the town, advances impetuously with fifty riders, as he ordered, walks the street to Playa Bonita, and, on the way, evicts the volunteers from their barracks located near the beach, without receiving a single response shot from them; When he retired, he found, surprisingly, a location with his trench, whose existence he did not notice during his advance and which received him with a cannon shot, from which he was unharmed.

In a gesture of indescribable boldness and bravery, he decisively counterattacks this site, which blocked his way, and forcing the troops of the line and the volunteers who defended him to flee, manages to temporarily occupy the artillery piece. Ramón Roa says: «(…) and under the smoke, Reeve touched the piece with the tip of his machete, saying: it is taken, while a Spanish gunner shot his carbine at point-blank range, seriously injuring him …».

El Inglesito was transported on a stretcher. The cannon was lost for this cause, although the fact did not affect the victorious course of the action.

El Inglesito (The Englishman)

«El Inglesito (Henry Reeve) was born in Brooklyn, New York, on April 4, 1850. When the Civil War broke out, he joined the fight to fight in the ranks of the Northern Army, where he gained some military experience . Very little is known of his life in later years. «He came to Cuba aboard the“ Perrit ”on May 11, 1869, disembarking on the Ramón peninsula, inside La Bahía de Nipe. “Shortly after the landing, he fought in Las Cuevas and Las Calabazas, where he was taken prisoner along with several companions.

Shot (shot four times) and left for dead, he regained consciousness. “He was wandering for several days through the jungle, in strange territory without knowing the language and in danger of being killed if he were captured again. He was accidentally found by a group of mambises, who took him to the El Miyial farm, where the camp of Brigadier Luis Figueredo was located, where he recovered from his injuries.

When General Máximo Gómez assumed the leadership of the Center department, El Inglesito joined his Headquarters. “On December 10, 1873, he was promoted to brigadier general, in an official communication from the Government of the Republic in Arms. This communication was published in The War Bulletin, on January 1, 1874, in which it was expressed: “The House of Representatives by acclamation has granted Colonel Henry Reeve his promotion to Brigadier, for his merits, his services for the wound, which for his courage he received in Santa Cruz del Sur. We celebrate this act of justice that rewards the services of the distinguished veteran cavalry. ” “On August 4, 1876, he was wounded again in the vicinity of the Río Hanábana de Yaguaramas, in the province of Matanzas, and despite his seriousness, he continued fighting until his forces were exhausted and without ammunition, to avoid being taken prisoner, a man was shot shot in the temple.

He participated in some 400 combat actions, and in 10 of them he was wounded.

Nobel Peace Prize for the contingent Cuban doctor

Social organizations from various countries of the world proposed the International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics Henry Reeve to be nominated and recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize for their fight against Covid-19 in 23 nations of the world.

The associations Cuba Si France and the also French Friendship Cuba Linda stand out, as well as the American feminist organization Codepink, the latter requested support to nominate the Cuban contingent before the Swedish Academy and may receive this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Codepink added that the nomination would show the Cuban people how much admiration they arouse around the planet. “Such a show of solidarity is especially important in the face of increased sanctions and threats from the Trump administration …”, stressed the organization. “Cuban medical assistance, highlighted Codepink, is one of several aspects of the island’s international solidarity, since Cuba supported Chile in the 1963 earthquake, Nicaragua and Honduras in 1998 after the devastation of Hurricane Mitch, in the tsunami from Indonesia in 2004 and Haiti in the 2010 earthquake and subsequent cholera outbreak… ».

It also highlights that the Henry Reeve Brigade – which is working worldwide to combat the pandemic – is only part of the Cuban medical system, coordinated by the Cuban Ministry of Public Health, which has sent more health personnel to work in the foreigner than the entire World Health Organization (WHO).

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics would also be an honor to the solidarity gesture of a son of the people of the United States who gave his life for Cuba. (Photos by the author and Prensa Latina).(Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez)

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