On October 22, 1895, Antonio Maceo began the invasion from Mangos de Baraguá, in the former province of Oriente, to Pinar del Río, which ended on January 22, 1896, 128 years ago.
Among the goals set by Antonio Maceo were to expand the entire island to weaken and disband the Spanish troops, increase the weapons and fighters of the Liberating Army, and disband the Spanish forces.
Preventing the development of the harvest and destroying the economy of the West, as well as eliminating the manifestations of caudillismo and regionalism, are other objectives that keep Maceo moving towards the West of Cuba.
Before leaving the Invasive Column, Antonio Maceo revealed a speech written five days before, that is, on October 18 in Mangos de Baragua:
You, to whom the indisputable glory of being the first to take up arms against the tyranny of Spain on October 10, 1868, and February 24, 1895, is called a second time, by order of our superior leaders, to take your victorious arms on the Western frontier and help our brothers in the regions that await you full of warm enthusiasm… The Government of the Republic, the nation, which is with us, and the universal opinion, have your eyes and your thoughts confined to you in these supreme moments in which the future fate of a wretched people must be decided… Easterners, the fate of the motherland is in your hands!
Maceo, who was able to circumvent the military halt in Holguín and advance towards Camagüey, crossed the pass from Júcaro to Morón and joined Generalissimo Máximo Gómez in the possessions of Villa Clara.
When the invaders reached the center of the country, General Arsenio Martínez Campos had 250,000 armed men with 4,500 Mambises.
When the column entered Havana with a larger force, the invaders continued to advance throughout the city. Here, Maceo and Gómez separated: Gómez remained in Havana with 2,500 men, while Antonio Maceo advanced towards Pinar del Río with 1,500.
While Maceo was fighting in the lands of Pinar del Río, Máximo Gómez distracted the Spanish in Havana by using the shuttle tactic, which consisted of a constant rush and disturbance to distract the Spanish troops.
During the three months that the expedition lasted, the liberators traveled on foot and on horseback nearly 1,800 kilometers, fought in 27 battles, occupied 22 important towns, and captured abundant military equipment from the enemy, including 2,036 rifles and 67,000 rounds of ammunition.
The invasion from the east to the west was considered a campaign of transcendent military, economic, and political importance because there was an awakening for the cause of freedom.