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What distinguished the final War of Independence 1895-1898 from the earlier Ten Years War 1868-1878 and the short-lived Guerra Chiquita 1879-1880 was the wars success throughout the majority of the island the final ousting of the Spanish through the American intervention the espousal of an egalitarian ideology by a radical multiracial military leadership and the iconization of the wars two most revered heroes Jos Mart and Antonio Maceo As has been documented the aims of the liberation were modified when elite Cuban planters joined the insurgent cause beginning in 1896 and brought their social agenda to bear on the civil wing of the separatist cause Prez 1983125 The liberation army under Mximo Gmez however sought to eliminate the very socio-economic basis of Cuban society by razingl the sugar plantations as a means towards creating a more egalitarian society While the division between the civilian and the military was in fact a deciding factor for the final outcome of the war and led to the intervention of the United States the tension between the two wings has gathered too much attention at the expense of examining how class and racial conflicts before the final war were the source of later divisions among the separatists Ferrer 1995283 By discussing the historiography of Afro-Cuban nationalist discourse a mythologized vision of nationalist unity emerges which was reproduced and interpreted differently by diverse segments of the separatist front but nonetheless served to mobilize vast numbers of Afro-Cubans against the Spanish in an unprecedented display of force Afro-Cubans participated in greater numbers during the final war and while there were divisions among them as well a majority of these former slaves on the rebel side shared a nationalist vision for a freer more egalitarian Cuba Helg 199544 The source of this vision can be located in their struggle for liberation from slavery itself and their participation in the failed rebellion of the Ten Years War Rebecca Scott 199481 reports that in
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