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Thomas at the North American Encampment

The forces of Lieutenant-colonial Enrique Thomas that stayed at Playa del Este and its suburbs until the end of the month of July protested the Yankee marines from possible Spanish incursions.

The same Thomas recognizes in his memories “(…) the first days were joyful for us, but this was changing such a way that after surrendered Santiago de Cuba we could stand the stay over there.” Meanwhile the North Americans passed the night in their encampments, protected by tents that take them care of the sun, the rains and the dew, the mambi soldiers must conform themselves with improvised ranches at the outdoors.

The at the North American doctors did not pay the proper attention to the patients of the Liberator Army, numerous at those days became of the yellow fever outbreak endemic of the zones, as a result of the very long stay in an inhospitable atmosphere, in spite of the capacity of adaptation of the Cuban fighters demonstrated on different scenographies.

The relations among troops, fraternal at dangerous days, became hard. The manifestations of disregard to the Cuban Soldier were frequent and there were not any moment left in that was necessary to convince the men to conserve the order. “They were polite while there was danger and when it disappeared I will not speak untruthfully if I say that they were even rude (…)”, appointed Thomas.

The North American leading imposed to the Cuban forces a politic of isolation that was manifested on the impossibility of the leader of the Regiment of Gtmo of sending freely communications to Periquito through the post offices located at Punta San Nicolás. The remittances that could be realized were done after many request and prayers. The moral integrality of Thomas and his respect to the order of Periquito of” (…) let well put the name of oure lovely Fatherland (…)” avoided unpleasant collisions between both forces, apparently allied.

On July 19th, Thomas remitted to Pedro A. Pérez a copy of a proclamation signed by the North American Resodent William Mc Kimley the day before that, in which were instructed to the occupation forces about the conduct they should observe at the free territories. In it was indicated: “The first effect of the military occupation of the enemy territory is the surpassing of the ancient political relations of the inhabitants and the establishment of a new political power”.

As you can see the North American are erected as supreme lords of the destiny of Cuban people, they do not hide their intentions and express them in a direct way ignoring the Government Council of the Republic of Cuba in Arms and the civil institutions created by it. That way started to un fulfill the Conjunct Revolution approved by the North American Congress on April 20th, 1898, in which was established in the fourth article that the United States did not have intentions of performing dominion upon the Cuban Island.

Performing his duty he decided to inform General Pérez about the events, and immediately sent a whole copy of the proclamation, proposing at one time that the government intervenes in the matter.

On July 19th Thomas was called to a lecture with the major-general Nelson Miles, General in Chief of the American Army, who obtained information about his person, from the forces that he leaded, and also data about General Pérez. Later he solicited 50 men from his forces in order to board them to Puerto Rico: “(…) not for fighting but for talking and convince them (to the Puertoricans) of the advantages that they could offer to North American.

The same day Calixto García ordered to General Pedro A. Pérez the following: “Please, put at Major General William R. Shafter disposal fifty men of the regiment that leads Lieutenant-colonel Enrique Thomas, in order to attend the American Army to Puerto Rico, trying to be volunteers P. and L. Calixto García”.

Although the high leading of the Liberator Army accepted the incorporation of volunteers in order to participate at the invasion of Puerto Rico beside the marines that boarded the ships of the Yankee Naval Agnad, on July 22nd, 1898, from the port of Guantánamo converted on base of operations, these was not any Cuban included.

On July 23rd, before the separation of the Cuban forces from the North Americans ones was produced in order to incorporate them to the General Headquarter of the First Division, Commander Browman McCalla ordered the formation of both units with the purpose of saying some thankfulness words to the Cubans, The brief speech was translated at intervals by Lieutenant-colonel Garda Vieta. At the moment that be was refer to his troops, McAlla expressed:

(…) The Cuabans had come to save us from the fear we had since our arrival, because of the continuing attack of the Spaniards that do not let them breath. I do not know how to thank enough, in the name of the North American Government and myself, to the Cubans that, as a heaven benediction, arrived in the exactly moments to evoid a disaster to us”.

One of the Yankee offices, Lieutenant-colonel Huntington, leader of the land forces, cried against some aspects included in those words, so McAlla replied: “You can say anything you want, but the real historical true is that I have just declared”.

That way, the allied forces were separated after stayed 42 days in a close and contradictory act of living together.