“Of the best you fell first by the law of destiny. Your enemies of yesterday admire you today, honor and are friends of your country. ” Thus, one can read on one of the sides of the monument that in marble holds the immortal figure of Domingo Mujica Carratalá located in the central park that bears his name in the municipality of Jovellanos, province of Matanzas, Cuba, where he is also considered as his patriot distinguished.
The main authorities of the territory, representatives of the political and mass organizations, the Association of Combatants of the Cuban Revolution, in addition to children, youth and people in general, arrived to this site early in the morning to pay tribute to the first martyr of the War of 95 in Matanzas, commemorating this August 20 the 124th anniversary of his vile execution.
More than one voice rose to not allow his legacy to be extinguished, so as not to silence the original in his ideas and actions, to the man of great intellectual capacity, notable and deep convictions, to the young man who placed the claim of the Fatherland above of the greatest earthly affections, to the Commander of the Liberating Army Domingo Mujica Carratalá.
On September 15th, 1865 this municipality would see him born. He was the firstborn of the marriage of Don Domingo Mujica and Orasio, a native of Guanabacoa, and Doña Juana Carratalá de Sotolongo, a native of Macurijes, both of Spanish descent, who had two more children, José and María.
Like other children of that time he studied primary education in his native Jovellanos and then went to Matanzas, where he began his high school studies, which were interrupted by the death of the father. It is a fact that would force him to work in different trades and businesses. However, his interest in reading contributed to his extensive and solid historical-literary culture.
From his home he received the best model of probity and nobility, as parents taught their children to feel for the country from an early age.
Not a few were the attempts to join the libertarian deed of this «Creole levantisco», fame gained among the officers of the Spanish Army for their sustained altercations.
Frustrated his attempts in the territory, he leaves for Havana and from there to Las Villas where he manages to join the Liberating Army in the prefecture of Jobo Rosado, in the forces of Captain Manuel González.
Mujica maintained her dream of lighting the War for Independence in Matanzas. Both reaffirmed his request that Colonel Joaquín Castillo (his military degree is not specified) granted him permission and left for the center of Matanzas province.
In his homeland he did not receive the expected support and few were those who joined him, yet considerable were the actions of war developed, in one of them, on August 11th , 1895 the young José Cadenas falls. This son of Jovellanos was the first who fell in combat for freedom in his own homeland.
Delayed his presence in the town, he was taken prisoner and later transferred by train and with strong custody to the city of Matanzas, entering him in the Castle of San Severino.
He was immediately instructed summary process that was decided beforehand. On August 19th, the War Council that tried Mujica sentenced him to death.
On the morning of August 20th, 1895 he was taken to the place known as “third roundabout” or “last roundabout” of Paseo de Santa Cristina, (today Paseo Martí), and fulfilled the very brief ritual of the orders to the picket of soldiers, They heard the shots and how well the poet Bonifacio Byrne would write in one of the stanzas in his poem to dedicate him and the one that would cost him exile:
That brave man died facing the sea,
bathed in the dawn’s light,
noble, serene and firm look,
Calm the heart, high the forehead.
This was the first shooting of a Cuban patriot in the War of 95.The execution of Domingo shocked the Matanzas population who also knew of the arrest of hundreds of fighthers for the independence who were also confined in the Castle of San Severino.
Bibliographic Sources Consulted:
• De Arnaldo Jiménez de la Cal, Dr. in Historical Sciences. / Domingo Mujica, the first martyr of 95.
• Site: From Our Land / The First