Manuel Sanguily Garritte is recognized as a Colonel of the Liberation Army and an active patriot in the pseudo-republic, defender of the sovereignty of Cuba on various platforms. But his side as a writer and journalist has been little publicized.
Historians review that of pure mambisa lineage, forged during his youth in combats of the Ten Years’ War, he was also a fighter throughout his life on multiple fronts, in which he was brilliant: political career, journalism, oratory, historical and literary criticism, in addition to teaching.
It is worth saying that his texts are valued with a well structured prose, to be taken into account within the journalists and styles prevailing in the country during the 19th century and until his death on January 21st, 1925.
Juan Marinello defined him as a «mind that knew neither fear nor peace» and evaluated his behavior through word and pen, in correspondence with a man who promoted independence interests from publications such as La Estrella Solitaria or La Independencia, where he wrote under the pseudonym Otto.
In a study of his career, published in Isla al Sur, of the University of Havana, it is stated that Manuel Sanguily in 1892 traveled to the United States to meet with José Martí, in full preparation for the Necessary War.
He returned to Cuba and founded the magazine Hoja Literarias, written in conjunction with Enrique Piñeyro, one of his most significant journalistic contributions which included works of literary criticism, but also served as a space to defend the libertarian aspirations of Cubans.
For his part, the prominent intellectual Max Henríquez Ureña points out in his book Historical Panorama of Cuban Literature, that his writings show «his preferential, concentrated attention on those issues that are related to the political process in Cuba.»
He was a lawyer and director of the Institute of Havana and served in the chair of Rhetoric and Poetics at the university campus. In 1901 he shows his political verticalism when he tenaciously opposes in the first instance, as a delegate to the Constituent Assembly, the Platt Amendment imposed by the United States on Cuba.
When he was elected Senator of the Republic for the province of Matanzas, he expressed concern about the passage of the country’s natural resources into the hands of foreign companies and presented a law in defense of the land, which was not approved by the Senate. He was elected a member of the Academy of Cuban History and editor of various publications such as Patria y Libertad, El Triunfo, Heraldo de Cuba, La Habana Literaria, El País and El Libre Pensamiento.