Nicolás Azcárate Escovedo

Nicolás Azcárate Escovedo
Nicolás Azcárate Escovedo (1829-1894)

Nicolás Azcárate Escovedo was born in Güines on July 12, 1828 and passed away in Havana on July 14, 1894.

Lawyer, journalist, eloquent speaker, man of liberal ideas, freedom loving person and one of the reform movement leaders in Cuba. He graduated as an attorney in Madrid in 1854 practicing his profession in Havana and editing in 1856 Revista de Jurisprudencia (Jurisprudence Magazine). He was a founding member of Guanabacoa Lyceum (1861). In 1865 he collaborated with Revista del Pueblo (People’s Magazine) of Enrique Pińeyro Barri and also published Noches Literarias (Literary Nights). Known by the literary reunions given at his home which originated the Anthology “Literary Nights in Nicolas Azcarate’s Home” (1866). He also founded Siglo XX (XX Century) Newspaper, Cuba’s Association of Artists and Writers and the Democratic Party. Among his works, we mention “Votes of a Cuban” (1869).

On November 25, 1865, Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, Spanish Minister for Overseas Affairs called for the election of an Information Junta that would review and recommend laws to be enacted in Cuba and Puerto Rico, composed of 22 representatives from the islands, 16 from Cuban Town Councils and 6 from those of Puerto Rico. The elections were held on Sunday, March 25, 1866 and Don Nicolás Azcárate Escovedo was elected for the Town Council of Güines. He traveled to Madrid, distinguishing himself for his eloquence and liberal ideas.

When the Junta was dissolved he remained in the Spanish capital founding the newspaper La Voz del Siglo (The Voice of the Century), editing also La Constitución (The Constitution). He returned to Havana in 1875 when the Ten Year War was at its peak and later on was expelled from Cuba by order of Blas Villate, Count of Valmaseda, Chief of Military Operations in the island. He went into exile to México where he edited in 1876 Eco de Ambos Mundos (Echo of Both Worlds), later on writing in La Colonia Española (The Spanish Colony). It was said of Nicolás Azcárate: “Due to the qualities of his heart, the power of his intelligence and the easiness and eloquence of his word, he will always be one of the great glories of the country.”

Translated by the staff of Círculo Güinero de Los Ángeles

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