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Ever wonder about the story behind the monument on Ibizas' main street (Paseo Vara del Rey)?
 Joaquín Vara del Rey y Rubio (1840-1898)

General Vara de Rey was born in Ibiza in the Balearic Islands in 1840. He graduated as a second lieutenant from the Colegio general ascending to the rank of first lieutenant in 1862. He fought against uprisings in Cartagena and Valencia and against the Carlists.

He requested a transfer to the Philippines in 1884 where he remained until 1890 having served as Captain General of the Philippines angovernor of the Mariana Islands.

Upon his return to Spain, he became commander of the garrison at Avila until April 1895 when he volunteered for service in Cuba.

He was the military commander of Bayamo and commanded the regiment that fought in the battle of Loma de Gato where José
Maceo, brother of Antonio, was slain and for which he was made brigadier general.

Thanks to the courage of Vara de Rey and the 500 men under his command, U.S. troops with forces of over 15,000 men were unable to take El Caney, despite the fact that they outnumbered the Spanish 30 to one.

Brigadier General Henry Lawton finally took the town despite the Spaniards refusal to surrender, when Vara de Rey was killed , together with his two stretcher bearers, while being carried off the field with wounds in both legs. Less than 80 Spaniards of General Vara del Rey's 500 troops survived the battle which represented the turning point of the Spanish-American war.

The monument which carries his name on the main paseo of Ibiza was
inaugurated in1902 by King Alfonso XIII.


*An anecdote of this famous battle:

*Mrs Irene Rodriguez viuda (widow) of Quintana (here Castellanos cites Emilio Bacardi, Cronicas de Santiago de Cuba, the ninth volume), left Caney on the 29th (of June) with her retarded son Rafael. Rafael had two cigars in his pocket. Although their documents were in order, they were arrested and taken to a blockhouse see Brigadier Vara del Rey. Despite the sickness of the mother (Irene Rodriguez) and the very evident retardation of the boy, the Brigadier Vara del Rey became very angry and said surely those cigars are for his (Rafael's) two Mambi (Cuban insurgent) brothers in the manigua.

He ordered Irene Rodriguez expelled from the fort, but arrested the retarded boy. The next day he (Vara del Rey) handed the boy to Guerrilla Lieutenant Casadeval y Muller who murdered him on the Bonete vereda."

"Divine Justice condemned the two participants in this horrible crime not to outlive their action. The next day Vara del Rey and Casadeval died by American bullets. Among the attackers on El Caney was Jose Quintana a brother of (Rafael) the Cuban victim."


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