Valdivia was born on July 2nd, 1846, was considered the most illustrious of the people of Sancti Spiritus, and was a hero of the three wars for Cuba’s independence during the 19th century.
José Martí, with whom he exchanged more than a hundred letters, said of him: ‘All of Cuba was a soldier, and he acquired just and great glory. He is a person of discretion and handling of men, of absolute honesty and reserve, and as you see it, he is as tall as a column’.
Articles by Valdivia, as well as works praising the work and figure of José Martí, were published in the Patria newspaper, created by Martí in New York in 1892.
The Hero was a teacher, surveyor, journalist, writer and cigar maker in emigration. He participated in the Ten Years’ War (1868-1878), known as the Great War; in the so-called Little War (1879-1880) and in the so-called Necessary War (1895-1898).
At just 22 years of age, he led 45 men armed with firearms and was involved in more than 120 battles until his fall in combat at Paso de Las Damas on November 18th, 1896.