Carlos Manuel de Céspedes (1819 – 1874) was a Cuban plantation owner and revolutionary hero who in 1868 freed his slaves and led a revolt against Spanish rule. The revolt sought Cuban independence from Spain and freedom for African slaves and Chinese indentured servants. Despite Céspedes being killed in 1874, the uprising continued until 1878. Although largely unsuccessful, the revolt lit the fuse of the Cuban independence movement and was instrumental in having Spain abolish slavery in Cuba in 1886.
Ringed by royal palms in the center of Plaza de Armas, in Old Havana, Cuba is a marble statue of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes. The statue replaced one of Spanish King Ferdinand VII in 1955. (Note to those who think it is wrong to remove statues of Confederate heroes: Statues of important people are removed and replaced all the time when they no longer represent individuals or causes worth celebrating, and Confederates and the Confederacy definitely fall into the category of people and causes not worth celebrating in America.)
The marble statue was sculpted in 1953 by Cuban artist Sergio López Mesa. It was erected in 1955 when Miguel Tacón commissioned a remodeling of the Plaza. The statue presents Céspedes wearing a nice suit with a bow tie standing casually with his left hand in his pants pocket.