Eusebio Hernández Pérez, doctor and general

Many doctors participated in the wars for Cuban independence, who combined their passion for science with their love for their country. One of the most prominent, as a scientist and as a soldier, was Eusebio Hernández Pérez, from Matanzas born in Colón on January 18, 1853

After completing his first studies, he settled in Matanzas, entered the Secondary Education Institute and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Havana. He began his medical career at the Central University of Madrid in 1874, but, dedicated to the freedom of his people, he did not graduate at that time

The doctor, the mambí, the politician

At a very young age he collaborated with the Mambise uprisings in Jagüey Grande. When the Little War failed he traveled to Honduras in 1881, where he taught classes and worked as a doctor. Committed to the Gómez-Maceo Plan he visited several Caribbean countries, and in 1886 he decided to complete his university studies. In 1887 he achieved the degree of Bachelor of Medicine at the University of Madrid, Spain. To expand his knowledge, he studied obstetrics and gynecology in France and Germany between 1888 and 1892. He returned to Cuba in 1894 and began his work as a doctor.

Once the War of ’95 began, he emigrated to New York in 1895 to serve the revolutionary struggle. His life in the campaign was very active. He landed in Cuba in 1896, participated in several combats and held positions in the government of the Republic in Arms. He accompanied prominent figures such as Máximo Gómez, Calixto García and Serafín Sánchez.

After the war, he was elected delegate to the Cerro Assembly in 1898 and was awarded the rank of Brigadier General of the Liberation Army. In 1900 he was appointed professor at the School of Medicine of the University of Havana. He participated in the founding of the Democratic Union Party and was its candidate for vice president in the 1901 elections, accompanying Bartolomé Masó, proposed as president.

Science and social commitment

During the Republic he dedicated himself to his work as a doctor and teacher. In 1926 he was elected member of the Academy of Medical, Physical and Natural Sciences of Havana and of the Obstetric Society of France. In 1928 he received the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Order and a national tribute was paid to him.

He wrote numerous works on gynecology and obstetrics, including Diagnosis of Twin Pregnancy (1892), Conscious Birth Without Pain (1915) and Obstetric Surgery for Pelvic Strictures (1917), among others. He stood out in the defense of Homiculture as a science dedicated to the study of the human being in an integral way.

Regarding his scientific work, his biographer Rafael Cepeda noted: “Being in love with knowledge, with much and deep knowledge, and this knowledge placed at the service of his fellow citizens, makes Eusebio Hernández a true man of science.”

He stood out, in the first years of the Republic, for his defense of student and social struggles. In his Manifesto to the Country, published in 1912, he advocated for workers’ conquests, improved care for the peasantry, and the emancipation of women. He was a professor at the José Martí Popular University, founded by Julio Antonio Mella, and participated in the National Student Congress. His presence at the tribute to Mella’s ashes in 1933 is recorded in history.

Dedicated to his science and fighting for his country, Eusebio Hernández, illustrious son of Columbus, died in Havana on November 24, 1934. The University Branch of Medical Sciences in his hometown is named after he. In Havana, the Eusebio Hernández Pérez Gynecobstetric University Hospital, known as Maternidad Obrera, pays tribute to his work as a doctor and patriot. (ALH)

Translated by Casterman Medina de Leon

Acerca Luis Ernesto Martínez González

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