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The son of slaves, Juan Gualberto Gómez was born in Santa Ana, Cuba. His parents bought his freedom, a practice allowed through manumission laws in Cuba. He was educated under the tutelage of mulatto (of African and European descent) poet Antonio Medina y Céspedes at a local religious school that was known to be a refuge for black children. Sensing that his racial background would limit his opportunities in Cuba, Gómez left the island in 1869 for Paris, France, where he studied the art of cabinetmaking and, later, engineering. Poverty soon forced him to leave his studies and pursue a career in journalism, a profession that would provide him with an outlet for expressing his political and social views.

Gómez's stay in Paris was a formative experience in his life. He became acquainted with various eminent members of Cuba's expatriate community, including separatists such as Vicente Aguilera ...


Joel Gordon

Egyptian politician, was born in Cairo on 18 February 1921. The son of a military officer, Ukasha graduated from the military academy in 1939, one of the first cohort to enroll after 1936, when Egypt gained independence from Britain. He went on to the staff college in 1945, where he met and became friends with Gamal Abd al-Nasser. Along with Nasser and other future founders of the Free Officers movement, he drew close to secret cells formed in the army by the Muslim Brothers. He graduated from the staff college in 1948 and served in the Palestine War, a formative experience for so many fellow junior officers. When Nasser and close colleagues formed a secret organization independent of the Brothers and other civilian forces, they turned to Ukasha to join them.

Although close to the movement s leaders Ukasha remained distant from the daily operations of the conspirators He resisted ...