Arsenio Martínez Campos ruled Cuba for the Spanish empire prior to the Cuban War of Independence.
General Martínez Campos was an important and high ranking figure in the Spanish military. He was sent to Cuba first after the 10 Years' War.
The war was coming to an end, but an agreement had not yet been reached. Martínez Campos tricked the Cuban revolutionaries into
signing the Pact of Zanjón on February 10, 1878, which promised the Cubans many reforms and concessions that the Spanish did not honor.
"We are gambling with the destiny of Spain. . . . The insurrection today is more serious and more powerful than early 1876. The leaders know more and their manor of waging war is different from what it was then. . . . Even if we win in the field and suppress the rebels, since the country wishes to have neither an amnesty for our enemies nor an extermination of them, my loyal and sincere opinion is that, with reforms or without reforms, before twelve years we shall have another war."
He returned to Spain where he became the prime minister. In November of 1879, Martínez Campos declared that slavery would come to an end in Cuba in 1888.
In 1893, an assassination attempt was made on Campos while in Barcelona. It failed, and many people were executed for involvement.
On the 18th of April in 1895, the Cánovas government in Spain, sent in General Martínez de Campos to take control of Cuba. The Spanish government was becoming very worried at the gains of the revolutionaries, and this caused it to send off its best general.
Martínez de Campos was largely unsuccessful in Cuba. He tried building trenches to protect the Spanish troops, but the Cubans easily circumnavigated them. His columns could not stop the advancing Cuban soldiers.
Cuban General Máximo Gómez began an invasion of the island. His forces went west, destroying the countryside to ruin economic interests and gain additional troops. The Spanish proved powerless against this attack.
The Spanish retreated to Havana, and the Cuban troops began to mass nearby. General Martínez Campos, to the Spanish government and people, had proved himself unable to win the war. In January of 1896, he resigned to be replaced by General Valeriano Weyler.