Ramón Blanco y Erenas
Captain General Ramón Blanco y Erenas had served the Spanish government in the wars against the Carlist pretender and in the Philippines before he was selected to replace Valeriano Weyler as Captain General of Cuba. Blanco faced a difficult task since he was expected to reverse the harsh treatment Cubans had received at the hands of his predecessor and yet defend the colony from a probable attack from the United States.
His proposed solution was that Spanish troops join with Cuban insurgents, led by Máximo Gómez, to protect the island from the invaders. When Gómez refused to join forces with the Spaniards, Blanco coordinated the maneuvers of both army troops and naval squadron commanded by Admiral Pascual Cervera in their struggle against the invaders. Blanco, believing it better for Spain to lose Cuba honorably in battle than by surrender, ordered Cervera to sail out of Santiago and into disastrous defeat and loss of life.