This small village, 14 miles east of Santiago de Cuba, became a focal point of the U.S. invasion of Cuba. Spanish General Arsenio Linares y Pomba ordered the area from Daiquirí to Siboney fortified in anticipation of U.S. disembarckments there. On June 20, 1898, Admiral William T. Sampson, General William Rufus Shafter and General Calixto García planned an invasion whereby the naval would shell Daiquirí, García's Cuban troops would attack the Spaniards, and, in the meantime, U.S. ships would transport some Cuban troops to Cabañas to cut off communications and supply.
The landing two days later went almost according to plan. Sampson fired on Daiquirí, dispersing the 300 or so Spanish troops there. Some 16,000 soldiers waded ashore in the surf as the diversion at Cabañas proved highly effective. Other troops landed at Siboney, but Daiquirí continued as a storage area until U.S. forces took Santiago.