Anniversary 150 of the first José Martí political work

In January 19th of 1869 it was printed in Havana, in the El Iris Printer’s and Book Store located in Obispo Street, 20 and 22, the unique edition of El Diablo Cojuelo in which it was published the first political work written by José Martí when he was near to turn 16 years old.

El Diablo Cojuelo was a kind of handbill printed by Martí and his friend Fermín Valdés Domínguez. Its name had relation with the namesake novel of Luis Vélez de Guevara, Spanish writer of the XVI Century.

In the quoted work the young Martí reflected some appraisals around the situation that Cuba suffered under the Spanish colonial domain. Several months before, in October 10th of 1868, in the Eastern zone of the country the war for the independence leaded by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes already have been begun.

In the initial part of this work in El Diablo Cojuelo, Martí reflected around what write to others meant to him. Regarding this he expressed: “I have never knew what the audience was, he specified-, neither what it was to write for it, however to honest devil faith, I assure that now as before, I was never afraid of do it either.”

El Diablo Cojuelo was published taking advantage of the freedom of printing that the General Captain of Cuba Domingo Dulce y Garay who had replaced Francisco Lersundi several days before, established by decree in January 9th of 1869.

Precisely in the work that he published, Martí expresses his opinion about this theme when he detailed: “This lucky freedom of printing, that due to the waited and denied and now conceded, rains over the wet, it allow that you talk everything what you want, but not about what itches; but it also allow that you go to the Court of to the Prosecutor’s office and from the Court of to the Prosecutor’s office they duck you into the Morro because of what you said or wanted to say”.

And he added later: “But, taking back to the question of the freedom of printing, I must remember that it is not so wide that it allows to say everything what it is wanted, or publishing everything what is heard.”

In El Diablo Cojuelo by mean of small dialogues, some of them loaded with certain irony, Martí lashes the Spanish colonial regime and his representatives in Cuba.

Even he also criticizes the submissive position assumed by the publications already established and with a great power as it was the case of the Diary of the Mariana. In relation to this newspaper he affirmed: “The Diary of the Mariana has disgrace. What it advices for good thing, is justly what we all have as the worst. And this is proved by “El Fosforito”.

“What he condemns for bad, is justly what we have for good. And this is proved by me. He wanted censor, there is no censor. He said that the freedom of printing brought many bad things. For him yes, for the others no, because the one who writes wins, due to he can write, the one who prints wins, due to there is no censure that takes his job away and the one who reads wins, due to he feeds of the good things and learn to reject the bad ones, Poor Devil!”

In relation to this Martí’s first journalistic political work and the historical context in which it is published, the journalist, professor and researcher of Spanish origin, settled in Cuba since 1939, Herminio Almendros Ibáñez detailed: “It passes the year 1868, and in October 10th, in the Eastern region of the Island, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes has risen up with a group of brave men in war against Spain “which governs the island of Cuba with a bloody iron arm”.

“The war actions of the rebels in the field after the Shout of Yara for the independence cause deep impression in the cities. Teachers and students from the San Pablo school are agitated of excitement. Mendive inspires the patriotic ardor. His poems of criticism and insurgence are read and recited. Martí and his teacher sometimes follow the march of Céspedes' uprising, both alone very late at night, and the desire for freedom grows with enthusiasm in them.

“In this epoch the ideal reason that will be the course of his life to death, has already curdled in the heart of the young Martí. He will live forever consecrated to the great revolutionary effort that would make free his Homeland.

"It is not enough for the young student to admire his teacher and the elderly people who at protests show their love for their Homeland; he, in his youth of sixteen years already enters in action. In El Diablo Cojuelo, a printed sheet of paper that has been prepared with his friend Valdés Domínguez, he writes notes of ridicule and censure of the authorities and the policy, and in Free Homeland, a newspaper from which only one edition was published, that he prepares with works of Mendive and other adult people, his dramatic poem Abdala was published. The drama is like a reflection of the oppressed Cuba, and there is in it a hero who fights for the Homeland’s freedom and he dies for it.”

With the passing of time, José Martí used the journalism to reflect the engagement that he had with the liberation of his native country and also for dealing with different themes. He founded and leaded several publications.

During his stay firstly in Mexico, between 1875 and 1876 and later in the United States, from 1880 and in Venezuela, in his short settle of something more than six months in 1881, he maintained a productive cooperation with different newspapers and magazines.

Already in the final stage of his existence, when he worked in order to achieve the restart of the fight for the independence of Cuba, he precisely created a newspaper identified as Homeland, which constituted an essential stage in the divulgation of the revolutionary ideas.

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Lighting the night to recall Martí

Leading the tribute in Havana were Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee; President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez; José Ramón Machado Ventura, Party second secretary; and Comandante de la Revolución Ramiro Valdés Menéndez.

For 66 years now, one of the last nights of January is lit up with torches to recall Martí.

In Havana last night, a sea of youth advanced down University Hill to the Fragua Martiana, near the city’s waterfront, to celebrate a date all Cubans know: the birth José Martí.

On January 28, 1853, the most universal of all Cubans was born "in a modest house on Paula Street, where the wall overlooked the port," as writer Jorge Mañach describes it.

One hundred and sixty years later, the people once again light the streets, as part of a tradition that began with a group of young patriots, when, 100 years later, this date was celebrated in 1953.

On the anniversary of José Martí’s birth in 1960, Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara said that there are many ways to honor Martí. "Marti can and must be honored in the way he would like, when he said at the top of his lungs: The best way to say, is to do," as Raúl Alejandro Palmero, president of the Federation of University Students remembered when he called on those present to join recovery efforts in Havana in the wake of a devastating tornado, and to defend the Revolution approving the country’s new Constitution on February 24.

In addition to torch lit marches across the country, floral wreaths in the name of Army General Raúl Castro Ruz and Cuban President Díaz-Canel were placed alongside the Apostle’s mausoleum in Santiago de Cuba’s Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, plus others from the Councils of State and Minister and the Cuban people.

Photo: Ariel Cecilio Lemus Alvarez
Photo: Ariel Cecilio Lemus Alvarez
Photo: Ariel Cecilio Lemus Alvarez
Photo: Estudios Revolución
Photo: Ariel Cecilio Lemus Alvarez
Photo: Ariel Cecilio Lemus Alvarez
Photo: Ariel Cecilio Lemus Alvarez
Photo: Estudios Revolución
Photo: Ariel Cecilio Lemus Alvarez
Photo: Ariel Cecilio Lemus Alvarez
Photo: Ariel Cecilio Lemus Alvarez
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Moving Tribute in Colombia to Cuban Hero Jose Marti

Bogota, Jan 28 (Prensa Latina) Intellectuals, leaders politicians, cultural figures and a massive representation of the Colombian Movement of Solidarity with Cuba rendered a moving tribute to José Martí, on occasion of the 166th anniversary of his birth.

The evocation of the figure and trascendent legacy of the National Cuban Hero took place at the embassy of the island in Bogota, with the participation also of Cuban residents in this South American country, diplomats and workers of the Greater of the Antilles.

In name of the Colombian Movement of Solidarity with Cuba spoke Jorge Caceres, who highlighted the legacy of Marti in thought and action and extolled the significance of the Cuban Revolution for the peoples of Latin America and the world.

Jaime Caycedo, secretary general of the Communist Party of Colombia, stressed the infinite gratitude to the government and the Cuban people for their constribution to build peace in Colombia.

Jorge Rojas, leader of the movement Colombia Humana, reiterated the gratitude to the Caribbean nation and recalled that during the mayorship of former presidential candidate Gustavo Petro, an infant daycare was built named Jose Marti, guided by that beautiful Marti thought that 'children are born to be happy'.

Speakers at the event were also Jose Miguel Blanco, representative of the Association of Cuban Residents in Colombia, who referred to Marti's significance for Cuba;

Lina María Murcia, Colombian doctor graduated in ELAM faculty in Havana and Colombian intellectual Hector Arias

who stressed the ethic pillars of Marti's ideas and the need to return to Marti to find a way out of present problems in the world.

Artists from both nations performed and children placed a flower wreath before the bust of the Apostle in the Cuban diplomatic see and presented a much applauded review of Jose Marti's thoughts.

At the closing ceremony, Santiago Jaramillo, in the name of the Solidarity Movement, handed Cuban ambassador, Jose Luis Ponce, a banner illustrating a world map with Cuban flags in the numerous countries where solidarity aid from Cuba has been received.

The Cuban ambassador thanked the presence and love from all those present, concluding his words referring to the known chorus of the Singer-author of Argentina, Fito Paez, 'Who said that all is lost, Cuba comes to offer her heart'.

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Cuban National Hero inducted to New York Writers Hall of Fame

Jose Marti, Cuba´s National Hero, was included as new member of the New York Writers Hall of Fame in recognition to his work as poet, essayist, journalist and politician.

Thus, the Cuban creator became the second Hispanic writer to enter the exclusive room, after the Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos did it in 2011, according to Cubadebate website.

The proposal was promoted in recent times by Esther Allen, a Marti scholar and translator, and the Cuban-American historian Ada Ferrer, of New York University, both scholars and promoters of his work.

The induction to the select group took place during a ceremony, in which Ferrer and Lisandro Perez, a Cuban American sociologist and professor at John Jay College, were in charge of the opening speeches.

The New York Writers Hall of Fame is a project of the Empire State Center for the Book that annually grants membership to several writers, living or dead, who have marked the cultural history of that great city.

Some of the most famous members are Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Washington Irving, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, Mary McCarthy, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, among others.

This year, along with Marti, five other writers were inducted, two of them also deceased: Ira Gershwin (1896-1983) who wrote many well-known songs with her brother George Gershwin; and E.L. Konigsburg (1930-2013), author of books for children.

The other three authors are the historian and journalist Russell Shorto (1959), Pulitzer Prize-winner novelist Colson Whitehead (1969) and Jacqueline Woodson (1963), current United States Ambassador for Young People´s Literature.

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José Martí and his Integration Dream for Latin America

The figure about José Martí sums up the best of the political and social thought of this continent. His ideas are still valid and are representatives of the nature, idiosyncrasy and culture of our region.

José Marti’s project for the independence of Cuba and Puerto Rico is not linked to another bigger one: the Latin American unity and integration.

It is from that historic perspective that the most recent initiatives of that continental integration such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas and the Trade Treaty with the Peoples (ALBA-TCP), the Association of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Community of Latin American States (CELAC), along with their different characteristic and also many coincidences, are the most important step that has been carried out during the last decades through the path for the long-awaited Latin American integration.

 José Martí and his Integration Dream for Latin America

The pro-independence and anti-imperialist ideas of unity, which José Martí vehemently defended, mark the new guidelines in the Latin American mainland by awaking the people´s awareness.

In Cuba, José Martí found in Fidel Castro his best disciple. The journalist Marta Rojas who was awarded the National Journalism Prize and she said that it was an order and not a coincidence that Fidel Castro was photographed before a picture of José Martí in Santiago de Cuba province, after the attack against the Moncada Garrison. It is an emblematic image which has been not only in books of history but also in the life of Cubans.

After that and during his speech of defense in the trial for the events which took place on July 26th of the year 1953, the young lawyer expressed:

“I bring in my heart José Marti’s ideals.”

 José Martí and his Integration Dream for Latin America

Fidel Castro was José Marti's best disciple and his legacy as a leader of the Cuban Revolution make the local people to think about José Martí´s validity through Fidel Castro´s thought whose knowledge on José Marti’s revolutionary project allowed him to understand the Cuban and world reality and the creating his struggle's program.

Fidel Castro with his word and work was teaching José Marti's entire human, ethical, political, ideological, military, patriotic, Latin American, internationalist and anti-imperialist dimension. Fidel Castro had Jose Martí present through his daily behavior and doctrine on humanism.

 José Martí and his Integration Dream for Latin America

In the book entitled 'Cien Horas con Fidel' (A hundred Hours with Fidel), when he was then interviewed by the intellectual, Ignacio Ramonet, Fidel Castro describes himself as a Socialist, Marxist and Lenin's ideals follower, although he was a follower of Jose Marti’s ideals firstly.

José Martí and Fidel Castro are two outstanding revolutionaries and men of actions with a universal thought. The unity is José Martí´s essential word and as Fidel Castro did himself, he called for internationalism and friendship among the peoples: “the trees must stand in a row so that the seven- mile giant cannot pass through! It is the time of remembering and the united march.

Through seven centuries since the publication of the book entitled 'Nuestra America' it has been created the dream about a united mainland. The second declaration of Havana showed that it was possible to create a different society before the United States. Those two emblematic texts summarize the evolution of the emancipation project that was written by José Martí in the XIX century.

 José Martí and his Integration Dream for Latin America

In the current regional context, the Latin American nations should strengthen their unity about their common values and interests to be able to preserve the independence, sovereignty of Latin America.

As Jose Martí taught to the local people and Fidel Castro also instilled in us, only the alliance of all the progressive forces will enable to set an integration regional plan based on the solidarity, reciprocity, social justice and the preservation of culture and peace.

The Latin American left-wing movement is experiencing a crucial hour. The challenge is not easy and without unity the Latin America would not able to build its future.

By Angélica Paredes López

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President Raul Castro chairs unveiling of Jose Marti's sculpture brought from NY

Cuban President Raul Castro unveiled here on Sunday a sculpture of Cuban national hero, Jose Marti, a replica of the original one located in New York's Central Park.

Castro was accompanied by First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, other local government and political officials, as well representatives of New York's city government, among other invited American personalities.

In the speech, Havana's official historian, Eusebio Leal, stressed that this statue is an absolute copy in every detail of the original work by the American artist Anna Hyatt Huntington, which was finished in 1958.

The famous sculptor made it at the request of the Cuban government of the time as a gift to the U.S. However, due to political differences, the sculpture was not inaugurated until 1965. It now stands close to statues of other Latin American heroes, Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin in the Central Park.

Joseph Mizzi, Chairman of the Bronx Museum of the Arts, stressed the honour he felt at attending the ceremony on behalf of his colleagues.

Mizzi defined the event as a great gesture for the peoples of Cuba and the U.S., and expressed his gratitude at the donations received by over a hundred people for the realization of the project.

"We have shared with friends, close and far, the idea of bringing to Havana an exact replica of Jose Marti's statue in New York, which is our homage to one of the greatest Latin American intellectuals," he said.

The original sculpture is the only one known to date, depicting the figure of Marti at the time of his fall in action at the battle of Dos Rios on May 19, 1895 in eastern Cuba.

It is based on a missing painting by the Cuban painter Esteban Valderrama and weighs three tons, stands 5.67 meters tall, and made in bronze, with a black marble pedestal.

Marti was born on January 28, 1853 and struggled from a young age to free Cuba from Spanish colonialism, until his death in battle at the age of 42.

The 165th anniversary of his birth has been marked with several celebrations this week throughout the country.

The sculpture of Jose Marti is seen during the unveiling ceremony in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 28, 2018. Cuban President Raul Castro unveiled here on Sunday a sculpture of Cuban national hero, Jose Marti, a replica of the original one located in New York's Central Park.

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Venezuela Pays Tribute to Cuban National Hero Jose Marti

The Venezuelan government and society will dedicate an broad program to honor Cuban National Hero Jose Marti, according to the People's Power Ministry of Culture.

On Sunday, 137 years after the arrival in Caracas of the Cuban pro-independence hero, the capital's authorities will hold a commemorative event at Simon Bolivar Square.

Throughout the week and until January 28, which marks the 165th birthday of the Most Universal Cuban, the Jose Marti Our America House, in this capital, will implement a broad agenda of events.

The forum Marti and the Bolivarian Revolution will be held at this institution on Monday, and the screening of documentaries on the life and work of the Cuban hero and poetry readings, among other cultural activities, will take place from Tuesday to Saturday.

The tribute will will end on January 28, at Marti Square in Caracas, where his 165th birthday will be celebrated, in the presence of Culture Minister Ernesto Villegas and Cuban Ambassador to Venezuela Rogelio Polanco, among other personalities.

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Real supporter of José Martí: man of culture

Cuba bids farewell to Armando Hart Dávalos (1930-2017), committed revolutionary politician, educator and intellectual.

Armand Hart’s investigation and promotion work of José Martí’s vast work would be enough to guarantee him an outstanding place in Cuban culture. José Martí was guide and inspiration in the intellectual itinerary of man who devoted a good part of his life to public service.

Because Armando Hart’s contributions to the artistic framework of the nation go far beyond his essays, articles and publications. He was an organizer. He was, in fact, one of the leaders who contributed the most to the consolidation of the cultural politics of the Revolution, the one Fidel Castro outlined since his famous “Words to the Intellectuals” in 1961.

Hart reflected many times on the importance of that speech, which he placed right on vertex of the essential program of the revolutionary process. Without culture you cannot talk about the Revolution or Homeland.

Armando Hart was a man of culture. His dialogue capacity, his understanding of the dynamics and nature of the creative act and his comprehensive vision were important in the institutionalization process of the artistic and literary activity. He headed the Ministry of Culture since its creation in 1976 until 1997.

His imprint as minister reaches our times. It is present in the organization of the institutions that right now guarantee the support to art manifestations, in great part of the system of national prizes, in the creation of culture houses and municipal libraries and museums, as well as in the correction of errors in the application of the cultural politics.

But we must go to a few years before, to the early days of the Revolution. Armando Hart was one of the main architects of the greatest cultural work in Cuba’s twentieth century: the Literacy Campaign.

He was Education Minister from 1959 to 1965: he led the organization of the huge endeavor of teaching hundreds of thousands of Cuban how to read and write, work of an entire nation under the guidance of Fidel.

The last years of his life were particularly productive and were dedicated, especially, to the promotion of the legacy and ethics of our National Hero.

He appointed director of the Martí Program Office. He chaired the José Martí Cultural Society until his death. His columns in national newspapers and magazines approached issues of the pressing daily life from the perspective of the Apostle’s ideas. He was convinced of the validity of his ideas and the need for young people to make them theirs.

Student leader in his youth, fighter against the tyranny of Batista, founder of the July 26th Movement, communist militant… his name will always be associated with the history of the Cuban Revolution. Supporter of Martí and Fidel, worthy of the homage of his contemporaries —in 2010 he received the José Martí Order, the highest decoration of the Republic of Cuba—, he always put his duty ahead. He served the nation from and for culture.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

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