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

  • Published in Specials

UNASUR Library Receives Cuban Donation with José Martí Books

Quito, April 5 (Prensa Latina) The library of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), located in the Middle of the World, received today books, as well as audiovisual and musical material donated by the Cuban Embassy.

The complete works of José Martí and facsimile versions of the Golden Age (children's stories), also written by the Cuban national hero and renowned writer, journalist and Latin American thinker, were part of the donation.

Other publications related to his life and work, as well as works in the voice of the singer of the Caribbean archipelago Omara Portuondo, complete the donation, Yudy Rivera, the first secretary of the Cuban embassy in Ecuador, told Prensa Latina.

'The library is nourished by donations made by almost all UNASUR member countries and diplomatic representations of other nations accredited in Ecuador and Cuba has, of course, joined in this type of actions, in connection with the celebrations on April 4, Day of José Martí Pioneer Organization,' she clarified.

Meanwhile, Liset Lantigua, head of Gabriel García Márquez Library, located in the headquarters of the multilateral forum, thanked the 'important' gift, which will complement the fund the institution has.

'Here they will be very useful, because we did not have the Complete Works of Jose Marti, and we are also pleased to have the stories narrated in the Golden Age, as well as the audiovisual material on the magazine Origins and Cuba,' she said.

The Cuban award-winning librarian and writer added that some of the literature with which they count makes a sweep of the history of the continent and contains some essays, chronicles and loose books of Martí, but it did not have the Complete Works.

According to her, the main function of Gabriel García Márquez Library is to promote the habit of reading and contribute to the works that guide students from educational institutions located in Ecuador, although people from anywhere can access to it.

One of the actions that characterize the library is the loan of books, which, according to Lantigua, always return and there are some people that even after the return, takes them back with them.

With the Cuban donation, UNASUR and its library expand the possibilities of the visitors, to know the ideology of one of the main Latin American independence leaders.

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Cuba Remembers Restart of Struggles for Independence

The Cubans are celebrating today the 122nd anniversary of the resumption of the unfinished battle to conquer their independence from the Spanish metropolis, known for historiography as the Necessary War.

That day, the veterans of the so-called Ten Years' War (1868-1878), also known as the Great War, and The Little War (La Guerra Chiquita-1879-1880), as well as the new patriotic generations, attended the call to arms for independence.

On December 8, 1894, Jose Marti drafted and signed the uprising plan in Cuba, along with Colonels Mayia Rodriguez, representing Dominican Maximo Gomez, elected since 1884 as General in Chief of the Liberating Army, and Enrique Collazo, on behalf of the country's patriots.

The period known as the 'Tregua Fecunda' (Fecund Truce/inter war period) was between both wars, during which Jose Marti, main organizer of the war in 1895, managed to reunite the patriots around the Cuban Revolutionary Party, with the express purpose of founding 'the new indispensable Republic to the American balance.'

Although the victory was snatched by the intervention of the United States, facilitated among other things by the fall in combat of agglutinating political-military leaders such as Antonio Maceo and Jose Marti, the war was the scene for the teaching for later times from the political-military viewpoint, especially as regards the need for a single command.

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Cuba Thanks Support for Marti Sculpture Project in New York

New York, Jan 31 (Prensa Latina) Cuban officials have thanked today in this city the support of institutions and New Yorkers to the project to take to the island a replica of the statue of the pro-independence hero, Jose Marti, located in the Central Park.

Cuba's permanent representative to the United Nations, Anayansi Rodriguez, and Havana historian, Eusebio Leal, acknowledged the efforts made for years to materialize the initiative, such as those carried out by the Bronx Museum of the Arts, through its Friends of Jose Marti sculpture project.

Thanks to the support of many of you, we have reached this point, and we are close of turning the noble dream into reality, the ambassador said during an event at the island's Permanent Mission to the UN where dozens of people participated.

Leal highlighted the contribution of lawyers, donors and other Cubans and Americans enrolled in the project, which he assured, could take to Cuba in the first months of this year the replica of the equestrian bronze sculpture by Anna Huntington (1876 -1973).

'When I first knew this statue 20 years ago, I dreamed that we should do a replica to take this wonderful work to Cuba, which represents our national hero in the exact moment of his death,' he said.

The historian provided details of the process to boost the initiative and obtain the required permission, which included the generosity of the Bronx Museum of the Arts executive director, Holly Block, the approval of the State Department and the authorization of New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio.

According to Leal, Block agreed that the New York institution would be responsible for collecting the necessary funds, about $2.5 million USD.

Executives from the Bronx Museum of the Arts explained that the works of the reproduction of the Jose Marti statue began by a complex process to obtain three-dimensional images from different angles.

Due to the weight of the statue, more than six tons, and its location in a busy area of Central Park in New York, it was unthinkable to dismantle it to take it to a workshop or any other variant than the digital scan of the figure, made by an extraordinary team, they emphasized.

  • Published in Culture
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