Exhibition in Cuba will illustrate Jose Marti's presence in America

The photographic exhibition 'Presencia de Marti en Nuestra America' (Marti's Presence in our America), which includes images of works created in honor of the Cuban National Hero in different countries of the region, will be held in December in this capital, according to organizers.

The exhibition, coordinated by the diplomatic missions of the Latin American and Caribbean Group accredited before the Cuban government (GRULAC), will take place at the Marti's Studies Center on the 4th at 3:00 p.m. local time.

The exhibition will be held to honor the memory of Jose Julian Marti Perez, the Apostle of Cuban Independence, as well as the 500th anniversary of the founding of the Villa de San Cristobal de La Habana, celebrated on November 16.

Among the images snapshots of statues, monuments, busts or facilities created or named in honor of the Cuban National Hero feature, which are located throughout the main cities of Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Spanish royal couple pays tribute to Jose Marti in Havana

The King of Spain, Felipe VI, and his wife, Queen Letizia, today paid tribute to the National Hero of Cuba, Jose Marti, at the beginning of their activities on their official visit to Cuba.

In the Plaza de la Revolucion, before the huge statue of the hero of Cuba's independence struggle against Spanish colonialism, the royal couple lay a floral wreath in the company of Deputy Foreign Minister Anayansi Rodriguez.

The guests then headed to the State Council of the Republic of Cuba, where President Miguel Diaz-Canel will head an official reception, after which he will hold official talks with Felipe VI.

The royal couple arrived to Havana last night and today will also participate in the inauguration of the photographic exhibition 'España-Cuba, contigo en la distancia' (Spain-Cuba: With you in the distance), allegorical to the relations between both nations, a joint work of the Prensa Latina and EFE news agencies.

According to the program of the visit, before traveling to the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba on Thursday, Felipe VI and Letizia will tour the historic center of this capital, and present Havana City Historian Eusebio Leal with the Royal and Distinguished Spanish Order of Charles III, Grand Cross Breast Star.

They will also tour centers of scientific interest in the capital, and participate in other activities in the context of the celebrations to mark the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana. In Santiago de Cuba they will pay tribute to the Spanish soldiers who fell in the Spanish-American war, among other activities.

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Values Are Weapons as Cuba Defends Doctors against US intervention

The George W. Bush administration initiated the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program (CMPP) in 2006. The idea was to persuade overseas Cuban doctors to abandon their posts and relocate to the United States. Cuba’s medical solidarity programs, in place for half a century, would suffer. President Obama ended the CMPP in January, 2017. Now the U.S. government wants to reinstate it.

Cubans defending medical outreach associate what the doctors do with ideals of human dignity and solidarity. U.S. rationales for their own interventions are either unconvincing as to humane purposes or not for public knowledge.

The U.S. government thus speaks of bringing democracy to Cuba and Venezuela. That those nations are under U.S. siege brings to mind the Vietnamese town Ben Tre. U.S. forces destroyed it in 1968 in order “to save it.” Otherwise, what many regard as the actual purpose of U.S. interventions, the commandeering of power and wealth, is unmentionable in mainstream circles.

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Cuba demonstrates coherence between intervention in the health care of other peoples and values. Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, speaking in Buenos Aires in 2003, stated that, “Our country is able to send the doctors that are needed to the darkest corners of the world. Doctors, not bombs!” He had just proclaimed Cuba’s unwillingness (and inability) to launch “preventative surprise attacks in any dark corner of the world.”

Marisnely Echemendía Concepción recently sounded a strong note of human solidarity. “[F]ormed by the revolution and following the teachings of Marti, Che, and Fidel,” the Cuban doctor carries out “health promotion and disease prevention” in Caracas.

“I believe in altruism, in humanitarianism, and in internationalism,” she states. “These make up the essence of medical education in my country and validate this teaching of the Apostle (Marti): ‘Helping someone in need is part duty and part happiness.’”

And, “I would have it known and widely so – by the peoples of Our America and throughout the world – that my humanist and solidarity-based vocation can be relied upon, always. My sole interest is to improve the health of those we care for. Political affiliation, race, and religious creed don’t matter.”

Besides, “We Cuban medical graduates take on an international commitment that remains and goes with us wherever we are needed. After all, a doctor is only a slave to his or her calling as a humanist.”

Revolutionary Cuba puts values into practice. Some 600,000 Cubans have provided medical services “in more than 160 countries.” Cuba has educated 35,613 health professionals from 138 countries at no personal cost to the students.

In assailing the Cuban doctors, U.S. officialdom has machinations, lies, and force at its disposal, but little else.

On May 7 Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey asked Secretary of State Pompeo to reinstitute the CMPP. Rubio and Menendez had previously introduced a Senate resolution to that effect.

That resolution cited “human trafficking,” “forced labor,” and “salaries directly garnished by their government” as characterizing Cuban doctors’ experience in Brazil. Some 8000 of them had joined former President Dilma Rousseff’s “More Doctors” program to care for destitute and underserved Brazilians. In late 2018 the Cuban government withdrew them due to President-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s animosity.

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U.S. ally Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States, backs restoring the CMPP. He views Cuba’s pay arrangements with other states as “modern slavery.” Cuba uses its doctors for “cementing alliances with other countries.”

Serving abroad, the doctors receive their regular salaries to which are added bonuses for overseas work and coverage for living expenses abroad. Salaries are deposited in a Cuban bank or paid to a family member. Most countries hosting the doctors reimburse Cuba’s government at rates high enough for the funds to serve other purposes.

Funds received from Brazil paid for medical equipment and modernization of Cuban medical facilities. In return for the services of Cuban doctors, Venezuela guarantees Cuba delivery of low priced oil.

Thus U.S. meddling in Venezuela impinges upon Cuba. A recent New York Times report charged Cuban doctors in Venezuela with pressuring patients to support the government and political party of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The implication was that all the Cuban doctors did likewise.

National Security Advisor John Bolton and others in the Trump administration claim that 20,000 Cuban military personnel operate in Venezuela. The unspoken hint is that 20,000 Cuban health workers serving now in Venezuela are military people. Cuba’s Granma newspaper offers perspective: “140,000 Cuban health workers have provided … services in Venezuela” – which would have been lots of soldiers.

The Times article and the Bolton allegations are slanderous. Bolton is an old hand. As under secretary of state for arms control in 2002, he falsely charged Cuba with having ”provided dual-use biotechnology to … rogue states.”

Cuban journalist Randy Alonso Falcon explains why the U.S. government would revive the CMPP. He cites “barefaced brain drain” and disruptive effects leading to reduced income for Cuba’s government. He could have mentioned U.S. enthusiasm for sullying the image of Cuba as paragon of medical solidarity.

Weeks before he died in combat in 1895, emblematic Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti advised a young person in the United States: “Whoever has a lot inside doesn’t need much outside. Whoever is all display on the outside, doesn’t have much inside.”

Dr. Fernando González Isla, head of Cuba’s medical mission in Venezuela, tweeted the quotation. Dr. Marisnely Echemendía Concepción re-tweeted it. Identification with values and ethics must be Cuba’s special weapon in this conflict.

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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