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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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.

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