José Martí Today

Santiago de Cuba, January 28th.- The Apostle must always be remembered. In the 166 Anniversary of his birth, we need to go back to a very important topic. Many Cuban and foreign intellectuals who have study Marti´s work have stated the reality. However, there are still people who think of Martí merely as a writer and they forget his fundamental work related to politics.

Martí´ s literary legacy should not be forgotten. Nevertheless, journalism is essential in his work. We are not focusing on the amount of his journalistic works but in the presence of his Latin American ideas in his writings. The essence of his ideas is present in journalism which is a part of his political speech.

José Martí is the most important Cuban and Latin America political figure of the second half of the XIX century. Martí was a wonderful poet (he is considered to be one of the creators of modernism) and a miraculous writer (he mastered several literary genres).Despite this fact, his political work is the most important aspect of his work. It has two basic communicative platforms: journalism and oratory. They were both communicative ways to pursue independence.

His fundamental work has a political nature. Its main antecedent was the Cuban independence struggle. Martí is an heir of Varela´s political speech and the political struggles during the Ten Years´ War. Let us summarize the ideas of Luis Toledo Sande, Pedro Pablo Rodríguez and other scholars about this topic.

His two greater political contributions were the creation of the Cuban Revolutionary Party (PRC) and Patria Newspaper on March 14th, 1892. The Party was intended to prepareeverything in order to continue fighting for Cuban independence and to prevent the States from dominating the continent. Even though Patria was not officially the instrument of the PRC, it contained most of Martí´ s writings about its creation.

Not in vain José Martí is Cuba´s National Hero. His ideas guided the final stage in Cuban independence struggle that ended with the victory on January 1st, 1959. Fidel Castro declared that Martí was the intellectual author of the Attack to the Moncada Garrison (second great military fortress during Batista´s dictatorship and it represented the interests of American governments) when he attacked the place. This action showed that Martí´ s ideas were alive and they would not die in the year of its centenary.

The historical leader of the Cuban Revolution proclaimed the Apostle´ s ideas in crucial moments of the Cuba´s revolutionary history. The Battle of Ideas came out of José Martí´ s concept of ideas above strength. This is a popular movement with deep political and cultural roots that unified Cuban people and a great part of the international community to rescue the child Elián González who was practically kidnapped in the States.

The Apostle´s ideas that are reflected in his wonderful journalistic work and his passionate speech are present nowadays because José Martí is a man of our time. This statement could be proved with numerous examples. However, we will refer to the approval of the new Constitution of the Republic of Cuba which will go to a referendum next February 24th.

The new legislation is a democratic project. Its ideas are in accordance with Martí´s ideas. It is a Constitution that opens Cuba to the world but keeps its identity. It is a legislation which is committed to maintain our independence and sovereignty. We do not exaggerate when we say that a way to continue his legacy is to make sure of continuing Cuban socialism.

By: Osmar Álvarez Clavel

Translated by: Ileana Rivera Salazar

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