Santiago de Cuba, January 29th.- The urgency of a deep cultural and philosophical reflection is a commandment in these current changing times. The legacy that the Apostle of Cuban independence Jose Martí gave us in such sense is quite necessary.
In 1887, José Martí expressed when analyzing with prophetic vision the risks that were rising in the Unites States: “The vital problems in America are rising up in the space as great and slow ghosts. These times are asking for something more than imagination factories and plots of beauty. In all the faces and in all the countries, signs of the times, doubts and distresscan be seen. The entire world is today a huge question.”
Those words were said more than one hundred years ago and they are still observed. How to face this challenge nowadays when it is presented in a more dramatic and universal way?
Fortunately, Cubans count on the amount of philosophical ideas that were part of Martí´s thinking. He was a universal Cuban, a man of all times.
We have the privilege of knowing his ideas about “the science of the spirit” as he called it. Also, the ideas he expressed with a poetic beauty in the Verses “Yugo y Estrella” or his outlines regarding Pedagogy as in the bonds between kindness and intelligence.
Likewise, we shared his concept that every man has a sleeping beast inside it, but at the same time we are wonderful beings capable of dominating it.
The criteria related to the importance of culture and education in the human freedom process, or his thoughts on ethics and esthetics and their relationship: “Either you condemn us together or we are both saved” are incredibly useful and worthy to be observed today.
The same happens with his ideas about the world´s balance that were analyzed in the individual, social and universal dimensions.
José Martí is a summary of diverse values and knowledge. The Latin-American and Bolívar´s tradition were enriched with his life in Mexico, Central America and Venezuela. The anti- imperialist ideas and feelings were born in the same American Empire, where he lived for more than 15 years and where he bettered his political, social and philosophical thinking from the view of Latin-American interests.
He truly was the deepest analyst on the American reality of the second half of the XIX century.
José Martí is the highest paradigm of two centuries of Cuban and American history. This is a culture that since the moment it was born is focus on actions. Therefore, it is also related to the immediate and urgent problems of the current situation.
The commitment of his followers must be one: to learn even more about the value of his work and ideas and to use in a better way the verbs to love and to think. They must do that in order to assume Martí´s way of thinking and to face the challenges that the humanity is dealing with nowadays so they can keep it safe.
By: Aída Quintero Dip
Translated by: Ileana Rivera Salazar