|JOSE JULIAN MARTI PEREZ (1853-1895):|
Martí Pérez (1853-95) was a distinguished revolutionary patriot and is
considered to be Cuba's national hero. From
a very young age, he began to demonstrate his social and
patriotic concerns and his love for independence, which led him to be
sentenced and sent to political prison when he was 16 years old.
On January 15, 1875, he was banished to Spain. After arriving in Madrid,
he published his essay Political
Imprisonment in Cuba, which constitutes a well-grounded, forceful
denunciation of the atrocities of the colonial regime.
his forced exile he travels to France, Mexico and Guatemala.
In the two latter countries, as well as in Spain, he does outstanding
work as an intellectual. He returned to Cuba availing himself of the general amnesty
decreed at the end of the Ten Year’s War.
He participated, along with other patriots, in the conspiracy that
resulted in the so-called “Guerra Chica” or Little War.
the end of 1879 he is once again deported to Spain and there he continues his
campaign to denounce the atrocities of the colonial regime.
From Spain he traveled to New York where
he devoted himself to promoting the ideal of independence among the Cuban
emigrants. After a brief sojourn in Venezuela in 1881, he returned to
the United States where he lived uninterruptedly until 1892.
During that long period, he devoted himself completely to the work of
organizing the war in Cuba and he founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party, which
would bring together all the patriots who had emigrated and those who had stayed
on the island, and of which he was elected president by the unanimous vote of
embarked on the Titanic task of bringing together all the patriotic forces in
favor of independence and of organizing what he called “The Necessary War”.
Despite huge obstacles, the war is resumed on February 24, 1895.
the Montecristi Manifesto, a document he signed along with Máximo
Gómez on March 25, 1895, and which would turn out to be the program of the
revolutionary movement, he clearly states “that the war is not against the
Spaniard but against the colonial system and government”, he condemns the
cultivation of a single crop, racism, the scorn for the indigenous masses, the
concentration of culture in the cities and other problems existing in the
American republics and expresses his confidence that the Cuban people would know
how to build a country free of all these imperfections.
extraordinary clearness and certainty of Martí’s thinking enabled Fidel Castro to proclaim him,
more than half a century afterwards, the mastermind of the new stage of the
struggle for true independence initiated on July 26, 1953 .
signing the Montecristi Manifesto, Martí left for Cuba to demonstrate that he
was not only a man of ideas, but a leader capable of laying down his life for
his principles. On April 11, 1895,
he landed off a small boat, along with Máximo Gómez, on a remote part of
eastern Cuba known as Playitas de Cajobabo.
After a long trek they manage to establish contact with the revolutionary
forces. Taking into consideration
his extraordinary contributions to the cause of independence and his
unquestionable leadership, he is conferred the rank of Major General, the
highest rank in the Liberation
May 19, 1895, this outstanding intellectual and brilliant Cuban thinker fell in
Dos Ríos, in eastern Cuba, in a battle against Spanish colonialist troops.