Cuba's National Hero José Martí

He was dressed in black. His eloquent hands carried the pain of the prison and his spacious forehead illustrated the lines of a fiery verb thought. He was a small man, rather fragile-looking; however, a feverish force dominated his body: his love for Cuba, his Homeland.

This is how José Julián Martí Pérez was, the great lover of Cuba, the Apostle, the Cuban who was born on January 28, 1853; a historical coincidence, the same year as the death of the priest Félix Varela. But nothing in that light on Paula Street would be fortuitous, but revelation: Pepe was the son of Spaniards, but as Cuban as those lands of the Zapata Swamp where he arrived with only 9 years of age to discover the horror of slavery.

In Martí, would be combined as never before in a Creole, an indigenous feeling for his land and universal preaching in which love of neighbor and contempt for injustice laid the foundations of a Cuban moral ethic that lasts until today. An exceptional man in whom fruitful ethical and human qualities coexisted, a Tribune who aroused passions with his beautiful oratory, avant-garde poet, a journalist with a sharp pen, writer for children, founder of a political party, "author of unity" and manager of the independence war.

For some, he was the Maestro; for others, the Delegate or the President; for all of us, the man who restarted a just, necessary war, and who knew how to put the truth of Cuba as high as the palms.

Cintio Vitier - passionate about his life and work- would say that with this man "Cuba and America seemed to open up to all possibilities and overcome all fatalisms."

Therefore, the poverty, the misgivings of some, the frustrated plans did not matter; nor the separation from the family, the distance from the Homeland. An undeniable will: the independence of Cuba moved José Martí his entire life.

"Cuba, what would become of you if you had let your Apostle die?"

Every January 28, for 168 years now, Martí has overcome the difficulties and fatalism of history. He is eternally reborn. The Apostle of Cuba’s independence continues to climb the yoke of the meek oxen to choose the star that illuminates and kills. And he creates and grows up, facing the sun.