Every time we write on historical figures, during the research process, our options, on what to bring you, expand. Thus, in our quest for content we are naturally pulled to where it all began for Native and non-Native Latin American. We are often taken back to the time when the Spanish ruled most of the Caribbean and Latin-America with the understanding how unpopular that era is among some of us but believing that certain key historical events for our culture traveled via Spain.
As the Spanish rule suffocated the lives of people, this period redifined who we are as the desire for freedom, at first nothing but whispers, became war cries that rippled across the Caribbean and Latin America. In the wake of those revolutionary wars, some men and women led, inspired and with their convinction helped liberate our people. One of those visionaries and leaders was Cuban martyr José Martí. Through his writing Marti inspired his countrymen/women to mobilize.
José Martí started his revolt at the early age of 16 writing a political piece in the newspaper El Diablo Cojuelo and a drama in verse form Abdala, published in the La Patria Libre newspaper. He also wrote one of his most notable poems 10 de octubre which was inspired by the October 10, 1868 revolt led by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and a group of Cuban patriots who took up arms against Spanish colonialism more famously known as La Guerra de los Diez Años.
Martí traveled around the world. He expressed his views fearlessly during his expedition:
José Martí’s greatest contribution to history and Latin America was his unrelenting pursuit of independence for his native Cuba, his countless manuscripts, poetry and writings that document a man’s quest and conviction. Today, we can honor his memory and legacy by writing to inform, educate and create awareness about the need for the international community to not forget Cuba. Though independent, Cuba remains unable to freely pursuit Marti’s wishes for his country.
Dos patrias tengo yo: Cuba y la noche.
¿O son una las dos? No bien retira
su majestad el sol, con largos velos
y un clavel en la mano, silenciosa
Cuba cual viuda triste me aparece.
¡Yo sé cuál es ese clavel sangriento
que en la mano le tiembla! Está vacío
mi pecho, destrozado está y vacío
en donde estaba el corazón. Ya es hora
de empezar a morir. La noche es buena
para decir adiós. La luz estorba
y la palabra humana. El universo
habla mejor que el hombre.
que invita a batallar, la llama roja
de la vela flamea. Las ventanas
abro, ya estrecho en mí. Muda, rompiendo
las hojas del clavel, como una nube
que enturbia el cielo, Cuba, viuda, pasa…