Biography of José Julián Martí y Pérez (1853-1895)

Politician and writer precursor, Cuban independence leader of his country, born in Havana on 28 January 1853 and died on the field of battle of Dos Ríos in 1895, which is considered a symbol of the struggle for the freedom of America and whose memory is revered in his country.

Writer, poet, journalist, translator, critic, diplomat, teacher and commercial employee, José Martí participated at a young age in the liberation of Cuba, so it was captured and deported to Spain, whose capital he/she studied law and philosophy and letters. After being authorized his return to Cuba on the occasion of the signing of the peace of Zanjón, in 1878 he/she returned to be expelled from his country because of his subversive activities. On January 5, 1892 promoted a meeting in Tampa, Florida which was attended by various pro-independence associations in exile and during which the Commission approved the foundations of the Cuban Revolutionary Party. On January 29, 1895 Martí ordered the beginning of the rebellion against the Spanish rule.

Marti, which was called "the voice of America", is also one of the greatest American poets and the most outstanding figure of the stage of transition to modernism, which meant the arrival of new artistic ideals in America. As a poet is known as Ismaelillo (1882), work that can be considered an advancement of the modernist budgets by the domain of form over content; Free verses (1878-1882), the age of gold (1889) and simple verses (1891), this last decidedly modernist and dominated by autobiographical notes and popular character. In A my brothers died on 27 November (1872), published during his exile in Spain, Martí dedicated his verses to students killed in a massacre which took place on that date. His only novel, fatal friendship, also called Lucía Jérez and signed with the pseudonym of Adelaida Ral, was published by deliveries in the journal the Latin American between May and September of 1885; Although its argument is dominated by the love theme, in this work of tragic end also social elements appear. Among his dramatic works are adulterous (1873), love with love will pay (1875) and Asala. He/She also founded a magazine for children, the golden age, in which appeared the baby tales and the pompous Mr Don, mischievous Nene and black doll, and collaborated with various publications from different countries, such as La Revista Venezolana, Public Opinion of Caracas, La Nación of Buenos Aires, or the Universal magazine of Mexico. Chronicler and outstanding critic, made many of their authentic texts, essays, some of revolutionary character as the political prison in Cuba (1871) - of great lyrical strength-, Montecristi manifesto or his campaign diary. His complete works (1963-1965) consist of 25 volumes.

José Martí, "I am a sincere man" (simple verses).

Life and work

His father, Mariano Martí, was a natural Valencia artillery Sergeant and his mother, Leonor Pérez, was a native of the Canary Islands. The home of José Martí was not poor but humble. The work of police, poorly paid guard, forced the family to return to Valencia to recover the health of the father and improve their economic situation. However, two years later, returned to Havana asking the father to be readmitted to the colonial administration in which served various jobs: police for the recognition of ships in Batabano, warden of police in Guanabacoa and local judge at Habanaba. Martí child accompanied his father on some of these destinations. There he/she met a different to the city life, you could appreciate the grandeur of nature and moved with the sad spectacle of slavery and his traffic, his father, as a local judge was control. Deposed from his post, leaving father and son for Belize, travel of which little is known, but which is your first contact with our America.

Received the first studies Martí, between travel and travel, in the College of San Ancleto, where he/she meets one of his best friends, Fermín Valdés Domínguez, and in São Paulo, where you find the pedagogue, poet and independence Rafael María Mendive, a definite influence in its formation. At the age of twelve, completed elementary education, he/she entered Municipal upper primary education of boys school, institution led by Mendive, who, to the economic difficulties of the family, took Marti under his tutelage, afford their education. The teacher soon noticed the great qualities of your student and this was able to understand what is right and necessary for an independent Cuba.

In October 1868, unsuccessful the information board, which had made possible a new model in the wake of the Democratic Revolution who in September had overthrown Isabel II, and colonial, erupted in Middle East war. Martí was fifteen years old, but was mindful of its duty. Under cover of the freedom of the press that had been ordered by the new captain general, Domingo Dulce, edit, with Valdés Domínguez, El Diablo Cojuelo, and in another of his first journalistic adventures, La Patria Libre, which shows the hand of Mendive, inserted his drama Abdala, "written expressly for the fatherland". Set in an imaginary African region, a Prince, against the wish of his mother, leads his people to fight against the invader, regain the freedom and die for his country. A few days later, January, 1869, as a result of the events of the Teatro Villanueva, Mendive was arrested and deported to Spain. It couldn't end the year without his disciple ran the same fate. One afternoon in October, home of Valdés Domínguez, Marti and his friends mocked a group of volunteers, adept armed militias to the colonial power, passing by the street. That same night, appears on a household registration, a letter to a school-fellow he/she qualified an apostate by an entry in the Spanish army. Authorities were unable to determine who was the author of the correspondence, by the great similarity of the lyrics by Marti and Valdés Domínguez, but at trial Martí assumed full responsibility, which earned him a sentence of six years in prison.

Seventeen was the horror of prison that give vivid description in one of his first works the political prison in Cuba: "Infinite pain was to be the only name of the page". They described in detail life in prison, the work in the quarries, the cruelty of the guards: "I will turn away in shame the eyes of this Spain that has no heart" and says that, despite the political developments of the next six years, never you can regenerate or be free while it maintained a prison system that is "living negation of every noble principle and any idea who wants to develop". It was not an issue of politics, but of human dignity and a lesson to not forget in his life. Under pressure from the family, they moved him to the farm of José María Sardá, in the Isle of pines. From prison came up with a wound inglinal, which mortificó him the rest of his life, and with a piece of iron from their chains fused ring who always accompanied him. In January 1871 part deported to the metropolis.

In Madrid it just manages to survive in different jobs and is integrated in the environment of the Cuban exiles. Carlos Sauvalle, Manuel Fraga, Calixto Bernal were some of their usual fellow members. With them he/she discussed politics and together they got a Republican newspaper, the Federal jury, played in their columns some of their demands. Your pages are which denounce the arrest, trial and execution in November 1871, eight students of medicine and will be Republicans, supported by the information from Cuban exile, who requested an investigation into what happened in the courts. In addition to politics, Martí had time to enroll in law at the Central University of Madrid, attending the Athenaeum (where is soaked from krausismo) and go to the Gallery of the courts. Fermín Valdés Domínguez, one of the accused students of medicine that he/she had seen commuted her death sentence of exile, came to Madrid at the end of 1872. For Martí was a moral and economic comfort because the friend accompanies the family fortune. Sick, he/she moved to Zaragoza, to recover health and to continue his law studies.

On the banks of the Ebro, it surprised the proclamation of the Republic, a regime without sense for Marti if it was not able to grant the independence of Cuba: "the Republic of Spain would then be Republic of unreason and ignominy, and the Government of freedom would be this time Government liberticide". Their brochure, the Spanish Republic against the Cuban revolution, was widely disseminated by Madrid and they were not few Republican politicians who read it, although their ideas, as he/she confesses in letter to the independence leader from New York Nestor Ponce de Leon, "does not profess them more than a Spanish Minister". However, regretted the coup of Pavia which ended the Republic and extolled the rebelliousness of the Aragonese who tried to prevent him: "for Argon, in Spain / I have my heart / one place around Argon, / Franco, fierce, loyal, without Sana'a". In Zaragoza, wrote drama adulterous, inspired by a memory of your stay in Madrid. At the end of December 1874, graduated in law and philosophy and letters, received the news that his family had moved to Mexico where he/she lived from charity public. After a brief trip through Europe with Valdés Domínguez, he/she arrived in Mexico in January 1875.

In Mexico came into the knowledge of our America. There he/she met the reality of the new colonial power, Latin American Nations, but slaves of their past; republics of warlords and oligarchs, where Indian, outcast, was a hindrance. In the Aztec capital, he/she received the news of the death of his sister Anna and a poem dedicated to his memory, in the purest romantic style, inaugurated its collaboration with the Universal magazine. Thanks to Manuel Mercado, friend of the family - for Marti since "a brother" - and well related with the Government of Lerdo de Tejada, got inserted into Mexican society. As well as a regular contributor to the Universal magazine, developed an extensive cultural activity which made him to be present at the Liceo Hidalgo, in the Foundation of the Sociedad Alarcón; translates to Víctor Hugo and sipping the first literary successes with the staging of their proverb love with love is paid. Marti becomes character known and appreciated in the Mexican political, journalistic, and cultural circles. Attributed to her various romances, prompted by his reputation as a poet, but it will finally be the Cuban Carmen Zayas Bazán with which to engage in marriage. In Mexico nor forgot Cuba; Nicolás Azcárate, Havana lawyer, shared the daily life of a war that languished and discussed at length on the future of the island.

The difficulties of the Government of Lerdo de Tejada recommended you leave Mexico and moving to Guatemala. Mexican passport in the name of Julián Pérez, he/she made a brief stay in Havana that served to see for himself the impossibility of a pro-independence triumph. In Guatemala, letters of recommendation from the father of Valdés Domínguez won him the favour of the Government of Justo Rufino Barrios, and it was appointed Professor of literature and history of the Normal School of Guatemala (directed by Cuban José María Izaguirre) and Vice-President of the literary "El Porvenir" society. Although fell in love with the daughter of a Guatemalan general, la Niña de Guatemala, ("I want to, in the shadow of a wing, / tell this story in flower: / La Niña de Guatemala, / which died of love"), returned to Mexico to marry Carmen Zayas Bazán. After publishing your booklet in the Aztec capital Guatemala, returned to this and in solidarity with Izaguirre, who had been deposed in the direction of the Normal School, resigned from their chairs.

For Martí was waiting time. The signing of the peace of Zanjón opened a new political time in Cuba and was willing to use it (for more information about this period of Cuban history see the paragraph the Guerra Larga (1868-1878) and the new Cuba Cuba voice: history, contemporary times). In July 1878, Martí wrote to Manuel Mercado: "would have to say to V. how much superb purpose, how powerful start boiling in my soul?" what took my unhappy people in my head, and that seems to me that a breath of mine will depend on a day their freedom? ... Not to be childish martyr; to work for mine, and to fortify me for the fight I'm going to Cuba. You will earn the most impatient, not the more ardent. "And I will win in time: not in strength and courage". The two September of that same year he/she landed in Havana.

The peace of Zanjón had put an end to a decade of war in Cuba. The colonial power had to yield to the Creole thrust and accept political representation in courts, county councils and municipalities; He/She had to admit the formation of parties and a set of minimum freedoms. Ten years of war had served for Cubans to pursue a path of political reform within the legality of the Spanish State. However, Marti deeply wary of the new political time. You got a job at the law firms of Nicolás Azcárate and Miguel Viondi, convinced both autonomist. In November his son was born and he/she was soon after appointed, possibly due to Azacarate, Secretary of the section of literature from one of the leading Cuban cultural institutions, the artistic Lyceum and literary of Guanabacoa. Candidate for cuts by Santiago de Cuba in the elections of April 1879, only obtained 129 votes: "[...] elections that were supposed to made by the subject revolutionaries not send a single representative to Parliament where they were to decide their destinies"what happened to have achieved his Deputy Act and have agreed, in this way, to the constituted legality? We will never know; What we know is that he/she soon began to conspire with the leader of color Juan Gualberto Gómez and challenge in public, even in front of the Governor general, the newly constituted legality: "because the man who cries out, is worth more than that pleads: which insists suggests that grants." And rights are taken, are not ordered; they start, they are not begging." Restarted the war in the East, Marti, Vice-President at La Habana of the revolutionary new York Committee, and Gomez were arrested and deported to the peninsula.

Marti wasn't willing to accept exile: late October arrives in Madrid; in December it is in Paris, where he/she met Sarah Bernhardt and on 3 January in New York. Days later made in Steck Hall his Cuban Affairs speech: letter to a wary of the civil element emigration. Glossing of the ten years ' war and proposes how the future revolution should be lead for triumph: "this is not the revolution of the cholera. It is the revolution of reflection"; a movement with its rules, democratic, fair: "when necessary an evil, evil is made. And when nothing enough to avoid this, the appropriate study it and direct it, to not overwhelm us and rush with their excess"in which all, black and white, free and slaves, are necessary:"they know that we have suffered as much as them and most of them; the illustrated man suffers in political bondage more than the ignorant in the easement of the finance man; that pain is live as of the powers he/she has to endure it; they did a revolution for our freedom, and we have done it and continue it fiercely now, for our freedom and yours"; a revolution, in short, with a clear will to triumph: "rather than relent in the effort to free and prosperous country, the South Sea joins the North Sea, and will be born a snake of an Eagle egg!". Speaking of Martí persuaded Veterans: Acting President of the Cuban Revolutionary Committee.

Nevertheless, the war returns to fail. Martí understood that there was a need for unity of action, create a vigorous movement capable not only of obtaining independence, but found a Republic; the time of a "fruitful truce". He/She began to collaborate with the American press, The Sun and The Hour and to feel that special relationship of love and hatred he/she always had with the United States; admiration for his system of civil liberties, but a contempt for a Republic which denigrated the alien and showed imperialist ambitions: "Love so much to the homeland of Lincoln, as much as we fear Cutting homeland".

In early 1881, dissolved the Cuban Revolutionary Committee, left for Venezuela, a scale more knowledge of our America: "they have a traveller from came to Caracas a day at dusk, and shake off the road dust not asked where you could eat or fell asleep but how was where was the statue of Bolivar." And they have traveller, only high and odorous trees of the plaza, cried in front of the statue, which seemed that it moved, as a parent when a child is approached." Letters of various friends facilitated you its work. He/She met the President Guzmán Blanco, participated in the sessions of the trade Club, which pronounce speeches that increase his fame, and taught at various colleges. Writes in the National Opinion and founded Revista Venezolana, a magazine of literature, rhetoric, and Americanist, perhaps the same spirit that, in its previous American scale, encouraged the unborn Revista Guatemalteca. But again that America's leaders cut the path of our America. If in Mexico was Porfirio Diaz and in Guatemala- Justo Rufino Barrios, Venezuela White Guzmán which denounce an own criterion magazine. In number two, a biographical sketch of Cecilio Acosta, adversary of Guzmán Blanco, caused that all the vitriol of power cebase Martí and its publication. The last number of the Venezuelan magazine came out on 25 July, 28 July, five months after their arrival, Martí started heading to New York. A new disappointment; a new teaching which should not be an independent Cuba. Nevertheless, in the farewell, writes his Venezuelan friend Fausto Teodoro de Aldrey: "America I am son: to her I owe".

Back to New York continues, under the pseudonym, its collaboration with the National Opinion, until political tension loosens and can retrieve your signature. He/She also writes in the Golden Gift (N. York), La América (Madrid), pen and El Pasatiempo (Bogota) and La Nación (Buenos Aires). Translates to the editorial Apelton and works as a commercial employee at Lyons & Co, but don't forget your political duty and intervenes as a member of the Committee patriotic organizer of the emigration Cuban in New York. In 1882 appears Ismaelillo, collection of poems which is rinsing worthwhile for the absence of the son.

Front of the romanticism of his compositions before, very influenced by Cuban poets (Milanes, Heredia, Mendive), with Ismaelillo emerges a new lyric raised controversy among critics. Some, more concerned with aesthetics, considered the poems of Marti a precursor of modernism. Others, more attentive to the lyrical renewal involving, see it as the foundational work of the new literary movement. Minor art, predominance of the seguidilla, memories of Christmas carols and popular poems: "for a dwarf Prince / this feast is made." / Has blond hulls, / soft hulls; / By white shoulder / Luengas hang you. / Two eyes seem / Black Star: / they fly, they shine, they throb, / Panel blink intermittently! "." In the same year ends writing free verse, which was not published until 1913, over forty compositions, endecasilabos, without rhyme, "pits of my own entrails... [that] are writings, not in ink of Academy, but in my own blood". It is not the absence of the son, now is more broken private life, because his wife did not share his passion for politics ("here I am, just am, Pearl"), together with a public life, wishing heroic Marti, and which is not managed: "for who will pour my life?".

In 1884 he/she was appointed acting consul of Uruguay in New York, a post which he/she resigned months later to dedicate to their revolutionary activities. In October, he/she met with Máximo Gómez and Antonio Maceo, the military leaders of the ten years war, that discussed the possibilities of the independence movement. Martí was fond of a strong movement, organized, with a preponderance of civilian element; an insurgency capable of winning the war and establish a Democratic Republic. Others were the intentions of the military, not shared by Marti: "is my determination not to contribute any [...] to bring my country a regime of personal despotism, that would be shameful and disastrous than despotism now supports [...]. A village is not founded, General, as a camp will be sent". Not according to a personal adventure "in which the particular purpose of the warlords may be confused with glorious ideas that make them possible", considering it a betrayal to the Cuban people: "a people that loves us and expects of us, is the greatness greater respect. Please their pains and enthusiasms in self-dealing, it would be the biggest ignominy".

Retired after leaving his opinion clear: "wait, which is in politics... the greatest of talents". His stance received attacks from different sectors of the exile, who always knew how to silence; the island came rumors that placed him next to the self-determination, which he/she denied. Works extensively in the press, translates, publishes serial and under the pseudonym his novel fateful friendship, again assumes the Consulate of Uruguay and is attentive to what happens to your round, American scenes. Moves it the repression of the workers movement, which believes that it is a consequence of the excessive worship of wealth, which generates inequality, injustice and violence: "It is not the anarchists where anarchism must hang himself, but unjust social inequality". His father died in February 1887 in Havana. He/She had earlier visited him in New York. The old Spanish military had supported the decision of his son's fight for independence, attitude who never neither his wife nor his mother fully shared.

The commemorative speech on 10 October returned to Marti to the forefront of the political struggle. Failed the Gomez-maceo plan, he/she takes up the idea of a civil revolution, back to the origins of the revolution of Yara civil. He/She founded the patriotic club 'The independent', published vindication of Cuba, where he/she rejected the possibility of annexation to the United States, and defended his people from unfair trials that had been published in The Evening Post and The Manufacturer. In 1889, he/she published the first issue of La Edad de Oro, monthly that explains our American children. Although, due to lack of funding, appeared only four numbers, Martí always considered a proper early childhood education the best way by which get to be an adult's advantage.

The Conference of Nations American (1889) and the International Monetary Conference (1891), both sponsored by the US Government, you have highlighted the danger of imperialism. Consulate of Uruguay, which had joined Paraguay and Argentina, the representation of Uruguay in monetary policy Conference, travelling across the continent, the correspondents of various American newspapers, in whose Chronicles diseccionaba the life in the United States, had convinced him to Marti of the need of the American unit to resist the American imperialist impulse. The independence of Cuba, in this way, adopting a new perspective: "prevent full-time with the independence of Cuba which extends by the West Indies, the United States and with that force to fall more, on our lands of America". In January 1891 publishes, in the party Liberal of Mexico, "Our America", a harangue to the union and mutual understanding of peoples living between the Bravo and the Magellan: "Create the conceited villager that the whole world is your village"; that should have and defend its own personality, its own history: "the history of America, of the incas here, must be taught to imply, though not taught the history of the archons of Greece"; and that must govern themselves according to their needs: "the good ruler in America is not that knows how to govern German or French, but who knows with what is made his country [...]. The Government has to be born in the country. The form of Government should conform to the Constitution of the country. The Government is not more than the balance of the natural resources of the country."

In 1891 he/she published verses simple as indicated in the foreword "left you heart... in that winter of anguish... [that] the Latin American peoples met in Washington, under the terrible Eagle, ". Front of the free verse, now predominates the feeling and intuition; Homeland, love, friendship, poetry, mankind, treaties in forty-six poems without titles, eight syllable quartets, with an amazing variety of rhythmic and stylistic, effects as well as a popular air which have undoubtedly enhanced his musical adaptation: "I am a sincere man / from where grows the Palm, / and before I die I want to / take my verses to the soul"; "Crop a white rose / in July as in January / for the sincere friend / gives me his honest hand / / and for the cruel one who I start / the heart with which I live, / I thistle or Caterpillar culture / culture a white rose".

The failure of the propaganda of Maceo Cuba trip convinced him of the need for a more robust organization that aglutinase to everything in the independence movement. On the island, the Autonomists, fed up with reforms see time and again postponed, had withdrawn from political life. It was time to bring together veterans with new generations of freedom fighters; the island with the emigration of; to those of New York, Tampa and Cayo Hueso; Blacks with whites ("man is more white, more than mulato, more than black"). Any Cuban who was willing to sacrifice himself for his country would be welcome; anyone, even a Spanish, who wanted to share the dream of an independent, fair and Democratic Republic ("because Cuba only has to uproot the Government afflicting it and vice that rots it, not useful man that respects and help their freedoms"). Martí knew what he/she needed: a party and an organ of the press to speak for him. Absorbed by his revolutionary works, he/she resigned all their diplomatic posts and the Presidency of the Spanish-American literary society. In late November he/she went to Tampa. There he/she gave two of his best speeches, "With all and for the good of all", and "The new pines"; speeches that persuade the undecided and open the bag of the powerful. Two days later, the foundations of the party, approved on January 8, 1892 in Tampa were drafted. On 14 April appeared the first number of homeland and three days later was proclaimed the Cuban Revolutionary Party to all Cuban and Puerto Rican emigration from the United States. Martí was elected delegate.

Got the most difficult, the unit, Marti tries to find the right moment: "create the Revolutionary Party that the revolution is not has to try to not have to close agreements and the resources needed for their triumph [...]. And the party, without hurry or illusion, allega the resources essential to put, on the drives out colony, the Republic where can live in peace Cuban and Spanish [...] the party exists, sure its right, as the visible soul of Cuba, tired grown not to want use their forces, and remaining prudent to engage in reckless companies." In the following two years developed a frantic activity ("hands have been busy... in a brutal job and relentlessly: to go lifted, man by man, all this building"): constantly visited Emirates clubs demanding money, he/she went to Costa Rica to meet with Maceo, Santo Domingo, with Gomez; Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico where asked for funds to Porfirio Díaz; Gerardo Castellanos started with instructions secret for Cuba, while Juan Gualberto Gómez, the delegate in Havana, was preparing the hoist; on the island tempers is altered and already there were some adventures (Purnio, Lajas and Ranchuelo), all unsuccessful and beyond the control of the delegate. Spain had made his last political bid, the decentralization reform of Antonio Maura, but at the beginning of January, 1895, that it had raised so many hopes, languished. The United States had modified duties and sugar production was not market. It was the time of the freedom fighters; the situation awaiting Martí.

The plan, Plan de Fernandina, consisted of match the landing of three expeditions in three different points, with the general insurrection on the island. A denouncement of breaking, thwarted the plan and the expeditions were retained by U.S. authorities. Nevertheless, on 29 January Martí signed the order to hoist and the next day went to Santo Domingo to meet Gómez. On 24 February explode the war; a month later drafted and signed the manifesto de Montecristi, with Gomez synthesis of should be what the war and the future Republic: "the war is not against the Spanish [...] and the Republic will be a quiet home for many Spaniards work and honor to enjoy her freedom"; conscious of avoiding the mistakes of Latin American independence which had resulted in "theoretical or feudal republics", whereas Cuba went "to the war with a people democratic and cultured, connoisseur jealous of their right and the alien" that does not conceive the racial segregation: "Only those who hate the black come to black hatred".

With Gomez landed in Cuba on April 11; It was obvious from the "trenches of ideas", to the reality of the war. The troop, which is was increasing day by day, recognized in his person the natural leader. However, military leaders, especially Maceo, afraid of excess civilismo Martí wanted to print to the war. Cinco de mayo met with Maceo and Gomez in the Marjoram; they wanted to return to exile, they believed most useful organizing fight. For Martí was the time to prove: "I'm daily in danger of giving my life for my country and my duty".

Days later, the nineteenth of may, entered for the first time in combat. Gomez told him that he/she remained in the rearguard, but Martí, only accompanied by his assistant, attacked and wounded fell from death; the man who had put in check to Spain was an easy target for his army. At the age of forty-three, hardly lived nine years in the land that gave his life, disappearing man, who, in the words of Juan Ramón Jiménez, was as a "Cuban Quixote, [that] summarizes the eternal spiritual and ideally Spanish". He/She died in his war, that he/she had prepared and which the military excluded him: "I evoqué this war: my responsibility starts with it, instead of finishing". It was not a suicide, nor an immolation, the last ride was a duty, moral example have known to give his life for his country, both in the Gallery, "trench of ideas", as in the jungle. And it was, ultimately, the need to assert civilian rule in a Republic that began to form. "In me only I will defend what I have for warranty or service of the revolution. I disappear. But my thinking would not disappear nor agriaría me my darkness." Dying man, was born the myth.

Links on the Internet

http://patriagrande.net/cuba/jose.marti/index.html; Official website of José Martí, with biographical data, poems and correspondence material of the Cuban writer (in Spanish).

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