José Martí, Cuban Patriot

By Richard Butler Gray | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
AFTERMATH OF THE REVOLUTION

FROM FIDEL CASTRO'S LANDING in Oriente province in 1956 to the sudden departure of Batista from Cuba on January 1, 1959, Cuba underwent a bitter civil war that resulted in the loss of thousands of lives. The victorious rebels claimed that Batista had sanctioned the murder of at least 10,000 victims. It is not the purpose of this book to examine this period extensively nor is it possible to elaborate in detail on the profound turmoil created by the social, economic, and political changes that have occurred in Cuba since Castro seized power. In one respect this latter period is no different from preceding periods in Cuban history -- José Martí continues to be used often as a political symbol. In fact, criticisms by Martí against North American politics and economic policies have lent themselves to frequent repetition. Some representative samples of statements by leading politicians quickly show how Martí is still being used to justify action of all kinds.


Martí and Fidel Castro

Castro had scarcely taken over the reins of government before the printing presses began to reproduce his famous speech "La historia me absolverá" ("History will vindicate me"). This was his address to the court in Santiago de Cuba after he had been arrested for his abortive attack on the Moncada barracks on July 26, 1953. Castro's liberation movement took its name from this date.

In this speech Castro complained to the court that his jailers had

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