José Martí, Mentor of the Cuban Nation

José Martí, Mentor of the Cuban Nation

José Martí, Mentor of the Cuban Nation

José Martí, Mentor of the Cuban Nation

Excerpt

To explain the importance that José Marti possesses for the Cuban people is no easy task. In attempting to illustrate his impressive contribution both to the formation and to the development of Cuba as a nation, Martí can of course be compared with other figures who played similar roles in their own countries, such as Mahatma Gandhi in India, Abraham Lincoln in the United States, Simón Bolívar in Venezuela and, most recently, Mao Tse-Tung in China. Such comparisons, however, are only partially successful, since all fall short of depicting the true importance of Marti's nation-building role.

Within the last three decades José Martí may be said to have penetrated the consciousness of the Cuban people as a whole; and, as one critic has correctly noted, in effect Martí represents the keystone of what can be termed the Cuban national identity.SUPSUP SUPSUP This intensely loyal devotion to Martí by Cubans of all political leanings has led to the rather confusing present-day situation in which Martí is still revered as devoutly as ever by Cuban exiles, while in revolutionary Cuba he is presented as the underlying inspiration, the autor intelectual to use Fidel Castro's term, of the revolution.

Because of the many widely differing interpretations of Martí's political ideology, the need for a reasonable, clear, and objective overview of his sociopolitical thought has been at all times the fundamental goal of my study. Fortunately removed from the political pressure of both common interpretations (outlined in chapter 1), I have deliberately refrained from employing either official presenta-

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