THE APOTHEOSIS OF JOSÉ MARTÍ
THE REVERENCE displayed by José Martí's early followers, the large volume of literary production and reprinting of his works, his representation in monuments, busts, coins, and stamps, the special societies dedicated to him, and fraternal organizations have all contributed to the apotheosis of the Apostle. He has been promoted beyond the rank of a "mere" national hero. He has achieved a stature greater than that of Antonio Maceo, Manuel de Céspedes, and Ignacio Agramonte, and the other heroes of Cuban independence. One of the manifestations of hero worship that makes Martí unique among Cuban heroes, and among many other heroes besides, is the expression of esteem for him in word descriptions. The degree of religious symbolism in the cult of Martí is to be found in the "Martian Suppers."
Attempts that have been made to represent Martí on film indicate the extent to which he, as a legendary figure, is the center of controversy. The promotion of Martí has led to statements that he is not only the ideal Cuban, but also the "universal man." A few individuals have dared to protest against the exaltation of Martí, particularly a few in the Roman Catholic Church, but as it will be seen, even the Church embraces the man who often bitterly condemned it.
The words used to describe Martí are words that are seldom used to describe other figures in Cuban history. On the contrary, they are