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Known and celebrated as a key figure in the liberation of Cuba, José Martí fought for the values of independence, unity, and justice. As a result of his denouncement of Spanish rule and anti-imperialist attitude, he suffered imprisonment, torture, hard labor, and exile. None of this deterred him.


In addition to his prominent work as an activist and advocate for independence, José Martí was also a man of literary prowess. As a journalist, he founded multiple publications and wrote about a variety of topics such as life in the United States, Cuban prisons, and political developments. He was also known for his appreciation for education and the arts as an accomplished poet himself. Many of his speeches have been preserved for their composition and historical value.


José Martí spent much of his life supporting the cause of Cuban liberation. He founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party in 1892 and devoted his time to organizing the second official struggle for independence. He wanted to avoid U.S. intervention and strived to prevent the implementation of a military dictatorship following the fight. However, as he prepared to launch the second struggle, the United States seized their ships, and José Martí was killed in a skirmish with Spanish forces two weeks later, having been deprived of support and authority.


Though he was not present for Cuba’s official independence, José Martí played a significant and irreplaceable role in its liberation. Now referred to as el apóstol (Apostle), he is celebrated each year on his birthday in Cuba to honor his impact and sacrifice.


Jorge J. Perez is an attorney in South Florida. He is a self-professed history buff. Visit often to learn more.