Who was José Martí? Marti affectionately called by the Cuban people the “Apostle of the revolution” was born in 1853 and was killed in combat against the Spanish colonial troops in 1895. He was a founder and central leader of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, the organization that led the struggle of the Cuban people against Spanish colonialism.
Marti built and led the organization based on the principal that the liberation struggle had to involve the oppressed and had to be for the benefit of the oppressed. He fought for a non racial movement and future independent Cuba. He fought for greater rights of women. He foresaw, before all other Latin American leaders, the rise of the United States of America, as a new imperialist power that was threatening to pounce on its southern neighbors. He explained that Cuba had to stand in the front lines to prevent this from happening. Following in the footsteps of Simon Bolivar, Marti had a pan americanist perspective, seeking to unite all the peoples of Latin America. Above all, Marti was a genuine humanist seeking to advance the struggle for a world that would respect the human rights of all. This was reflected not only in his support of oppressed and exploited sectors in Cuba or in the rest of Latin America, but also in his identification with the struggles of rail workers, tobacco workers and others in the United States itself. They too were part of his America.