Cubans pay tribute to national hero José Martí

José Martí was a renowned revolutionary poet, writer and journalist. He played a key role in organizing the Cuban War of Independence against Spain

January 30, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
The first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Raúl Castro, and the President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz Canel, led the annual march commemorating national hero José Martí in Havana, on January 27. Photo: Estudios Revolución

This January 27 marked 167th birth anniversary of Cuba’s national hero and revolutionary poet José Martí. On the night of January 27, like every year, a massive torch march was carried out in the capital Havana commemorating the patriot and martyr, Martí.

Hundreds of thousands of young people marched from the staircase of the University of Havana to the national monument Martí’s forge, the place where the freedom fighter served a forced-labor sentence in 1869 for his independence ideas when he was only 17-year-old.

The first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Raúl Castro, and the President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz Canel, led the annual march.

The head of the state, through his twitter account called on the people to join the march in large numbers and make history. “Today we are going to wait for Martí’s 167th birthday with our torches lit at the university’s staircase. Let’s make history with the largest march to honor the Apostle and condemn those who tried to sully him. #WeAreCuba #WeAreContinuity,” tweeted Canel.

The first march with torches, paying tribute to the national hero, was held on the midnight of January 27, 1953 and was led by Commander Fidel Castro.

Since 1953, every year, Cuban citizens, women, youth organizations, students’ movements and political leaders mobilize in the dark with torches in their hands to ratify their commitment to defend the legacy of Martí and the ideas of Castro to continue illuminating the nation.

Hundreds of thousands of young people marched from the University of Havana to the national monument Martí’s forge, paying tribute to the national hero and ratifying their commitment to defend his legacy. Photo: José Manuel Correa / Granma

José Julián Martí Pérez was born on January 28, 1853, in Havana. He was a writer, journalist, professor, revolutionary philosopher and political theorist. He played a key role in the formation of the Cuban Revolutionary Party in 1892 and in organizing the Cuban War of Independence against Spain in 1895.

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