José Martí's Revolutionary Oratory
From The Politics of Letters:
José Martí’s Revolutionary Discourse
Thesis for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of Toronto, 2006
References to Martí’s work are from Obras completas. 27 vols. La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1975
Scroll down for a bibliography of works cited
Martí’s Revolutionary Oratory
Martí’s second deportation to Spain occurred on September 25, 1879, one month after the outbreak in Oriente on August 24 of La Guerra Chiquita. Not long after his arrival on the Peninsula, he undertook a clandestine departure and made his way through Paris to New York, arriving on January 3, 1880. There he served as sub-delegate of the Revolutionary Committee that had been organized by General Calixto García, a veteran of La Guerra de Diez Años, to prepare and direct the new insurgency that was raging on the island. Martí had previously collaborated with the committee’s delegate, Juan Gualberto Gómez, in La Habana, to organize support on the island for a new independence war after El Pacto del Zanjón had brought a negotiated end to the first war of independence and an uneasy peace.
The pact “generated as much dissention among Cubans in arms as did any other single issue in the Ten Years’ War,” says Louis A. Pérez, Jr., and Maceo’s Protesta de Baraguá, which extended the war an additional ten weeks, “set the stage for a renewal of the conflict” (125, 136). For Philip S. Foner, Baraguá was “the symbol of the best that was in the Cuban Revolution; it was a great protest against those who had surrendered without achieving the main goals—independence and abolition of slavery—and it was a formal rejection of the Pact,” which was nothing more than a truce (A History of Cuba 2: 269, 275).
On January 24, 1880, shortly after his arrival in New York, Martí delivered the two-hour lecture in Steck Hall that initiated his revolutionary speeches in the United States and marked the beginning of his campaign among Cuban émigrés for support for Cuba’s war of independence. Appealing directly to an audience that included wealthy émigrés, immigrant workers and veterans of the first war of independence, a range of social and economic classes, he used the occasion to rally their support for the new uprising, portraying the renewal of insurgency as the continuing epic of Cuba’s heroic struggle for independence.
It appears certain that Martí conceived “The Steck Hall Lecture” (4: 181-211) as the event that would open a new phase of the work he would undertake for the nation: “breve y raquítica muestra de la que intento en beneficio de la patria” (4: 183). The note accompanying its publication days later as the pamphlet Asuntos cubanos reveals that he planned it as a lecture (“lectura”) and had given careful consideration to the special tone required for the conditions of its reception and the expectations of his wide-ranging audience:
El tono especial de las lecturas, a que ésta había de acomodarse, requerido además por el levantado patriotismo de la emigración a quien el lector se dirigía, pudiera hacer creer a algunos espíritus prácticos que la exaltación ocupa en estas páginas el lugar del raciocinio. Corría el riesgo el lector de parecer a unos sobrado fogoso, y a otros escaso de fuego. Salven los de ánima fría aquello que no pareció mal, sin embargo, a los de altivo corazón, y hallarán tal vez, en estas breves consideraciones, apuntadas al correr de la pluma, algún motivo de serios pensamientos. Falta aún mucho que decir,—y será dicho, puesto que decir es un modo de hacer. Gracias, en tanto, a los que oyeron esta lectura con tan vivo amor, y a los que se empeñan a darla profusamente a luz (4: 183).
Its immediate publication and these comments to his reading audience suggest that in preparing the text, Martí was mindful of its dissemination through both print and oral media. Its rhetorical elements reveal that to build broad-based support for the war of independence and foment the spirit of revolution, he intended to inform as much as to inspire, for although it contains ample evidence of patriotic ardour and metaphorical intensity, it is the expository will that prevails in the analytical and reflective nature of this speech. We shall see that the historical analysis it provides and the range of topics and ideas it covers more resemble his expository writing than the briefer, more narrowly focused and intensively figurative revolutionary oratory of the 1890s.
The Steck Hall Lecture
“The Steck Hall Lecture” opens with explicit references to its language, tone and purpose. After the opening sentence, “El deber debe cumplirse sencilla y naturalmente,” Martí continues: “vengo . . . a animar con la buena nueva la fe de los creyentes, a exaltar con el seguro raciocinio la vacilante energía de los que dudan, a despertar con voces de amor a los que—perezosos o cansados—duermen, a llamar al honor severamente a los que han desertado su bandera” (4: 183). It is his patriotic duty to encourage believers with “the good news,” convince the doubtful through persuasive reasoning, awaken the somnolent with expressions of patriotic love, and summon deserters to restore their honour. Religious allusion (“the good news” and the faith of believers) lends an apostolic orientation that places the revolution among great causes in human history that transcend individual and local realities.
Martí alerts his audience that despite the text’s reasoned arguments, its language will not be calm for it has not yet learned to conquer for its people a calm that is honourable and free (“la calma honrada y libre” 4: 183), a reference to the peace without honour ushered in by El Pacto del Zanjón. However, optimism will prevail throughout the speech. A just outcome is inherent in the transcendent nature of the revolution (“sus naturales resultados” 4: 184), itself the consequence of a natural process (“ha brotado de sus naturales elementos” 4: 188). Nature is in supportive harmony with the uprising: “Los hijos de los bosques saben ya el árbol que cura, el que alimenta y el que ampara. Las aves en las cuevas han aumentado sus depósitos. La orilla en que se fracasó, se esquiva. Para los corceles, hay nueva yerba. Para sus jinetes, nuevos frutos” (4: 184). Martí is also confident that the useful lessons from the past have engendered the wisdom and experience required for a successful war: “los errores son una utilísima semilla . . . —La intuición se ha convertido ya en inteligencia: los niños de la revolución se han hecho hombres” (4: 184).
An important element in this speech is the focus on the community of revolutionaries and the solidarity Martí establishes with his audience through the discourse situation represented in the text. He establishes an early link with his audience by alluding to a common enemy: “este enemigo a quien ahora combatimos” (4: 183). Then, using third-person narration to distance the audience from those who had decried the renewal of the war of independence, he precedes the first allusion to La Guerra Chiquita with a series of ideas, each introduced by “A despecho de” in anaphoric sequence to identify several categories of individuals or groups whose timidity, opportunism, indolence or hypocrisy informed their failed efforts to prevent the new uprising: “las armas oxidadas salen de las hendiduras donde sus dueños prudentes las dejaron, en olvido no, sino en reposo” (4: 184).
His epic account of La Guerra de Diez Años represents the heroic war as the shared history that unites him with his audience: “Allá, en aquellos campos, ¿qué árbol no ha sido una horca? ¿Qué casa no llora un muerto? ¿Qué caballo no ha perdido a su jinete? ¡Y pacen ahora, en busca de jinetes nuevos!” (4: 184). The epic war continues in the new insurgency, and the shared memories of the community of revolutionaries maintain the life of the revolution: “Tales recuerdos no podían morir. . . . Los que en comunidad vivieron . . . en comunidad vuelven a vivir” (4: 185).
Martí exalts his audience in an extended series of statements introduced emphatically by “vosotros” and stresses their inclusion in that community in the sentence that closes the series: “Vosotros mismos sois esa comunidad que se levanta; entre vuestros ojos se ve relampaguear brillo de aceros” (4: 187). The discourse situation reinforces the solidarity between speaker and audience through the you and I and we of dialogue: “En buena hora os nieguen existencia cierta; en buena hora crean que nosotros, y nuestros amigos, y yo mismo, somos, no cuerpos vivos y reales, sino fantasmas vagabundo . . . nacidos a turbar la calma plácida de los bienaventurados palaciegos” (4: 187); “creemos y sabemos que esta guerra ha brotado de sus naturales elementos” (4: 188).
The memories, realities and aspirations shared by the community of revolutionaries are thus juxtaposed to the realities and orientation of “los presuntuosos,” “los acomodaticios pensadores, penetrados de pánico y alarma” (4: 187), individuals and groups who continue through their actions to attempt to derail the revolution that is as inevitable in development and outcome as the processes of nature. Martí’s censure of their actions and politics is unequivocal (“¡no es hombre honrado el que desee para su pueblo una generación de hipócritas y de egoístas! Seamos honrados, cueste lo que cueste” 4: 188-89), but it is transcended by an overriding faith in human nature: “Creemos y sabemos que la naturaleza humana, mala por accidente y por esencia noble, una vez hecha al ejercicio de sus prerrogativas más honrosas, solo las trueca o las declina por provechos a tal punto halagadores que sean dignos de compensar el inefable placer que produce el dominio sensato de si mismo” (4: 188). Underlying his condemnation, then, is the potential and desire for the inclusion of the other within the community of revolutionaries.
Figurative language is created, not for art’s sake, but as a vehicle to convey the political message that will both inspire and convince his audience to provide material and spiritual support for the war. Tone, imagery and other rhetorical elements contribute to the persuasive and affective impact of the text: “Sobre los campos sin cultivos; sobre el hervor perenne de los esclavos engañados, . . . sobre la ira de los humillados, el clamor de los hambrientos y los aprestos amenazantes de los vencedores” (4: 204-05); “Así surgió la guerra; con estos elementos se mantiene; . . . Cordura y cólera, razón y hambre, honor y reflexión la engendran” (4: 206). “¡Bueno es sentir venir la cólera!” (4: 199). Righteous indignation is, however, superseded by reason: “Esta no es sólo la revolución de la cólera. Es la revolución de la reflexión” (4: 192). Conditions engender it, passion sustains it, and reasoning justifies it.
Martí argues in this text that El Pacto del Zanjón (“la tregua de febrero” 4: 197) and the autonomy movement represent a betrayal of the people’s national aspirations; he maintains that humble Cubans, those who most suffer, are the most loyal to the cause; he combats the false fear professed by some and encouraged by others that African Cubans (“hombres de color cubanos” 4: 204) represent a threat to the peace and security of the nation; he reasons that the revolutionary war is necessary, natural and just; and he identifies the ideological bases and democratic principles of the revolutionary movement he envisions and defends. Cintio Vitier summarizes these ideas and principles as “revolución popular, democrática, sin distingos rencorosos de clase ni raza, enemiga por la raíz de la violencia oscura y desbordada tanto como del caudillismo militar o político,” and suggests furthermore that “The Steck Hall Lecture” represents the first substantial examination of the causes and objectives of the war for Cuban independence (“Los discursos” 302-03). The arguments and ideas Martí develops in this key text warrant a closer analysis.
Martí’s lecture occurred within two years of “la tregua de febrero” of 1878, a period that had witnessed the resurgence of the independence war in 1879, and before that, the formation of the autonomist Partido Liberal that was established by criollo elites in 1878 to advocate for changes in colonial policy in accordance with the reform promises of El Pacto del Zanjón. Although it was not long before peninsulares also organized themselves into the pro-Spanish Partido Unión Constitucional to defend traditional Spanish authority over the colony, it was the Partido Liberal that represented the greater obstacle for the revolutionary movement, for its emergence created a split among independence advocates, and “many of the most prestigious leaders” of the unsuccessful war joined the ranks of the autonomists (Pérez, Jr. 141).
Initiated by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, who was soon joined by Ignacio Agramonte, the first war of independence was led by criollo landowners prepared to risk their lives and wealth to end colonial rule in Cuba; however, the course of events revealed that most criollo elites would prove unwilling to support a war that not only required them to take those risks, but which, if successful, would herald in political, economic and social instability. After the war, they came out in favour of the Liberal autonomist party which opposed armed rebellion as well as independence and advocated for home rule, representation in the cortes and economic reforms.
Martí condemns the autonomists as “un grupo de rezagados, de arrepentidos y de cándidos,” describing them as timid “pensadores,” “políticos” and “dueños” who believe their problems and aspirations to be those of the country, being indifferent or willfully oblivious to the problems and aspirations of the majority of Cubans: “en vez de poner la mano sobre las fibras reales de la patria, para sentirlas vibrar y gemir, cierran airados los oídos y se cubren espantados los ojos, para no ver los problemas verdaderos, como si el débil poder de la voluntad egoísta fuera bastante a apartar de nuestras cabezas las nubes preñadas de rayos!” (4: 201). They feared economic and social changes that would diminish their financial well-being and social status, and opted for autonomy to secure for themselves the political power to control the nature of colonial reform.
Martí suggests that the post-war differences dividing the nation were also the unfortunate but natural outcome of the varying impact of the war across the island: “Era natural la división. No había ocupado de igual modo la revolución todo el territorio de la Isla” (4: 195). In Oriente, the war was active and civil life established under the revolutionary government was relatively free compared to Occidente, where the war had not spread and despotism was both cruel and intense:
Vieron los pueblos del extremo más occidental aquella década, no bajo la forma de guerra activa y de derecho conquistado, sino bajo la de persecuciones, muertes en patíbulos, lento martirio en los presidios, con todo el cortejo de increíbles crueldades de cuya remembranza no han menester para esforzar sus argumentos los hombres pensadores. En el Oriente y Centro de la Isla, y en buena parte de Occidente, los niños nacieron, las mujeres se casaron, los hombres vivieron y murieron, los criminales fueron castigados, y erigidos pueblos enteros, y respetadas las autoridades, y desarrolladas y premiadas las virtudes. (4: 195)
Furthermore, in Occidente where the revolt had not spread, the influence of the war on the urban populations was different from its influence on those that lived in the countryside where, says Martí, the majority of the inhabitants fervently supported the war of independence, “y continúa siendo hoy, fiel a la patria” (4: 195). Different experiences across the island, even among the ranks of the revolutionaries and their supporters, informed many of the divisions that emerged after the war, particularly in the intense disagreements regarding the concessions represented in El Pacto del Zanjón which, Martí suggests, provided many who had not supported or participated in the revolution, “por indiferencia o por flaqueza,” a pretext to justify their detachment: “Y se asieron a él, con la tenacidad con que se asen los que unen a la vanidad la inteligencia, espoleada por el miedo” (4: 195).
To the criollo elites, the peace treaty held the promise of stability, economic reforms favourable to their class, and social conditions that would maintain and increase their wealth and status. For Martí, such hopes that depended on a controversial pact were unjustified:
. . . una paz tan misteriosamente concertada, tan inesperadamente hecha, y por unos y otros tan recelosamente recibida, no restaba garantía alguna de durabilidad y solidez. En tanto que los que nunca desearon la guerra, afectaban tener por decisiva una paz en que nadie creía, los provocadores y mantenedores de la lucha, asombrados de sí mismos, volvían a estimar la guerra necesaria, y se preparaban para ella. Un sistema de infantiles libertades permitía en Occidente que patricios de todo punto inofensivos, divertiesen la atención del país en elementales entretenimientos políticos. (4: 197-98)
And while the urban elites organized their political platforms and raised their hopes for reform and autonomy under the Spanish flag, the rural populations were abandoned without hope to poverty and problems that were outside the “urbana y financiera manera de pensar” (4: 186) of the autonomist reformers: “Y los hombres del campo, como a las cédulas onerosas seguían las cédulas onerosas . . . y a la miseria heroica, deshonrosa miseria, y al hambre y la libertad, coronadas de una esperanza gloriosa, el hambre y la esclavitud sin esperanza,—no animaron con sus labores aquella calma lúgubre. . . . Como una culpa castigaba [el Gobierno] en los campos sometidos, los actos y palabras que en la ciudad aparentaba proteger” (4: 198).
But hopes for reform were soon dashed: “Elecciones libres había garantizado el gobierno de España, y falseaba las elecciones. Exoneración de tributos, y cobraba con mano recia los tributos. Libertad para los esclavos, y para que una ley indigna de perpetuación de la esclavitud fuese intentada por el gobierno español, fue necesario que la revolución amenazante asomase de nuevo el brazo fiero, tan esperado y tan temido. Prosperidad para los campos fue ofrecida y se empleaban en aprestos militares y en espías, las sumas que a la riqueza pública se había prometido dedicar” (4: 198-99). In failing to reach beyond the limitations of their class, the autonomists also failed to recognize the real problems of the nation and to understand that the people are the true leaders of change: “Ignoran los déspotas que el pueblo, la masa adolorida, es el verdadero jefe de las revoluciones” (4: 193).
For Martí, humble Cubans are the soul and strength of the revolution and embody the spirit and ideals of the revolutionary movement. Grounded in their daily realities, and informed by their wisdom and experience, they could readily apprehend their exclusion from the sectarian agenda of the autonomists: “Por eso, cuando no ha mucho peregrinaron por pueblos y campiñas cerca de La Habana, los oradores del grupo político que ha convertido hoy en cuestión de finanzas azucareras todas las graves cuestiones de la Isla,—no una vez sola saltaron los machetes en las vainas, y a calurosas peroraciones de español sentido, con promesa abundante de reformas, de que las Cortes de España están dando en estos instantes buena cuenta, respondieron los fieros montunos con vivas entusiastas, no a la patria liberal, sino a la patria libre” (4: 197).
Martí’s community of humble Cubans includes “campesinos,” “negros,” “mulatos,” and “esclavos.” His democratic principles and revolutionary vision are consistent with the ideals represented in the Protesta de Baraguá: independence and the immediate abolition of slavery. References to whips, beatings and the scarred, lacerated bodies of slaves that have come to symbolize the brutality of slavery and slave-based economies appear throughout the text: “los azotes,” “el azotador,” “las espaldas flageladas” (4: 185), “al chasquido del látigo” (4: 199), “el alma lacerada de los esclavos infelices” (4: 200).
Slaves believed their aspirations for abolition were included in the ideals of the war of independence before its capitulation in the Pacto del Zanjón, as did perhaps the Western hacendados, hostile to the war of independence, whose plantations were dependent on slave labour. Martí believes that they were: “aquel fragor continuado, y batallar sin tasa, de hombres que llevaban todas las ideas generosas en la mente y todas las virtudes en el pecho; aquel alumbramiento espléndido, . . . ¿habían dejado en sombra lóbrega a los esclavos de los ingenios?” (4: 200).
His rhetorical question reinforces their inclusion as given. He emphasizes the active involvement of slaves in the war of independence: “¿no habrían sacudido rudamente el alma lacerada de los esclavos infelices? ¡A todo cegarán los tristes presos, menos a la ancha puerta que se abre para acelerar su libertad!” (4: 200); “esos árboles animados, en las fincas . . . los siervos redimidos” (4: 200); “Y los azotes se oyen fuera. Y el azotador toca a las puertas. Y en las espaldas flageladas nacen alas. ¡Los que lo anduvieron una vez, no olvidan el camino de la Gloria!” (4: 185). References to slave rebellion and images of plantations in flames further evoke the active slave revolt that supported the war of independence and conveyed the anger as well as the aspirations of enslaved people to be free:
allá, al chasquido del látigo, que todavía chasquea; al rumor de nuestros cañaverales, monótonos y melancólicos como los esclavos que los cuidan; al resplandor de hogueras numerosas, que más que un incendio, anuncian una época, los oídos atentos escucharon un concierto de ira y de esperanza, que no oyeron tal vez los que sin ellas cuentan, aturdidos por el ruido de sus pasos en las escaleras del palacio del gobierno. ¡Bueno es sentir venir la cólera! (p. 199)
Y reunidos, admiran, meditan y deciden. Han decidido ser libres,—Saben que es su derecho, y que hay una vía para lograrlo. . . . Ven el ejemplo [de los esclavos redimidos], y están dispuestos a seguirlo. Los más impacientes, con las armas. Los más sumisos, con otra arma no menos segura ni terrible. Porque, cuando trocados en senos de llamas rojas los canutos de las cañas, hierven, revientan y chispean; . . . —hay mayorales que han vuelto de los campos espantados, y dueños que han venido a la ciudad en alas de su espanto, a decir que entre los clamores del incendio y en la hora silenciosa de los cuartos, y en medio de las cañas, . . . se oyen cantos severos y tenaces, y se perciben distintamente . . . estas simples palabras, bondadosas y justas:—«Libertad no viene, caña no hay.» (4: 200-01)
Notwithstanding the significant participation of Cuban “negros” and “mulatos” in the fighting ranks as well as in the leadership of the first war of independence, or perhaps because of it, the black peril (“temor de pavorosas luchas” 4: 203) emerged as a divisive element and obstacle in the struggle for independence. Some Cubans were willing to believe that “hombres de color, los negros y los mulatos” were plotting a war of extermination that would establish a black republic and to fear that African Cubans were a threat to the peace and security of the nation. Martí directly refutes the rumour and reminds his audience that during the South American independence wars, the Spaniards fomented a similar offensive against indigenous peoples:
Se fingen miedos, por los sucesos de nuestro país ya desautorizados. Se pasean a los ojos de los timoratos lúgubres fantasmas. ¿Son acaso los hombres de color, los negros y los mulatos . . . una cohorte sanguinaria, que habrá, con soplos huracánicos, de arrancar de raíz cuando hoy sustenta el suelo de la patria? ¡Ah! ¡esto decían los españoles de los indios, tan ofendidos, tan flagelados, tan anhelosos como los negros de su inmediata emancipación. . . . Pero los fatídicos anuncios no se realizaron; . . . De viejos males vinieron los males nuevos,—que no de la venganza ni de la impaciencia de los indios. (4: 202)
The fear that African Cubans would wage a race war is as unjustified now, says Martí, as the fear then that South America’s indigenous peoples would wage war against whites. He maintains the perpetuation of fear of the black peril to be part of Spain’s “divide and conquer” policy, and also accuses the governor of the colony of attempting to incite black hostility toward whites: “No llevó el gobernador actual de la Isla, más rasgo señalado, ni más original política que la vulgar y tenebrosa que consiste en concitar contra los blancos cubanos a los hombres de color” (4: 203).
There is little doubt that rumours of a race war conveniently served the interests of the criollo elites (particularly the hacendados whose economic interests depended on slavery) who harboured hopes for reform without specific plans for abolition, and were united with the peninsulares in their opposition to the independence movement. In the spirit of furthering the ideals of the revolutionary movement, Martí declares that those fighting now and those who had fought together in the war of independence are not among the sectors that pretend to fear a black uprising:
. . . ese temor de pavorosas luchas no es, en los que pretenden ser su presa, más que un modo pueril de retardar el cumplimiento de un deber. Los que se han acercado a los abismos, y bajado a su fondo; los que han buscado las fuentes del mal para cegarlas a tiempo, y han hallado en su camino leales auxiliares; los que vieron por sí propios los senos en que se elabora la tormenta, o se preparan los medios para conjurarla,—ni esperan locamente un bienestar inmediato y seguro, . . . ni abrigan el temor, disfraz de culpas, de que [los negros] . . . realicen bárbaros intentos. (4: 203)
He issues a reminder, in a tone that acknowledges the offence against the dignity of the Cubans maligned by rumours of a black peril, that many Cubans continue to suffer the inhumane conditions of slavery, and that slaves are entitled and determined to fight for their emancipation, even if many whites are unwilling—and by implication, too fearful—to fight for theirs: “con la ley prolongadora de la esclavitud, harán los esclavos la guerra que no quieren hoy hacer buen número de blancos” (4: 205).
History was to record the immense contribution of Martí’s leadership in uniting Cubans in the revolutionary movement to fight the war of independence which, he argues, is necessary, natural and just: “este hecho lamentable es un hecho necesario” (4: 191); “los que aquí nos congregamos, por raciocinio estricto, por riguroso examen, por entusiasmo que sube de punto y fortaleza cuando no lo inspira el odio ciego, sino la meditada convicción,—creemos y sabemos que esta guerra ha brotado de sus naturales elementos” (4: 188); “Es que ya se han cansado nuestras frentes de que se tomen sobre ellas las medidas de los yugos” (4: 191); “Es que no nos resignamos a vivir sin patria. . . . Es que hemos meditado, y comparado, y dado tiempo a los prudentes para que nos probasen su capacidad para la victoria: y la meditación, y el estruendoso fracaso, han confirmado la decisión del entusiasmo” (4: 192).
Post-Zanjón conditions had proved that the people could harbour no realistic expectations that the colonial regime, fearful of the people’s natural aspirations, would relax the hold on their liberties, improve their chances of economic well-being, or be a lesser menace to their safety and welfare: “se trueque por una existencia sin esperanza de mejora, en que los nuevos soles anuncian nuevas burlas, en que el temor de los enemigos desvanece toda esperanza de fructífera concordia, en que se agravan con males nuevos los recientes y terribles males, en que la dignidad vive ofendida, la vida amenazada, la riqueza cohibida o impedida y las legítimas y habituales expansiones . . . sujetas a malévola censura y a una expresión deforme, traidora e incompleta” (4: 88).
There are, he insists, absolutely no political elements in Spain that would allow Cuba the political and economic future its people desire: “tan cuerdo que calmase todas las impaciencias, tan amoroso que borrase todas las injurias, tan útil que no amenazase de próxima muerte nuestros únicos productores de riqueza” (4: 188). Even Spain’s foreign minister had recently declared that the metropole had no concessions to make and no obligations to keep: “Pues es la última declaración hecha en las Cortes españolas por el Ministro de Ultramar.—España no tiene ya nada que conceder ni que cumplir” (4: 206).
The perpetually hopeful have not the right to entrust the people’s well-being to the probable policies of a regime that arrogantly denies it to them in the present (4: 208-09). The palpable failure of the Pacto del Zanjón, an agreement reached in conditions of war that were fraught with problems affecting the revolutionary forces, says Martí, caused the people’s unfulfilled aspirations and the memory of the revolutionaries who had already given their lives for the cause of independence to resurface: “Y cuando una voz inolvidable, porque hay gritos que resumen toda una época, dijo: «¿Y los muertos?» todos sintieron que su cabeza se rompía, y se llevaron la mano al corazón” (4: 197); “el hambre pasa; del cansancio se vuelve; la traición llega a ser conocida. Los que en comunidad vivieron, . . . en comunidad vuelven a vivir. Y los muertos entonces cobran forma . . . —Y entrándose en tropel por donde iban la utilidad y la razón, a par de ellas levantan, luchando a la vez por el bienestar y por la honra, el estandarte de la guerra nueva” (4: 185).
Errors from the first war of independence have provided useful lessons and engendered the wisdom and experience required for the new insurgency to succeed. “The Steck Hall Lecture” alludes to some of those errors: “Grandes males hubo que lamentar en la pasada guerra. Apasionadas lecturas, e inevitables inexperiencias, trastornaron la mente y extraviaron la mano de los héroes” (4: 204); es que las rivalidades personales . . . dividen las fuerzas e inhabilitan para la victoria” (4: 198). Martí’s previous references to “natural process,” “natural outcome” and “human nature” are recalled in the implied idea that it is human to err, and human nature being “essentially noble,” errors lead to wisdom. Forgiveness, however, is a gift of Nature: “Pero como ante un sol vivo reverdece en los campos toda grieta, y truécanse en paisajes pintorescos los más hondos abismos,—ante esta vindicación de los hombres ofendidos, siéntense amorosos deseos de perdonar todos aquellos extravíos” (4: 204).
He uses nature to convey the process of regeneration and renewal and to figuratively express forgiveness for the errors made by fighting men whose cause is honourable and who have been vindicated by the betrayal represented in the peace treaty that ended the war. He reiterates his confidence that past mistakes are lessons learned and wisdom that will ensure the successful outcome of the revolution: “los errores son una utilísima semilla . . . —La intuición se ha convertido ya en inteligencia: los niños de la revolución se han hecho hombres” (4: 184). He observes in closing that the conservative movement will triumph in Spain: “Distinta será la forma, y se concederá un ápice más al pueblo hambriento; pero la esencia no cambiará, ni cesarán la ira y el hambre” (4: 209).
Colonial policy will remain the same. Martí’s conclusion unites the community of revolutionaries in recognizing the inevitability of the independence war and declares faith in the certain future of the liberated nation: “Nosotros no queremos resignarnos a tener siempre el corazón henchido con las lágrimas, y el nudoso bordón siempre en la mano, y llenos los pies siempre del polvo de camino . . . ¡Oh, no, pueblo magnífico! . . . ¡Oh, no, pueblo lloroso . . . ! ¡Oh, no, pueblo de mártires . . . ! . . . ¡Oh, no, muertos ilustres . . . ! . . . ¡Antes que cejar en el empeño de hacer libre y próspera a la patria, se unirá el mar del Sur al mar del Norte, y nacerá una serpiente de un huevo de águila!” (4: 209-11).
On the occasion of “The Steck Hall Lecture,” Martí encouraged his audience toward a coherent understanding of the successes and failures of the war of independence that had already claimed many martyrs to the cause and forced the migration of many Cubans. He condemned El Pacto del Zanjón, acknowledged the loyalty of humble Cubans to the revolution, and emphasized the importance of unity and broad support. He also explained the differences that continued to divide the island, debunked the myth of the black peril and acknowledged the active participation of African Cubans, including slaves, in the epic struggle for independence.
He analyzed the causes and objectives, outlined the bases and principles of the revolutionary movement, and emphasized the politics of equality and justice that formed its foundations and directed its progress, establishing the groundwork for one of his major contributions to the revolutionary movement: coherence, clarity and transparency in its ideological foundations. As Vitier suggests, “La búsqueda de la forma, de la coherencia, del sentido, es lo que centralmente aporta Martí a la oscura inquietud de las fuerzas que se mueven en Cuba y en la emigración. Por eso este discurso no es sólo una prédica exaltada, sino también—y de aquí su carácter híbrido—una primera configuración política, y aun filosófica, del hecho revolucionario cubano” (Vitier, “Los discursos” 302).
La Guerra Chiquita did not spread across the island; this uprising was short-lived and unsuccessful. Foner’s analysis (A History of Cuba 2: 282-88) of its failure suggests that although Spain’s spies forced a premature start in Oriente and crushed the revolutionary movement in Occidente, it was also “seriously disrupted by the racial issue” (285); for the Revolutionary Committee in New York had decided that Antonio Maceo, the veteran most exalted in Oriente, should not lead the expedition to Cuba because of the race war rumours spread by Spanish spies and encouraged by reformists and others hostile to independence.
According to Foner, “many Cuban patriots deplored the exclusion of Maceo, and none more so than José Martí” (284); and Maceo, who in 1876 had not allowed racists in the revolutionary ranks to prevent him from fighting for Cuban independence, continued to support the war. However, the decision to delay his arrival in Cuba “had a demoralizing effect on the rebellion” (285)—many rebels took it as a sign that the revolution was not committed to abolition and equality.
Foner draws conclusions that echo Martí’s, who found lessons for the future in the failures and mistakes of the past. The strength of the autonomy movement and the influence of their reform propaganda on the population had revealed that the Cuban people were not ideologically prepared: adequate time must be allowed before the next uprising for the failure of reform to convince them that armed revolt was the only solution. Internal dissention (“engaños y . . . celos” 4: 197, “las rivalidades personales” 4: 198) and their willingness, even within the revolutionary ranks, to believe (or opportunistically use) the race war rumours had proved that Cubans were not united in their aspirations: the movement must clarify, disseminate and maintain its ideological bases and democratic principles.
Furthermore, the revolutionaries must exercise more vigilance and caution to avoid a premature outbreak before they are ready to wage a successful war. That success would depend on the quality of the movement’s leadership, the degree of planning and preparation before the war, the effectiveness of its military organization, the adequacy of its material support, and the unified support of the Cuban people from Oriente to Occidente. Indeed, in emphasizing coherence and transparency in the ideology and principles of the revolutionary movement, Martí anticipates Fanon who wrote quite categorically: “For a man who is in the thick of the fight it is an urgent matter to decide on the means and the tactics to employ: that is to say, how to conduct and organize the movement. If this coherence is not present there is only a blind will toward freedom, with the terribly reactionary risks which it entails (The Wretched 59).
General Calixto García was forced to lay down arms on August 1, 1880, and soon thereafter, Colonel Emilio Núñez did likewise. The insurrection had not managed to spread, and another armed rebellion had failed. The Revolutionary Committee disbanded when the La Guerra Chiquita ended in September 1880. In 1884, attempts by Máximo Gómez and Antonio Maceo to renew the war without including civilian leadership in its planning and organization were also unsuccessful. The lessons of previous failures had yet to be adequately learned.
By the late 1880s, Martí’s creative activism and anti-imperialist militancy had become increasingly focused on freeing Cuba from Spain’s colonial rule. The inspired leadership and creativity revealed in his essays, articles and other political activities were now dedicated to strengthening the revolutionary movement and to organizing and preparing a new war of independence. His revolutionary speeches were an important part of this revolutionary work; they played a key role in heightening the spirit of revolution and building unified support among the heterogeneous communities of Cuban émigrés. They are, moreover, an important part of his literary and political legacy and display another aspect of his genius: his oratorical brilliance.
As with every aspect of his creative activism, Martí considered the nature and purpose of the task he was undertaking and paid careful attention to achieving its intended effects. His emphasis on discovering the means of persuading his audience is consistent with the practical reasoning advanced in Aristotle’s Rhetoric, and called inventio in later theories, “that the orator composes by giving priority not to form but to audience” (Preminger 1048).
Preminger maintains that, influenced by Ciceronian theories of rhetoric, “a unified process of composition implicit in Aristotle became divided into five discrete functions: thought (inventio), arrangement (dispositio), style (elocutio), memory (memoria), and delivery (actio or pronuntiato)” (1048). By the seventeenth century, “rhetorical inventio had become unmoored from specific audiences”; “its considerations of audience centred mainly in decorum,” as elocutio rose in prominence, and throughout the eighteenth century, “retained greater prominence than inventio, and for centuries constituted virtually the whole of rhetoric, only to become the scapegoat of conscious artifice in romantic and postromantic poetics, and ultimately to be revived as an important feature of modern interpretation” (1049-50).
Martí did not adhere to the prescriptions of classical rhetoric. As Vitier indicates, “de los elementos enumerados por Cicerón en sus Diálogos del orador [trad. Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo. Libro Primero. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1943], parecen interesarle especialmente cuatro: conocimiento de las pasiones, instrucción universal, dominio del asunto y dignidad de la vida” (“Los discursos” 293). “Sus discursos, mezcla de inmensos períodos y sentencias aforísticas, tienen la forma libre de la llama. No podrá alabarse en ellos la composición arquitectónica, ni el tipo de armonía, elegancia y majestad que alabó Sanguily en los discursos de Montoro [Manuel Sanguily, Los oradores de Cuba, La Habana, A. Dorrbecker, 1926 p. 215-281. (Obras, t. III)], su perfecta antítesis en política y en oratoria” (294).
His “Notas sobre la oratoria” (19: 447-51) contains his understanding of the purpose and nature of oratory and his reflections on the qualities required in an orator—“El hombre virtuoso instruido que expresa ardientemente la pasión” (19: 450). An orator, whose character must be above reproach, must also be well-informed, possessing a general knowledge of history for reasoning, literature for grace, the arts for beauty, and political science for foundation: “Orador sin instrucción es palmera sin aire” (19: 449). Clarity of expression depends on clarity of mind, and the power of the message depends on the depth and security of the orator’s understanding of his or her subject. The surest, most principled way for the orator to influence the audience is to convey an understanding of their realities, for they will respect the empathetic individual who touches their soul: “se tiene un involuntario respeto hacia el que penetra en nuestra alma” (19: 450).
For Martí, the orator’s responsibility is to reason ardently. While content is the substance of oratory, passion is an essential ingredient, for oratory is an exalted form of persuading the mind with reason and arousing the spirit with passion. Therefore, “the spirit” (not formal rhetoric—“hermana fría de la Escolástica” 19: 450) is the rhetoric an orator should study. An orator, says Martí, providing an image that aptly describes his own leadership, should be like a lighthouse: visible from afar (19: 451).
Although his notes are schematic, they are focused, coherent and precise and convey a firm belief in the persuasive power of oratory and the important role it can play in building support for the revolutionary movement. They provide a sufficient description of the ideas that inform the content and delivery of his revolutionary speeches, and suggest his reasons for eschewing the strictures of classical rhetoric in favour of creative freedom to devise the form, language and style more conducive to persuading his émigré audiences and fulfilling the revolutionary purpose of each speech.
His oratorical texts are infused with passion and, as Vitier observes in relation to the arrangement (dispositio) required by classical rhetoric, “en vano buscaremos en ellos las partes que tradicionalmente se atribuían a la pieza oratoria: exordio, proposición, división, narración, confirmación, refutación, peroración. Sus discursos, mezcla de inmensos períodos y sentencias aforísticas, tienen la forma libre de la llama” (“Los discursos” 294).
Martí’s renown as a distinguished orator was established well before his speech to Cuban émigrés at New York’s Steck Hall in January 1880. Vitier suggests that its evolution began when he spoke in front of the military tribunal that condemned him to prison. Not long after his first deportation to Spain in 1871, he established links with other Cuban exiles and was soon actively campaigning in favour of Cuba’s independence, addressing meetings in Madrid and Zaragoza. In Mexico he was known for his active involvement in the cultural and political life of the country and his activities included speeches to meetings of literary societies as well as workers.
His reputation for intellectual activism preceded him to Guatemala, where his public speaking activities and oratorical style are known to have earned him the dubious title of “Doctor Torrente.” On his return to Cuba in the wake of the February 1878 Pacto del Zanjón, his oratory brought him to the attention of his fellow Cubans who heard him speak and who began to discover in him the political and spiritual leadership required in the revolutionary movement: “lo descubrieron como un guía politico y spiritual” (Vitier, “Los discursos” 295).
Speech at banquet in honour of Adolfo Márquez Sterling
He delivered the speech that perhaps established his reputation for revolutionary oratory on April 16, 1879, (six months previous to “The Steck Hall Lecture” of January 24, 1880) at a banquet offered by the Partido Liberal at La Habana’s El Louvre in honour of Adolfo Márquez Sterling, a notable autonomist and leading journalist, and founder of the newspapers La Discusión and La Libertad. (“Brindis en el banquete celebrado en honor de Adolfo Márquez Sterling, en los altos de El Louvre, La Habana” 4: 177-79.)
Márquez Sterling had attempted to organize a third political party in favour of “free trade, free labor, the prompt and complete abolition of slavery, and universal suffrage” and had been undermined in this endeavour by “the absence of freedom of the press and assemblage” as well as Spanish hostility (Foner, A History of Cuba 2: 278). His attempt that year to be elected as one of the Cuba’s deputies to the cortes had also been unsuccessful (Toledo Sande, Cesto 99).
The banquet would have afforded autonomists the opportunity to appease the honouree and, in so doing, strengthen their party and further their political agenda. It is also likely they believed that by paying Martí the compliment of inviting him to address them, Martí, whose growing influence among Cubans they would not have ignored, could perhaps be seduced into joining their elitist ranks. If they were counting on winning Martí’s support, they were inevitably disappointed for their guest speaker rendered the highest praise to Márquez Sterling, but notwithstanding the undoubted presence of colonial spies, he also used the occasion to pay tribute to Cuba, declare his opposition to autonomy and argue for a radical, concrete, and immediate solution to Cuba’s problems. His brief, intense speech introduces allusions and ideas he would later develop and explain in “The Steck Hall Lecture.”
He opens with a clear declaration of his purpose: to pay tribute to the nation and to the guest of honour (“para ensalzar a la patria . . . son oportunos todos los momentos; para honrar al que nos honra” 4: 177). In acknowledging the honour of the invitation, he declares his politics by alluding to the war of independence (“de memorias vivo; de memorias y esperanzas” 4: 177) and to the Pacto del Zanjón (“la promesa hipócrita” 4: 177), affirming his desires and aspirations for Cuban society, and adroitly condemning the reformist platform: “a mí, que no consentiré jamás que en goce altivo de un derecho venga a turbármelo el recuerdo amargo del exceso acatamiento, de la fidelidad humillante, de la promesa hipócrita, que me hubiesen costado conseguirlo: a mí, átomo encendido, que tiene la voluntad de no apagarse, de un incendio vivísimo que no se extinguirá jamás sino bajo la influencia cierta, palpable, visible, de copioso, de inagotable, de abundantísimo raudal de libertades” (4: 177).
Martí praises the guest of honour, “el bravo periodista,” “el enérgico hombre de combate,” on behalf of Cubans whose desire is to keep dignity, liberty and honour alive and have observed his weapons to be active, flaming, and brilliant (4: 177). He transforms Márquez Sterling’s thoughtful ideas, firm intentions and noble, legitimate aspirations into a symbol for the nation: “No es éste un hombre ahora. . . Es un símbolo, un reconocimiento, una garantía” (4: 177). Alluding to the war of independence and the “race war” rumours that plagued it, he acknowledges the principled journalist who did not belittle its victories with recollections of past fears and possible future plots, emphasizing (and specifying): “A este símbolo saludamos, a la justicia y al derecho encarnados en su obra . . . al tenaz periodista, al observador concienzudo, al cubano enérgico” (4: 178).
Martí then juxtaposes the opposing goals of the autonomist and revolutionary movements. He uses contrary to fact statements to reinforce the false hopes and class interests paraded by “los timoratos” and “los acomodaticios” as representative of Cuban politics (“Si tal, y más amplia y completa, hubiera de ser la política cubana; si . . . si. . . .” 4: 178) and to define the democratic principles and objectives of the revolutionary movement, concluding that he would not raise his glass to the politics of timidity, deceit and disrespect for the legitimate aspirations of the Cuban people.
He would only raise his glass to the Cuban political movement which is inclusive, representative, heroic, proud of its history, energetic and honourable. He ends his speech with a toast of goodwill and inclusion: “Saludemos a todos los justos; saludemos dentro de la honra, a todos los hombres de buena voluntad; saludemos . . . al brillante escritor que nos reúne; . . . y a la patria severa y vigilante, a la patria erguida e imponente, a la patria enferma y agitada que inflama su valor” (4: 179).
His passionate and emphatically stated opposition to the autonomy movement is clear, but this speech also displays his talent for reconciling differences without compromising his own integrity. In accepting the invitation to address the autonomists he may have been optimistic that he could influence them or, through this event, reach a wider audience. The latter he did achieve, for the text of his tribute appeared the following day in La Discusión.
October 10 commemorative speeches
On October 10, 1887, almost eight years after initiating his revolutionary campaign among Cuban émigrés in the United States, Martí delivered the first of five annual speeches to commemorate the outbreak, in 1868, of Cuba’s first war of independence. In the interim, on January 30, 1880, the cortes had approved a law to gradually abolish slavery over an eight-year transition period, the patronato, during which patrones, former slaveowners, were required to supply their patrocinados with food, clothing and monthly wages.
Several Cuban deputies voted against the abolition law because it did not provide dueños with compensation or economic concessions for their loss of property, confirming that liberty for slaves and equality for all Cubans were not among the aspirations and interests of the sectors advocating for autonomy and reform. Economic reasons caused the patronato to gradually disappear, for “it proved more profitable for the masters to give the patrocinados their liberty, and to hire them to work as day laborers, thereby avoiding the necessity of maintaining them during slack seasons” (Foner, A History of Cuba 2: 293); and in 1886, two years before the scheduled expiration of the patronato, a Spanish decree totally abolished slavery.
Even within the revolutionary movement, Martí faced a difficult challenge: to propagate and maintain the principles of justice and equality across all sectors of the population in a society only just emerging from a slave-based economy and vulnerable, as confirmed by historical events, to hostile rumours of a black peril. His many declarations throughout his campaign of the loyalty of African Cubans to the wars of independence were central to his discourse of unity and integral to the unifying mission of his leadership.
Transparently attentive to language and purpose, in his first commemorative speech at New York’s Masonic Temple on October 10, 1887, Martí draws attention to the reverential tone of the text: “religioso entusiasmo . . . con los acentos de la plegaria” (4: 215). He relies on the audience’s fervent responsiveness to sacred language to achieve the fervour of “religious enthusiasm” and the devotion of “prayer” for the veneration of the hallowed martyrs of the war of independence and of the patria.
The martyrs are portrayed here as illustrious shadows that people the air (“las sombras ilustres que pueblan el aire” 4: 226) and later as gigantic priests whose uplifted arms appeal for unity among Cubans (“los sacerdotes gigantes . . . aquellos brazos alzados” 4: 238), while Cuba is personified as a dead beloved whose eyes follow its living martyrs everywhere (“mártires vivos”; “nos siguen por todas partes, nos animan cuando estamos honrándola con nuestros actos” 4: 217). The patria is also symbolized as sacred fire (“el fuego sagrado” 4: 219) and its transcending presence and igniting power prevail throughout this speech and the others in the series.
The religious tone is heightened through references to pain, suffering and martyrdom, filial unity in “body” and “blood” (“nuestros hermanos, nuestra carne, nuestra sangre” 4: 218), the “way” to the nation’s “salvation” (“el camino por donde al fin ha de buscar su salvación la patria” 4: 220), and syntactically through repetitions akin to a litany of gratitude, praise, affirmation or negation (e.g., “¡Gracias . . . gracias!” 4: 215; “No es hora de decir . . . No es hora de decir . . . .” 4: 221).
The reverential language that venerates the patria, preserves the memories of war, honours its martyrs and acknowledges its veterans also situates the message of independence within the realm of Truth and offers the promise of redemption to those who keep the faith and sacrifice their personal well-being for the good of all and the honour of the nation (“abandonaron el bienestar para obedecer al honor” 4: 215). The apostolic mission represented in the uplifted arms of the martyrs is carried out in the common purpose of the speeches: to inspire patriots to uphold the principles, maintain the passion and exercise the prudence required for the successful renewal of the independence war. It is also reflected in the corresponding themes recurring throughout the speeches: unity among all Cubans, the dangers of a premature war, the democratic principles of the revolutionary movement, and the vision of the nation. The language of the apostolic message relies on the integrity of both the speaker and his words.
Martí reflects on the nature and integrity of the word on three of the five commemorative occasions. Alluding to the reform propaganda of the autonomists, he observes that the word has been touched by shame and disrepute (“la palabra ha caído en descrédito” 4: 230; “hay algo de vergüenza en la oratoria” 4: 235), and further remarks that words dishonour when they do not spring from a heart that is clean and whole, have been abused by the weak, vain and ambitious, and have been reduced to empty rhetoric. Not all words are disreputable, however, and honest words still have a duty to perform: to create, clarify, attract and inform (4: 230, 235), and to encourage, unite and prepare Cubans for the inevitable war, a duty made all the more necessary after the peace and reform promises that have yielded only increased servitude and a more divided society (4: 249).
Their duty on commemorative occasions is to render praise to martyrs and veterans, the forever anointed and consecrated (“ungidos y consagrados” 4: 250). Although he declares that the October 10 ceremonies are not for political analysis, his speeches on these occasions are essentially political in purpose as well as in content, infused as much with reason as with passion, and reveal the creativity and foresight that characterize his apostolic mission to unite and guide the revolutionary movement: for to think is to create, and politics is, above all, the art of foresight (“¿Pues pensar, qué es, si no es fundar?” 4: 249; “La política . . . es sobre todo arte de prevision” 4: 248).
Martí’s revolutionary discourse is of unity and integration. The revolutionary movement could not succeed without achieving unity among Cubans, who were divided by the promises of peace and reform represented in the Pacto del Zanjón and supported by influential autonomists, by the geographical separation between Cubans living on the island and those forced into exile, and by the racial and labour conflicts and the socio-economic inequalities inherent in a society where slavery had only recently been abolished.
Of these factors, the autonomists were, for Martí, the most insidious and divisive. Their ideological weakness, narrow vision and lack of foresight increased the dangers facing the nation (4: 243). His 1889 commemorative speech acknowledges that while some autonomists are sincere in their belief that a lasting solution was possible without war, many are motivated by wilful deception and personal interest, and he dedicates much of this text to judging and condemning them for their indifference to the problems of “tremendous inequalities” and “deformed and contradictory elements” in Cuban society (4: 236, 240). Time has made their errors and false hopes transparent: “Ya se están cayendo las estatuas de polvo” (4: 239); “El miedo no ha resuelto una situación que sólo podía resolver el valor” (4: 241).
Martí declares that the duty of the autonomists, as a party of peace, was to remain connected to the context that occasioned its formation, and he offers several reasons why the party did not fulfill its mission: the error of its hybrid birth and limited vision; its failure to include the people in its sectarian agenda; and either, even within the terms of incomplete liberties, its incapacity to gather the forces indispensable for triumph in the enjoyment of peace and in the well-being of the nation, or its disdain for genuine collaboration with all who would have sided against Spain to defend liberty in the land where their children are born (4: 243).
Those on the side of liberty and justice include liberal, independent, and discontented peninsulares (4: 243), says Martí, and they are welcomed in the revolutionary movement, for it is propelled by the spirit of liberty and justice, not by blind and useless hatred for Spain or Spaniards (4: 230). As a party of peace and reform the autonomist party has failed to achieve the enjoyment of peace and liberties; instead it has further divided the nation and threatens the success of the revolutionary movement struggling to unite Cubans to achieve true liberties and a lasting peace.
Another factor threatening the unity of Cubans and the success of the revolutionary movement was the hostile strategy implemented by the enemies of the movement and aimed at creating a gulf between Cubans in Cuba and those exiled abroad.
In his 1890 commemorative speech Martí disputes the hostile divisive strategy residing in the claim that the Cuban exiles are preparing the way for unoccupied veterans of the independence war to overthrow colonial rule and ascend to power as military tyrants in Cuba: “que el cubano libre que tiene en algo la salud de la patria y el honor, no es más que silla de monta, para que el tirano militar se pavonee, después de la guerra triunfante, sobre una tribu de demagogos sumisos” (4: 251). In refuting the rumour he asserts that its perpetrators cannot be aware of the integrity and honour of the veterans, nor of the strong support in Cuba for the “true and concealed” nation: “nuestros héroes, los vivos como los muertos, tienen la bendición de todos los cubanos” (4: 251); nor are they aware of the truth, for the community in exile would never consent to such a betrayal of the people’s national aspirations (4: 252).
He reminds his audience of the rational and political nature of the “revolution of reflection”: “El político de razón es vencido, en los tiempos de acción, por el político de acción . . . a menos que, a la hora de montar, no se eche la razón al frente, y monte. ¡La razón, si quiere guiar, tiene que entrar en la caballería!” (4: 252). The nation’s most fearsome enemies, he adds, are those who, when there is a need for soldiers, refuse to be soldiers (4: 252). He defends and praises the Cuban who, forced into exile, acquires self-development and gains political insight abroad, uncorrupted by the elitist privileges enjoyed by those sectors in Cuba who ignore the majority and attempt to divide the community of revolutionaries working to achieve unity and liberty for the nation (p. 254).
A politics of love that is consistent with “la idea del bien” and his refusal to hate discussed in our Presidio chapter underlies Martí’s discourse of unity. In his commemorative speeches, the ultimate representation of Cuban unity is the cleansing unifying independence war, when soldiers from all sectors of Cuban society sacrificed their lives and personal well-being and paid their “tribute of blood” to save the nation from a “slow extermination”: “cuando con las virtudes evocadas por la grandeza de la rebelión pueden apagarse, y acaso borrarse, los odios y diferencias que amenazan, tal vez para siglos, al país: (4: 236-37).
In a society where slavery has only recently been abolished, and where race inevitably factors into social inequalities and problems of national unity, the “miraculous union” of courageous master and heroic slave unified in martyrdom (4: 237), while certainly idealized, is a powerful symbol for “opening the future” (The expression is Fanon’s in The Wretched 232) to change in social and economic relations. It represents for Martí the unifying potential of love, “la potencia unificadora del amor, que es la ley de la política como la de la naturaleza” (4: 237).
The idealized epic union of master and slave in unified martyrdom is completed by sacred imagery—the nation as temple officiated by the martyr-priests: “¡En pie está el templo, con las palmas por columnas y el cielo de estrellas por techumbre; y los sacerdotes gigantes . . . aquellos brazos alzados . . . aquellos ojos vigilantes, lo que se nos impone como legado ineludible, . . . es que no perpetuemos los odios . . . sino que nos empeñemos en juntar, para la catástrofe inevitable, los elementos refrenados o desunidos” (4: 238). The heroes and the nation appeal for unity among Cubans.
Martí appealed for unity to an audience that was varied in racial and regional origins, social and economic classes, as well as in their degree of spiritual and material support for a new war of independence. His commemorative speeches reflect the multiple objectives inherent in the task of strengthening the revolutionary movement: igniting the spirit of independence in those uncommitted or unconvinced that an inevitable war is the necessary means to achieve it, maintaining the ardent commitment of those already inspired by the flame of liberty, and urging prudence in those fired up with impatience to begin the war.
Each commemorative speech stresses the need for reason as well as valour, prudence as well as passion, and patience as well as fervour. As Vitier comments, “siempre el equilibrio y la previsión en medio de la llama” (“Los discursos” 305). In the 1889 speech Martí warns that Spain’s agents want to again precipitate a war for which Cubans are unprepared and declares that the duty of Cubans is to prevent, with vigilance and confidence, the outbreak of a war that would be unorganized, and to prepare the definitive and invincible war with all and for the good of all (4: 243).
In 1887 and 1890, he included Cuban annexationists and their “cowardly hopes of external help” among the dangers faced by the revolution that aspired to achieve a truly independent Cuba (4: 220, 224, 254), and in 1891 he reminds his audience that lessons from the past have taught that patience and prudence are essential for the success of a new insurgency, and errors from the past have proven the dangers of a premature war (4: 260). Recognizing dangers, says Martí, is the first step to conquering them: “Peligros, es claro que los tenemos, y ni uno solo nos es extraño, y los hay grandes; pero, ¿conocer los peligros, no es el primer paso ya para vencerlos?” (4: 264). Acknowledging errors also reinforces prudence and patience and emphasizes vigilance and preparation: “El tiempo falta. El deber es mucho. El peligro es grande. Es hábil el provocador. Son tenaces, y vigilan y dividen, los ambiciosos” (4: 244). Tone and rhythm in this series of brief sentences convey urgency. The peace period must be used to strengthen convictions and to unify and rebuild the revolutionary movement (4: 248).
Past failures have shown the need for ideological preparation and unity (“un alma sola . . . con la proporción debida al derecho humano” 4: 261), and to achieve its goals, the movement must be able to benefit from the readiness of Cuban blacks to conquer full liberty for the nation, yet many Cubans, “los conterráneos incapaces que los desdeñan,” have still to embrace the democratic principles of the revolution and its commitment to human rights and equality (4: 243). Martí further observes that the number of liberal-minded peninsulares is increasing, and expresses optimism that Cubans, including some autonomists, who have been slower to join the revolutionary movement, will come to realize the necessity and inevitability of war (4: 242). The people, he says, are searching for the standard of the heroes, are without faith in those that have ill-advised them, but cannot yet detect the light reaching out to them from the community of exiles (4: 243).
In 1891 Martí urges Cuban patriots on the island to form clubs, be vigilant, and beware of spies and assassins (4: 263). He urges patience and prudence, adequate preparation, and unity in principles and goals among Cuban émigrés and Cubans on the island; he repeatedly reassures them that revolutionary work is indeed being accomplished and reminds them of the clandestine nature of the work required to prepare a successful war: “Lo que hacemos, el silencio lo sabe” (4: 244); “en lo callado de nuestra faena” (4: 255); “¡A caballa venimos este año, lo mismo que el pasado, solo que esta caballería anda por donde se vence, y por donde no la oye andar el enemigo!” (4: 259); “Lo que es, es, y lo sabemos acá; pero es preferible que, por falta de obra patente nos crean inactivos” (4: 263).
The opening imagery, in the 1891 speech, of horses and horsemen affirms that the day of the clarion call to war is approaching: “que con las orejas caídas y los belfos al pesebre no se fundan pueblos; que no es la hora todavía de soltarle el freno a la cabalgadura, pero que la cincha se la hemos puesto ya, y la venda se la hemos quitado ya, y la silla se la vamos a poner, y los jinetes . . . ¡los corazones están llenos de jinetes!” (4: 259). The conclusion reminds the doubtful or impatient that the success of the war will depend on a revolutionary movement that does not advertise its organization and strength, parade its military forces, display ostentatious authority, nor carry out imprudent outbursts, actions that would trouble the prudent, incite jealousies and regional conflicts, and reveal the forces to the enemy (4: 266). The closing statement reveals Martí’s understanding of leadership and the nature of his role in the revolutionary movement: “Pues así somos nosotros amigos de la humildad y del sacrificio. ¡Éntrese nuestro caballo por el invasor y espántalo y derrótelo, aunque no se les vean a los jefes la cabeza!” (4: 266). For “no leader, however valuable he may be,” says Fanon, “can substitute himself for the popular will” (The Wretched 205).
Martí’s 1889 and 1890 commemorative speeches also keep his audience focused on the democratic principles and objectives of the independence movement which aspires to complete the work of social and economic transformation that was initiated by the martyrs and veterans of La Guerra de Diez Años. Its task is to encourage and unify Cubans and to prepare the new war of independence in accordance with a unifying and inclusive politics of nation-building: “política de cimiento y de abrazo” (4: 255).
The necessary transformation requires a revolution which, in true political science, he maintains, is no more than a form of evolution that is at times indispensable if development is to be achieved because of dissimilarity or opposition between co-existing factors (4: 242). Such a revolution—“aquella revolución de amor y de fuego” (4: 244)—is necessary to establish a truly democratic society without elitist class interests and achieve justice and equality with all and for the good of all, including equal enjoyment of national property and benefits: “que completemos la obra de la revolución . . . con todos y para el bien de todos” (4: 238); “todo lo de la patria es propiedad común, y objeto libre e inalienable de la acción y el pensamiento de todo el que haya nacido en Cuba” (4: 238-39).
The revolutionary movement is inspired by confidence in the righteousness of its cause and the redemptive sacrifice of its martyrs (“sabiendo, como sabemos, que nuestro ejército está debajo de la tierra, y saldrá a su hora y bajará del cielo, pronto y bien armado” 4: 254) and by a vision of the nation as independent, democratic, inclusive, just, honourable and victorious (“los días del trabajo después de la redención, . . . de reedificación . . . derecho igual . . . aquella ardiente labor de paz . . . del país común. . . . ¡Ah, los días buenos. . . !” 4: 264-65).
Martí describes the nature of government in the liberated regions during La Guerra de Diez Años as a period of discovery, in the “poetry of freedom,” when creativity and originality were necessary to unite, in real conditions and in isolation, the vital elements that create a nation: “creaban en la poesía de la libertad la civilización” (4: 237). His vision of the victorious nation includes ideas on creativity in government and politics that anticipate those he later develops in “Nuestra América”: “La política . . . es sobre todo arte de previsión” (4: 248); “¿Pues pensar, qué es, si no es fundar?” (4: 249); “los modos de gobierno . . . no pueden ser más que el resultado de los factores de la población y de sus relaciones, como al arreglo prudente de los factores inevitables, que han de crecer e influir en junto” (4: 249).
His vision is also determinedly as opposed to the replacement of imperial despotism with neo-colonial tyranny (4: 230) as it is to politicians who would imitate foreign models of government without regard to the problems inherent in the unique composition and character of the nation (4: 236). The task of the revolutionary movement is to prepare the war, but also to prepare for the government of the victorious nation: “la tarea nuestra . . . [es] preparar el país de acuerdo con sus antecedentes y sus elementos” (4: 239).
Key West and Tampa Cuban émigré communities
By 1890 Martí had achieved enormous influence among Cuban émigrés in New York, where he had participated in 1888 in the formation of the Los Independientes club and had emerged as leader of the revolutionary movement for Cuba’s independence and socio-economic transformation. New York, however, was but one émigré centre. “When, in the 1860s, United States raised the import taxes on Havanas, many Cuban tobacco factories moved to Florida,” says Rodríguez-Luis in “Introduction: On the Re-evaluation of Martí” xiii.
Economic conditions on the island and the independence wars had caused “the emigration and exodus of perhaps one hundred thousand Cubans to Europe and the Americas” and there were larger communities of Cuban émigrés in the United States: Key West, which by 1880, “bustled as Florida’s largest city,” where “over one hundred factories dotted the landscape, paying out $2.5 million in wages” by 1885 and three thousand Cubans were producing 100 million cigars annually” by 1889; and Tampa, where the opening of the “first cigar factories in 1886 marked an era of quantum growth in cigar profits, and “export duties approached one million dollars a year” by the end of the nineteenth century (Mormino 5).
The émigré centres of Key West and Tampa comprised mainly Cuban tobacco workers. They had been in the forefront of the labour movement since the 1850s, having been the first group of Cuban workers to organize for improvement in their working conditions. Their working-class consciousness and activism, by the mid-1860s, had transformed their workplaces into educational environments with the introduction of la tribuna, la lectura, and los lectores as fixtures in Cuban cigarmaking factories (Mormino 2-4; Foner, A History of Cuba 2: 136-48). According to Mormino, “The reader operated within the framework of the labor movement in the Americas and also as part of the wave of nineteenth-century movements for the liberation of Puerto Rico and Cuba. . . . The convergence of revolutionary struggle and labour militancy was most potent in precisely those areas where the reader was pre-eminent: Havana, Key West, and Tampa. . . . Cuban cigarmakers in Havana, and later in Key West and Tampa, brought to the shop floor a workers’ élan borne of the revolutionary struggle for independence” (4).
Active in patriotic clubs that brought together supporters of the independence movement, tobacco workers in Key West and Tampa were aware of Martí’s emergence as a revolutionary leader based in New York. In November 1891, Néstor Carbonell, president of the Ignacio Agramonte Club in Tampa, invited Martí to participate in the club’s artistic-literary benefit celebration, an invitation which occasioned Martí’s first visit to Tampa, an opportunity he used to forge links between the Florida clubs and those in New York.
Julio Ramos reports that “when Martí arrived at the highly radicalized tobacco centers . . . the artisans (many of them anarchists, doubtless suspicious of his intellectualism) asked him, ‘How could you, a literary man [literato] lead our revolution?’” (69). In a footnote he quotes Sotero Figueroa, editor of Primera jornada de José Martí en Cayo Hueso (New York: Imprenta América, 1896, p. 13): “The initiative of the aforementioned workers (who proposed Martí as a possible leader of the movement) did not obtain any general consensus: some veterans of the ten-year epic struggle admired in Martí the eminent orator, but did not consider him as the chosen one who would lead the Cubans to the land of the free. Some factory-workers believed that Martí was simply an extraordinary man of letters, but not the expert pilot most suited to guiding the ship of revolution through the waters of liberty” (77).
He arrived at Tampa at midnight on November 25. At the Liceo Cubano on the 26th he delivered the speech that has become known as “Con todos y para el bien de todos” (4: 267-79) and the following day he delivered the twentieth anniversary commemorative speech, “Los pinos nuevos” (4: 282-86) in homage to the eight medical students that were assassinated in La Habana on November 27, 1871. Both speeches were recorded by Francisco María González, lector for the Eduardo H. Gato tobacco workers in Key West, and reproduced later in print form for wider distribution, making the text accessible to the Key West Cuban émigrés, among others, who had not attended the benefit celebration in Tampa.
“Con todos y para el bien de todos”
Martí delivered “Con todos y para el bien de todos” approximately six week after the October 10, 1891, commemorative speech that conveys the opening image of horsemen and horses awaiting the call to arms. This alert to the imminence of war is echoed in the ardent tone and fervent exhortations of his first speech to Cuban émigrés in Tampa which he launches with an invocation to suffering Cuba: “Para Cuba que sufre, la primera palabra” (4: 269). Religious allusions communicate the exalted nature of the patriotic meeting: “esta noche gloriosa de resurrección, de la fe determinada y metódica de nuestros espíritus” (4: 272); and the idea of the nation as temple reappears to reinforce the exalted purpose of the revolutionary cause: Cuba is the altar before which patriots offer their lives, and not a pedestal they egoistically should use to elevate themselves above her (4: 269).
In the context of the enthusiastic reception extended to him by the Tampa émigrés, an acknowledgement of his leadership of the revolutionary movement, he affirms that humility and service define the role and duty of leadership. He receives their warm hospitality as evidence of their kindness, patriotic spirit and affectionate welcome for a fellow Cuban, not as personal merits or honours, and reciprocates by acknowledging the generous hands that strengthen him for the “agony of building,” expressing gratitude to all whose hands are contributing to the “task of founding,” and thanking them for the community of love, honesty and culture they have created, and for the temple bordered with heroes that they have raised over their hearts (4: 269). A community of workers who resist attempts by factory owners to divide them, they demonstrate the freed strength of the hardworking patria and have joined the table of thought to the workbench where they earn their bread, a reference to the practice of employing lectores to read aloud and lead discussions in the cigar factories (4: 269).
His opening statements introduce keywords, imagery and symbols that reappear throughout the speech to poetically represent the ideology, spirit and national aspirations of the revolutionary movement: “altar,” “templo,” “amadísimo nombre” and “agonía” represent an exalted cause and the idea of sacrifice; “alma,” “corazón,” “amar,” “fuego,” “cariño generoso” and “abrazo” suggest unity, integration and passion of commitment; “manos generosas,” “manos puestos a la faena,” “manos incansables,” “manos firmes,” “edificación” and “faena de fundar” convey the idea of a united, honest, capable and creative community of nation-builders who work with their hands; and “patria trabajadora,” “pueblo de amor,” “pueblo de virtud,” “pueblo culto,” “pueblo liberal, fiero y trabajador” represent their commitment to justice and equality, and aspirations for dignity, growth and development through work.
The communicative power of his metaphorical language to represent the ideological and spiritual foundations of the revolutionary movement is strengthened by his acknowledgement of the achievements of the Tampa community and his empathetic understanding of their aspirations as Cubans. Conveying an understanding of their realities enables him, as orator, to earn their respect, penetrate their soul and forge an ideological and spiritual link that joins them with him in the service of the nation: “Yo abrazo a todos los que saben amar. Yo traigo la estrella, y traigo la paloma, en mi corazón” (4: 269). The fraternal embrace that includes and unites, the star that represents the aspirations and creative energy of the Cuban revolutionary movement, and the dove that suggests the spirit of peace, hope and love are symbols that speak directly to their intuitive souls.
The affective impact of the bond between speaker and audience is further heightened by the repetitive echo of togetherness when he affirms that his national pride, patriotic love, confidence in the success of the movement, and faith in the future of the republic are strengthened by their unity: “desde que veo, por los avisos sagrados del corazón, juntos en esta noche de fuerza y pensamiento, juntos para ahora y para después, juntos para mientras impere el patriotismo, a los cubanos que ponen su opinión franca y libre por sobre todas las cosas,—y a un cubano que se las respeta” (4: 270).
The ideological preparation, unity of purpose and strength of spirit that will ensure the success of the war call for a speech to his Tampa audience that emphasizes the democratic principles of justice and equality and the vision of the nation represented by the revolutionary movement. War means suffering and sacrifices, but the war of independence is both necessary and inevitable; and for it to succeed, prudence, adequate preparations and unity are essential to ensure that its renewal be organized and brief to limit the inevitable losses in both personal and national terms. “Truth” and “lie” are thematic counterpoints that govern the text of his Tampa speech. Truth, he declares, should fire the soul, vibrate and shine like a ray of light for free and honest men to follow (4: 270).
In this spirit, the message that justice and equality for all Cubans are the soul and purpose of the revolutionary movement reverberates in acknowledgement of the first truth: inequality and injustice are critical problems in Cuban society that will require immediate solutions in the liberated republic: “hemos de poner la justicia tan alta como las palmas” (4: 273); “en la mejilla ha de sentir todo hombre verdadero el golpe que reciba cualquier mejilla de hombre” (4: 270). The first law of the republic, he maintains, must be the cultivation of the full dignity of every individual, and unless the republic is founded on the full potential and character of each of its citizens, the practice of working with one’s hands, respect for independent thought, complete self-development and the development of others—founded, in effect, on passion for the dignity of the individual, the republic will not be worth the tears of its women or the blood of its soldiers (4: 270).
Truth is a central theme of this Tampa speech: “En la verdad hay que entrar con la camisa al codo. . . . Todo lo verdadero es santo, aunque no huela a clavellina” (4: 274). As is characteristic of Martí, he deals directly with the errors and problems that contributed to the failure of the Guerra de Diez Años (“la guerra del arranque, que cayó en el desorden” 4: 273) to achieve Cuba’s independence as well as the lessons to be learned from those experiences: “ni hemos de entretenernos tanto como entonces en dimes y diretes de localidad, ni en competencias de mando, ni en envidias de pueblo, ni en esperanzas locas” (4: 273). He also characteristically responds to “aquellos consejeros de métodos confusos” (4: 274)—the autonomist propaganda that reform is possible without war and the annexationist hope that help from the United States will save Cuba the sacrifice of war—by reminding his audience that equality and justice are not among the objectives of those movements and declaring the democratic principles of the revolutionary movement:
Y con letras de luz se ha de leer que no buscamos, en este nuevo sacrificio, meras formas, ni la perpetuación del alma colonial en nuestra vida, con novedades de uniforme yanqui, sino la esencia y realidad de un país republicano nuestro, sin miedo canijo de unos a la expression saludable de todas las ideas y el empleo honrado de todas las energías,—ni de parte de otros aquel robo al hombre que consiste en pretender imperar en nombre de la libertad por violencias en que se prescinde del derecho de los demás a las garantías y los métodos de ella. . . . ¡Valiera más que no se desplegara esa bandera de su mástil, si no hubiera de amparar por igual a todas las cabezas! (4: 273-74)
The necessary and inevitable war is most desired by Cubans, most in need of liberty, whose powerful and intelligent love of rights now inspires them to rebuild the war pavilions left unattended by those Cubans who, less in need of justice, had tired of the struggle (4: 273). Promulgating as always the message of unity, he lovingly articulates the word “cubanos” to share with his audience the sweetness and beauty in the sound of the word and the filial and fraternal love and hospitality it produces deep within each Cuban.
This emotional appeal emphasizes the natural bonds of love and brotherhood that unite Cubans everywhere—“¡Como que unos brazos divinos que no vemos nos aprietan a todos sobre un pecho en que todavía corre la sangre y se oye todavía sollozar el corazón” (4: 271). Cuba suffers and Cubans suffer with her: those in exile whose hardworking lives are without personal gain or joy (“de muerte disimulada” 4: 271) and those in Cuba, “donde el dueño corrompido pudre cuanto mira” (4: 271). He uses images of disease, decay and corruption to represent social and political conditions that Cubans on the island endure and juxtaposes them with representations of the community of émigrés as vigilant, creative, unified and prepared for the task of reconstruction and to establish the patria for the benefit of all Cubans:
¡Acá donde vigilamos por los ausentes, donde reponemos la casa que allá se nos cae encima, donde creamos lo que ha de reemplazar a lo que allí se nos destruye . . . ! ¡A la patria que allí se cae a pedazos hay que llevar la patria piadosa y previsora que aquí se levanta! ¡A lo que queda de patria allí, mordido de todas partes por la gangrena que empieza a roer el corazón, hay que juntar la patria amiga donde hemos ido, acá en la soledad, acomodando el alma . . . ! (4: 271)
Martí juxtaposes seemingly opposed deictic references (“acá,” “allá”) but achieves the surprising effect of reinforcing the spirit of patriotism, unity and love (“amor triunfante” 4: 279) among and between exiled and domiciled Cubans. He declares, furthermore, that only those unaware of the nature and character of the patria ignore that it embodies the inalienable liberty and dignity of the individual, the suffering of the people and the energy of the land, and that the community in arms is united in a common purpose founded on principles of love, brotherhood and justice that transcend social classes (4: 275). He maintains, however, that dissenters need not be feared nor upbraided, for the republic requires a balance of opposite tendencies, but he cautions against political deception that represents a danger to the success of the war and dedicates a significant portion of his speech to refuting the lies perpetuated against the revolutionary movement by individuals and parties unwilling to defend the principles of equality and justice for the good of all, or for whom a republic founded on democratic principles represents a threat to their personal or class interests (4: 275-78).
Emphasizing the thematic counterpoints of “truth” and “lie,” Martí refutes rumours and faulty assumptions and punctuates each with a definitive “¡Mienten!”
(i) The spirit and commitment among the Tampa émigrés is the strongest evidence that the strength of the revolutionary movement is not diminishing.
(ii) The valour, wisdom, democratic leadership, republican ideas and heroic action demonstrated by the veterans of the war disprove every accusation of dictatorial tendencies or aspirations to power.
(iii) The claim that the tribulations and deprivations of war are unwarranted serves the interest of the government of Spain and ignores the tribulations and deprivations suffered by Cubans under colonial rule.
(iv) There is no black conspiracy and no need to fear those who have suffered most in Cuba and who differ from other Cubans only in the superior, natural and practical intensity of their love for liberty.
(v) The assumption that Spaniards are naturally disloyal to the patria is unreasonable, for many aspire to liberty, suffer injustices and desire a future free of hunger and persecution for their Cuban children.
(vi) Cubans have the courage and capacity to live independently in the land they create through their bravery and without external help.
(vii) Dandies, paperweight Olympians and other supercilious opportunists deliberately use political deception to malign the revolution and its supporters as idle, authoritarian generals, untamed stragglers and the envious poor.
“¡Mienten! ¡Esta es la turba obrera, el arca de nuestra alianza, el tahalí, bordado de mano de mujer, donde se ha guardado la espada de Cuba, el arenal redentor, donde se edifica, y se perdona, y se prevé, y se ama!” (4: 278)
He reiterates the urgency for unity in his portrayal of unfolding tents in a busy war encampment led by martyrs: “¡ . . . los muertos están mandando, y aconsejando, y vigilando, y los vivos los oyen, y los obedecen, y se oye en el viento ruido de ayudantes que pasan llevando órdenes, y de pabellones que se despliegan! ¡Unámonos, cubanos, en esta otra fe: con todos, y para el bien de todos: . . . la revolución de justicia y de realidad, para el reconocimiento y la práctica franca de las libertades verdaderas!” (4: 272).
The liberating army of free and honest men is steadily approaching the desperate homeland. They are determined in spirit, inspired by the principles of equality and justice and by the light of truth they follow: “no se ve sino un águila que sube, y un sol que va naciendo, y un ejército que avanza” (4: 272). The war they are preparing is not to establish a government of tyranny at the door of the continent, but to achieve in peacetime equity of interests, rights and liberty for the good and prosperity of all Cubans (4: 270-71). Its true liberating purpose is represented in the soaring spirit and freedom of the eagle and in the creative energy and truth embodied in the light of the rising sun.
The patria is symbolized in the rectitude and dignity of the stately palm: “ni el niño, hermano o hijo de mártires y de héroes, nutrido en sus leyendas, piensa en más que en lo hermoso de morir a caballo, peleando por el país, al pie de una palma!” (4: 273). He concludes with an affirmation of unity and preparedness and a call to action. Suffering Cuba beckons:
Ya somos uno, y podemos ir al fin: conocemos el mal, y veremos de no recaer; a puro amor y paciencia hemos congregado lo que quedó disperso, y convertido en orden entusiasta lo que era, después de la catastrophe, desconcierto receloso; hemos procurado la buena fe, y creemos haber logrado suprimir o reprimir los vicios que causaron nuestra derrota, y allegar con modos sinceros y para fin durable, los elementos conocidos o esbozados, con cuya unión se puede llevar la Guerra inminente al triunfo. ¡Ahora, a formar filas! . . . Delante de mí vuelvo a ver los pabellones, dando órdenes; y me parece que el mar que de allá viene, cargado de esperanza y de dolor, rompe la valla de la tierra ajena en que vivimos, y revienta contra esas puertas sus olas alborotadas . . . ¡Pues alcémonos . . . alcémonos . . . alcémonos . . . alcémonos. . . ! Y pongamos alrededor de la estrella, en la bandera nueva, esta fórmula del amor triunfante: “Con todos, y para el bien de todos. (4: 278-79)
“¡Eso somos nosotros: pinos nuevos!”
At the Liceo Cubano on November 27, the day following his first Tampa speech, “después de un día atareado de creación” (4: 283), Martí again addressed Cuban émigrés at the Convención Cubana event that commemorated the twentieth anniversary of the assassination of the eight medical students in La Habana in 1871. The speech he improvised to mark the occasion opens with the consoling image of the flowers of resurrection that mark the tombs of the dead, a message of optimism that he develops in the portrayal of the death of the martyrs, “la muerte necesaria . . . la muerte hermosa y útil” (4: 283), as a prelude to the march of liberty and the triumph of life:
No siento hoy como ayer romper coléricas al pie de esta tribuna, coléricas y dolorosas, las olas de la mar que trae de nuestra tierra la agonía y la ira, ni es llanto lo que oigo, ni manos suplicantes las que veo, ni cabezas caídas las que escuchan,—¡sino cabezas altas! Y afuera de esas puertas repletas, viene la ola de un pueblo que marcha. ¡Asi el sol, después de la sombre de la noche, levanta por el horizonte puro su copa de oro! (4: 283)
The redeeming death of martyrs is the invisible and purifying fire that unites the dead and the living and prepares faithful souls for the future, for immortal virtue rises from the tombs of the heroes to freshen the air and enter triumphantly into the hearts of the living, creating leaders, providing lessons and examples, and teaching from the book of life: “¡asi, de esos enlaces continuos invisibles, se va tejiendo el alma de la patria!” (4: 273-74).
Affirming the disinclination of Cubans toward hatred, resentment and bloodshed, and declaring it pointless to convert their deaths into the drumbeat for war, he gives expression to the deep love, “un amor como purificado y angélico” (4: 284), that Cubans feel for the young martyrs who through their deaths announced to an indifferent world the absolute justice of the people’s revolt against their masters: “lo que queremos es saludar con ineffable gratutud, como misterioso símbolo de la pujanza patria, del oculto y seguro poder del alma criolla, a los que, a la primera voz de la muerte, subieron sonriendo, del apego y cobardía de la vida común, al heroísmo ejemplar” (4: 284).
In remembering the assassination, he portrays the youthful joy and innocent vanity of the young man, “el niño de dieciseis años que iba delante” (4: 285), “el bozo en flor” (4: 284), as representative of the victims’ heroic transformation to martyrdom: “¡Con superior beldad se le animó el rostro caído, con soberbio poder se le levantó el ánimo patrio, con abrazos firmes apretó, al salir a la muerte, a sus amigos, y con la mano serena les enjugó las lágrimas! ¡Así, en los alzamientos por venir, del pecho más oscuro saldrá, a triunfar, la gloria! ¡Así, del valor oculto, crecerán los ejércitos de mañana!” (4: 284-85). Heroism is the life’s blood of the people and their example has inspired bravery in those who are fearful.
Martí’s closing image reinforces the link between the dead martyrs and the living patriots. He describes the humid, dark landscape of the previous evening. The muddy stream ran turbulently. The reeds, few and withered, were not swaying plaintively like those fertilized by the martyrs whose deaths ask for redemption; they entered rough and bristly like foreign daggers through the heart.
And high up toward the scattered clouds, a pine, defying the storm, straightened out its top entirely. Soon there was a burst of sunlight over a clearing in the forest, and there, with the glimmer of the unexpected light, over the yellow grass, raising themselves around the black trunk of the fallen pines, were the joyful clusters of the new pines. “¡Eso somos nosotros: pinos nuevos!” (4: 286) The revolutionary movement, strengthened by the support of the émigré communities, will unite with patriots in Cuba and renew the war of independence to liberate the island and redeem its martyrs.
The Tampa Resolutions
Martí refers to his Tampa visit as a period involving intensive work with community leaders and representatives of the patriotic clubs to lay out and ratify the unifying principles and purpose of the revolutionary movement, and the joyful celebration of the community’s achievements, creativity and spirit of unity: “tres días de belleza moral inmaculada” (4: 298), “tres días de labor” (4: 299), “aquel día patrio que duró cuatro días” (4: 300). His speeches were the crowning moments of the visit. The handwritten pages of the Key West Album presented to Martí by the tobacco workers of the E.H. Gato Key West cigar factory document “the sincerest of emotions” of the workers and “bear witness to the fact that his oratory swayed and inspired his listeners (Schulman, “Textual Intersections” 130-31). Schulman reports that even facscimile copies of this document are extremely limited.
Foner maintains that two concrete actions resulted from the fervour of those speeches: the formation of La Liga de Instrucción, modeled after New York’s La Liga, and the adoption of the Tampa Resolutions (Our America 20). The editorial note that introduces these resolutions in the Obras completas confirms that Martí wrote them and had presented them to leaders of the Tampa organizations on November 26, when they had been accepted and approved; it also confirms that on November 28, Ramón Rivero y Rivero, one of the speakers at the farewell meeting honouring Martí, read them out to the Cuban community which had attended en masse (1: 268).
The document affirmed four resolutions that provide for the unity of the patriotic organizations, specify the democratic objectives of the revolutionary movement, and outline the nature and character of democratic government:
(i) There is an urgent need to unite all the revolutionary clubs and organizations in a common action that is free and republican in spirit.
(ii) The united revolutionary movement has no hidden objectives; its undertakings, inspired by justice and experience, will accommodate the realities, rights and democratic soul of the people; and its promotion and actions will not justify, through omission or confusion, the unfounded fear that the war is anything but the instrument of popular government and the preparation of a free and disinterested republic.
(iii) The revolutionary movement will recognize the practical needs of the nation as determined by its composition and history and work to avoid class supremacy through democratic methods that represent all sectors of the nation, the brotherhood and action of Cuban émigrés, the respect and support of the world’s republics, and the creation of a republic that is just and free, one in territory, rights, work and friendship, created with all and for the good of all.
(iv) The revolutionary movement will respect and promote the free and original constitutions of the local émigré organizations. The approval and publication of these resolutions and the support of the Tampa patriotic clubs contributed significantly to the unity, strength and spirit of the revolutionary movement. They represented a triumph over the reported doubts and reservations about Martí’s ability to lead the revolutionary movement and were a political victory for the literato. They also suggest the power of Martí’s revolutionary discourse, not only to unite the revolutionary movement, but to convincingly bring together the intellectual aesthete and the political activist.
“Las águilas y las palomas”
In Key West on November 18, the pro-independence newspaper El Yara had published an article by José Dolores Poyo in praise of Martí, who responded from New York upon his return from Tampa in a letter to Poyo dated December 5, 1891, that acknowledged the article and expressed his ardent desire to visit Key West and to respect in her the forms and methods that have been emerging from what is real and necessary in the locality (1: 265-76). His expressing respect for local organizations is not incidental; he had made the same declaration in his first Tampa speech and this commitment was included in the fourth Tampa resolution. Invited down by an organizing committee presided over by Angel Peláez, he made his first visit to Key West on December 25 and spoke on several occasions; and although not all of his speeches were conserved, the text of “Las águilas y las palomas” (4: 89-90), a brief and informal speech—he was seated and suffering from broncolaringitis—delivered on December 25 at Madame Bolio’s Duval-House, has survived. (Editorial note in Martí 4: 287.)
Notwithstanding its brevity, the text conveys the message he shared with his Tampa audience. He acknowledges the fraternal love, unity and generosity experienced among Cubans and expresses gratitude for the comforting and restorative welcome extended to the traveler “que os abraza, con esperanza real y con alma entera” (4: 299). He also acknowledges the loyalty of the noble Key West community of émigrés who have created patriotic organizations that have remained faithful to the cause of independence. He refers to the pain, sacrifice and heroism that characterize the lives of exiles, and offers the comforting promise that their efforts will be sanctified by the blood of their soldiers and rewarded at the banquet of the redeemed and grateful republic (4: 299). His conclusion alludes to the imminence of the independence war and affirms the fraternal love, strength of spirit, unity of purpose, and commitment to truth, liberty and justice that represent the principles and character of the revolutionary movement and are represented in the powerful symbolism of eagles and doves:
Adviértese pues . . . en las miradas que me rodean toda esa voluntad y deseo que habremos de realizar sin duda. . . . Y este apretar de almas y enlazamiento de corazones, llenos de amor y verdad . . . es augurio de oportunidad que se allega, donde con provecho y eficacia para todos, podamos hablarnos, corazón a corazón, y sacarnos a un golpe previsor, para que vuele al cielo de nuestro destino, lo que tiene de enérgico y humilde nuestro pueblo, de grande y de sublime: ¡las águilas y las palomas! (4: 290)
Bases del Partido Revolucionario Cubano
Martí was introduced to the émigré community on January 3, 1892, at the San Carlos club by the veteran José Francisco Lamadriz, president of the Convención Cubana; and at a meeting convened on the night of January 5 at the Hotel Duval with the presidents of the various Cuban independence organizations, his draft of the Bases del Partido Revolucionario Cubano was approved. (Editorial note in Martí 1: 277. The Bases del Partido Revolucionario Cubano and the Estatutos Secretos del Partido are in 1: 277-84.)
The seven articles of the Bases incorporate the principles and objectives affirmed in the Tampa Resolutions, but outline the objectives of the Partido Revolucionario Cubano (PRC) in more detail.
Article one states that the PRC is established to achieve the independence of Cuba and to promote and support the independence of Puerto Rico.
Article two maintains that the objective of the PRC is to organize a brief and generous war to secure the happiness of Cubans through peace and work.
Article three declares that the PRC will unite the existing revolutionary organizations to found a nation capable of securing the lasting happiness of its citizens and fulfilling its obligations, imposed by its geographical location, in the historical life of the continent.
Article four affirms that the PRC will not perpetuate the authoritarian spirit and bureaucratic nature of the colony, but will found a new and sincere democracy capable of conquering, through genuine work and the balance of social forces, the dangers of sudden liberty in a society organized for slavery.
Article five asserts that the PRC is not preparing overseas to take a victorious group to dominate Cuba, but preparing the war that is necessary to deliver a free nation to all Cubans for the dignity and good of all Cubans.
Article six announces that all work of preparation undertaken by the PRC is aimed to save the country from the internal and external dangers that threaten it, and to substitute its economic disorder with a system of public finance to immediately open the country to diverse activities by its inhabitants.
Article seven emphasizes that the PRC will be careful, through its actions or propaganda, not to attract the hostility or mistrust of nations with which it will have to maintain cordial relations.
Article eight establishes the five concrete objectives of the PRC:
(i) unite the efforts of Cuban émigrés,
(ii) develop sincere relations among the historical and political elements inside and outside of Cuba,
(iii) propagate in Cuba knowledge of the spirit and methods of the revolution and unite the island’s inhabitants in a spirit favourable to its victory,
(iv) collect funds to support its program and provide continuous and adequate resources to support the war, and
(v) establish discreet relations with friendly nations to bring an early victory, with the least bloodshed and sacrifice possible, and the founding of the new republic that is indispensable for the equilibrium of the Americas.
Article nine holds that the PRC will govern itself according to the secret statutes agreed to by its founding organizations.
Those Estatutos Secretos del Partido specified the PRC's membership and organizational structure, the duties of its elected officers, advisory bodies and patriotic organizations that comprised its membership, decision-making processes, election policies and procedures. Its executive leadership consisted of two positions subject to annual election: delegate and treasurer, and the advisory bodies comprised the club leaders in areas where patriotic organizations were numerous.
The democratic organization and structure of the PRC respected the relative autonomy of the patriotic clubs, ensured the unity, coherence and the civilian leadership of the revolutionary movement, and represented the interests and involvement of all races and classes in the independence struggle through the local patriotic organizations that strengthened its base.
“La Oración de Tampa y Cayo Hueso”
At New York’s Hardman Hall on February 17, 1892, Martí delivered the speech that is known as “La Oración de Tampa y Cayo Hueso” (4: 291-306) in which he celebrates the fraternal love, founding achievements, patriotism and revolutionary spirit that characterize the Cuban communities in Florida, and the forged links that have increased the strength and unity of the revolutionary movement: “dicen que hemos juntado a tiempo nuestras fuerzas, que en Tampa aletea el águila, y en Cayo Hueso brilla el sol, y en New York da luz la nieve,—y que la historia no nos ha de declarar culpables!” (4: 306).
He is effusive in describing the jubilation, joy, happiness and rapture he experienced among Cubans in Florida, but his opening reference to jubilation mitigated by anxiety—“El júbilo, mezclado de zozobra” (4: 293)—aptly describes joy which is tempered by concerns such as those that urge him to use the occasion of this speech to clarify the nature of the events that marked his visit as well as the nature of his leadership of the revolutionary movement.
As we have seen, although he recognized the people’s desire to celebrate and give full expression to their patriotic spirit (4: 295), there was in Martí, who readily assumed the duty to serve the nation as leader of the revolutionary movement, a disinclination for public displays that could be misinterpreted as personal honour owed to or expected by a leader. The strong inclination he conveys to distance his leadership from vainglorious associations and personal aspirations for power may also have taken into account the intrigues, jealousies, accusations, self-interest and personal ambitions that had already undermined the success of the revolutionary movement and continued to divide the nation.
In addition, according to Gerald E. Poyo, “apprehensive middle-class professionals in New York,” such as Enrique Trujillo, the editor of the largest circulation émigré newspaper, El Porvenir, were alienated by the PRC’s political program, “social rhetoric,” and “openness to Florida’s labour radicals” (“José Martí: Architect” 23-24).
Indeed, some of Martí’s concern may also have derived from the controversy that followed his impassioned condemnation in “Con todos y para el bien de todos” of the opinion, listed among the “lies” he contested, that the tribulations and deprivations experienced during the first war of independence argue against its renewal. He had alluded to A pie y descalzo, a book by Ramón Roa about the first war of independence which may have been used to promulgate this fear. Using figurative language, metonymy and hyperbole for effect, he had said that fear of going barefoot is no argument against the war since going barefoot is already a condition common in Cuba where only thieves and their accomplices are well-shod.
Martí’s words had elicited an angry response from Enrique Callazo, Commandant of the Liberating Army, and three other signatories to an open letter published in La Habana’s La Lucha on January 6, 1892, in which they cited Martí’s absence from the battlefield during the armed struggle for Cuba’s independence and condemned him for what they had mistakenly perceived as an insult to veterans who had remained in Cuba after the war (Toledo Sande, Cesto 223).
Martí responded to the unjustified criticism in a letter from New York dated January 12, 1892, that reinforced the urgent need for unity among Cubans, recorded many occasions on which he had declared his respect for all veterans, whether they lived in Cuba or not, noted that his criticism had been aimed at the actions of individuals who served the interests of the Spanish government by fomenting fear of the war, and indicated that the purpose of the “barefoot” allusion was to point to the role of the book in the campaign of fear and to suggest the author’s responsibility for its unmitigated emphasis on horrors, obstacles and hostilities of the war of independence at the critical moment that the country was considering its renewal (1: 288-93).
Although his letter was not published in La Lucha, it did appear in New York’s El Porvenir which, Toledo Sande indicates, also had readers in Cuba. This controversy reveals that the prevailing climate of suspicion and distrust was so divisive, even among patriots determined to defend or redeem their honour and the nation’s, that they were not all or not always fully attentive to the nuances of Martí’s figurative language.
Their response was not characteristic, however, for through tone, rhythm and the use of symbols that communicate significance and feeling as much to the senses as to the intellect, Martí connected with the patriotic spirit and aspirations of an audience that believed in the character and integrity of their leader.
Emotional and ethical appeal were not subservient to his rational appeal: “Un mambí exclama: ‘¡No lo comprendíamos, pero estábamos dispuestos a morir por él!’ Otro asegura: ‘Me glorifico de haber nacido, tan sólo por el placer de haberlo oído.’ Un tercero, capitán del Ejército Libertador, declara: ‘Su verbo era prodigioso, sus palabras parecía que venían de un ser sobrenatural’” (Vitier, “Los discursos” 318). Ricardo Baeza, a tobacco worker, wrote in the Key West Album: “Al oír tu elocuente y potente voz todos los cubanos se unen y tiemblan los tiranos” (Schulman, “Textual Intersections” 138).
Nevertheless, the climate of suspicion and distrust explains Martí’s determination that New York Cubans be fully informed of the nature and significance of the Tampa events and of the nature of his role as leader of the revolutionary movement.
His first Tampa speech had acknowledged sacrifice and pain as the condition of exile. In his New York speech, after emphasizing that neither by writing nor spoken word had he requested public celebrations (4: 294), he describes the joyful and spontaneous spirit of a people that yearn for the solace and justice of liberty and who share with him the love and vigilance that can save a country aspiring to liberty with a people that have lived without it (4: 295-96). Only an ignoble politician, fearful that the mark of vanity will undermine his personal ambitions, says Martí, redirecting the very point of contention, would have placed his personal interest above his duty to share with respect and love the celebration of virtues that are often unacknowledged (4: 295).
His leadership, he declares, is not marked by the ambition of masked tyrants who assiduously cultivate power and the proselytes with whom to share it (4: 295), or of those who seek authority in the sanctity of the nation and place personal benefit over the dignity of the individual and the public good (4: 301). It is characterized by a commitment to progress, liberty and benefit for all, to be achieved through the sound and energetic impulse of the unified strength of the revolutionary movement (4: 296, 301).
For Martí, to lead is to serve, and in that concept is resolved any contradiction between humility of service and the eminence commonly associated with leadership.
The Cuban émigré communities affirmed their confidence in Martí’s leadership. On April 10, 1892, its network of representatives and patriotic clubs unanimously approved the PRC’s Bases del Partido Revolucionario Cubano, formally proclaiming the governing document for the party that had been formed on January 5, 1892. The unity it embodied was a significant achievement of the revolutionary movement under Martí’s leadership.
As Delegate of the PRC, Martí was now confirmed at the helm of the revolutionary movement. Supported by the unified strength of the patriotic clubs that comprised its membership, he was now empowered to enlist the army chiefs who would head the military organization that would execute the war. Agreement by both Gómez and Maceo to lead the revolutionary army under Martí’s (and the PRC’s) political direction consolidated his leadership and strengthened the movement. He was also empowered to undertake the task of strengthening the revolutionary movement on the island by building a unified revolutionary network within Cuba, coordinating pro-independence activities across the island and forging the critical links between revolutionaries in Cuba and overseas to achieve widespread internal support for the new uprising, for a war prepared entirely from outside the island was unlikely to succeed.
At Hardman Hall on January 31, 1893, he delivered a speech in his official role as the elected Delegate of the PRC charged with condemning the role of the autonomists in impeding the liberty of the nation, reiterating the urgent duty of the revolutionary party to achieve it, and proclaiming—given (i) the irreconcilable hostility between Cuba and Spain; (ii) Spain’s incapacity to develop the industries required to sustain itself without the exploitation of its colonies; (iii) already proven inefficient in the Antilles, autonomy would enable to perpetuation of Spain’s despotism; (iv) under the influence of the autonomy movement, the years following the first war of independence have seen the development of a venal and mendacious society, increased the people’s national aspirations and united the moral elements of Cuban society for the first time; (v) the revolutionary movement has achieved and will continue to achieve the support of Spaniards who aspire to liberty; and (vi) Spain’s continuing inattentiveness to the people’s aspirations will give rise to an inevitable war that will be forceful and successful if it is prepared with love and unity—that the PRC fulfills and will continue to fulfill its duty to prepare the inevitable war in a country that the impotent autonomist party has abandoned to caprice and fury (4: 307-17).
The Manifiesto de Montecristi
That war began on February 25, 1895, with the grito de Baire that joined the revolt to the earlier insurrections initiated at Yara and Guáimaro. One month later, on March 25, 1895, Martí issued the Manifiesto de Montecristi (4: 91-101), a declaration he signed with General Máximo Gomez, military chief of the new independence war, and addressed to the people of Cuba on behalf of the Partido Revolucionario Cubano.
It pronounces that the war for Cuba’s independence has entered a new phase in accordance with the solemn will of the Cuban people, both overseas and on the island, and the organizing principles of the Partido Revolucionario that has united all the elements consecrated to the betterment and emancipation of the country, for the good of America and of the world (4: 93).
It asserts that Cuba enters the war confident that the competence and capacity of Cubans in the modern practices of government and work will save the nation, from its inception, from the trials and errors inevitable in the upheavals, at the dawn of the century, without communications and without preparation, in feudal or theoretical Spanish American republics, that have already generally redeemed themselves (4: 94).
It affirms that the war, which is not motivated by hate, is not against the Spaniard, and will not be the cradle of disorder nor tyranny; it will establish a democratic, civilized and benevolent republic with respect for rights and liberties, and will herald in a new economy for Cuba and open work opportunities for all Cubans (4: 94-98).
It declares that fear of “the black race” has always been a groundless pretext and a cowardly attempt to undermine the revolution which intends to free Cuba from the irremediable ineptitude and corruption of the Spanish government and to introduce a hardworking republic to the world (4: 96-100).
It proclaims the nature and purpose of the war of independence: a popular, democratic revolution that unites Cubans in the spirit of harmony and brotherhood in the pursuit of liberty and justice to build a new society that is opposed to hatred and tyranny and committed to justice and equality, with all and for the good of all—for the good, in fact, of America and the world (“para bien de América y del mundo” 4: 93).
The Manifiesto de Montecristi, the Tampa Resolutions, the Bases of the PRC and the Hardman Hall speech of January 31, 1893, encapsulate the ideas, principles and objectives reiterated throughout Martí’s revolutionary speeches, but the purpose of the texts intended as “political documents” accounts for the logical argumentation and expository nature that characterize and distinguish their form and expression from the figurative and affective language that in the speeches are as important as rational appeal.
In effect, the convergence of politics and poetics in Martí’s revolutionary discourse has been seen to occur within individual works as well as in the thematic coherence between political documents and writing that uses figurative language in persuasive, rational argumentation. Nevertheless, whether or not particular texts include figures and tropes, Martí’s discourse of emancipation, integration, unity and Spanish American affiliation conveys a coherent view of the world in which destiny imposed on him a duty and geography accorded Cuba a pivotal role in the task of completing the final stanza of the poem of the independence movement--“de escribir, en una tierra que no es libre todavía, la última estrofa del poema de 1810” (“Madre América” 6: 143. He also develops this idea in “Bolívar” 8: 239-248.)
What he means by that figurative statement he makes clear in a letter to Federico Henríquez y Carvajal from Montecristi, dated March 25, 1895, less than two months before his death on the battlefield on May 19, 1895: “Para mí ya es la hora. Pero aún puedo servir a este único corazón de nuestras repúblicas. Las Antillas libres salvarán la independencia de nuestra América, y el honor ya dudoso y lastimado de la América inglesa, y acaso acelerarán y fijarán el equilibrio del mundo” (4: 111).
The unfinished letter he began on May 18, 1895, at the liberating army’s encampment at Dos Ríos, and addressed to Manuel Marcado reiterates this conviction: “ya estoy todos los días en peligro de dar mi vida por mi país y por mi deber—puesto que lo entiendo y tengo ánimos con que realizarlo—de impedir a tiempo con la independencia de Cuba que se extiendan por las Antillas los Estados Unidos y caigan, con una fuerza más, sobre nuestras tierras de América. Cuanto hice hasta hoy, y haré, es para eso” (4: 167).
Independent, democratic Cuba will mean the end of colonial rule. It will announce a new dawn to light the way for nuestra América’s transition to real and full independence, with equality, dignity and social justice for all its citizens; and in Martí’s view of the world, historical transformation in terms of hemispheric and human progress will contribute to the forces of harmony and balance represented in the natural world but also required in the world of political and economic affairs.
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Barnett, Pamela. The Politics of Letters: José Martí’s Revolutionary Discourse. Doctoral Thesis, University of Toronto: 2006.
Foner, Philip S. Our America by José Martí. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977.
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Copyright 2006 Pamela Barnett