Posteado por: Carli C4 | mayo 14, 2014

“Te lo prometió Martí y Fidel te lo cumplió”: A Complete Tergiversation of History.


“Te lo prometió Martí y Fidel te lo cumplió”: A Complete Tergiversation of History.

by Carlos Centurión

        “Te lo prometió Martí y Fidel te lo cumplió” is a renowned excerpt of Cuban national poet Nicolás Guillen’s popular ballad “Se Acabó”.  The primal notion underlining the poem is that Jose Marti’s independence revolution was the ideological precursor to Fidel Castro’s communist regime; a conveniently widespread idea in contemporary Cuba. Since the triumph of the so called revolution in 1959, Cuban authorities have embarked in a comprehensive crusade with the purpose of authenticating the communist autocracy by conjoining pensamientos Martianos with ideologia fidelista. In an effort to sustain their farcical convictions, Cuban authorities have prejudicially construed Jose Marti’s literature and advanced four primary assertions: that the Cuban apostle was a communist sympathizer; that his party (Partido Revolucionario Cubano) served as the forefather to the preponderant Partido Comunista de Cuba; that his ideas supported one party dictatorships; and that he shared with Fidel Castro a profound abhorrence for the United States’ government. The aspiration of this study is to demonstrate how the Cuban nepotism has put forward the aforementioned artifices by misquoting Jose Marti and placing his stances out of context; by impugning the ideas presented by the Marxist autarchy, the author will furthermore establish how the figure of the Cuban National Hero has been altered in order to legitimize a paucity of democracy in Cuba.

       In an effort to justify single party Bolshevik government, the Cuban autocracy alleges that their Communist Party is the genuine successor of the Cuban Revolutionary Party founded by Jose Marti in the late eighteen hundreds.  They furthermore assert that the Cuban patriot sympathized with Communism and that he supported single party monocracy. The finest and most crucial approach to discredit these contentions is by alluding to the writings of the apostle. In 1883 Martí composed an article about Karl Marx stating that “no hace bien el que señala el daño y arde en ansias temerosas de ponerle remedio, sino el que enseña remedio blanco al daño” (Martí, Escenas 288); and that the Communist pioneer “[…] anduvo de prisa; y un tanto en la sombra […]” (Martí, Escenas 288). In these words the Cuban patriot was remarkably explicit; he saw Karl Marx as a leader with good intentions and a noble cause, but nevertheless a revolutionary who was trying to solve the unremitting struggle between social classes by implementing an erroneous philosophical approach. Jose Marti furthermore expressed his disagreement with the communist ideology at the culmination of the essay (possibly vaticinating the near future): “[s]uenan músicas, resuenan cantos; pero se nota que no son los de la paz” (Marti, Escenas 289). The author clearly anticipated the catastrophic nature of a radical revolution like the one proposed by Marx and Engels. Perhaps the most evident criticism of Socialism can be located in a subsequent editorial in which Marti agrees with Herbert Spencer in that “[…] un estado socialista […] sería a poco un estado corrompido, y luego un estado tiránico” (Marti, Herbert 387). Throughout his writings, Jose Marti declared numerous times that the idea of Communism was precarious and his criticism of the ideology corroborates the notion sustaining that he did not sympathize with the extremist doctrine as the recent Cuban dictatorship sustains.

       In 1973, Fidel Castro categorically stated that “Martí hizo un partido —no dos partidos, ni tres partidos, ni diez partidos—, en lo cual podemos ver el precedente más honroso y más legítimo del glorioso Partido que hoy dirige nuestra Revolución: el Partido Comunista de Cuba […]” (Castro, 12). With these words the charismatic tyrant presented two of the essential allegations buttressing the theory claiming that Jose Marti was the intellectual father of the Cuban socialist revolution: that the apostle favored one-party regimes and that the party that he founded with the purpose of liberating Cuba from Spain set a precedent for Fidel’s Communist Party. Yet again Marti’s words serve as the best ammunition against fallacies of this caliber; in his “Escenas Mexicanas” the Cuban patriot declared in 1877: “Siempre es desgracia para la libertad que la libertad sea un Partido” (Martí, Mexicanas 50). Throughout his writings, the apostle worshiped both freedom and democracy; two ideas that are utterly discordant with one-party autocracy, consequently, to even suggest that he would have approved of a dictatorship like the one that rules in Cuba is fraudulent and opprobrious.

       Cuba’s one party monocracy can be traced back to Lenin and Stalin’s ideas of government, not to Jose Marti’s Partido Revolucionario which principal intention was to unite Cubans in order to liberate the country from colonial rule. “There exists a single party in Cuba not because Marti founded only one party, but because, first and foremost, it facilitates the rulers’ desire for absolute power and shields them from electoral defeat” (Ripoll, 15). Only by understanding why and how Marti’s party was founded we can isolate it from tyrannical political organizations like the one ruling Cuba. The leading objective of Marti’s party was to coordinate the armed struggle against Spain and to emancipate Cuba; they were trying to “[…] preparar, con cuantos medios eficaces le permita la libertad del extranjero, la guerra que se ha de hacer para el decoro y bien de todos los cubanos, y entregar a todo el país la patria libre” (Cuban Revolutionary Party’s bylaws, Article V). Marti did not define when he created the party the political specifics of a postcolonial Cuba, “there is no evidence [in the bylaws of the parties or any of his writings] of a desire to establish any sort of dictatorship” (Ripoll, 19). However, one idea that it is clear throughout Marti’s literature and the organization’s decrees is his devotion for authentic democracy: “El Partido Revolucionario Cubano [se propone] fundar […] un pueblo nuevo y de sincera democracia” (CRP’s bylaws, Article IV). Consequently, to trace the origins of Bolshevik ideology and political organization to Jose Marti’s party is preposterous for two main reasons: the Cuban patriot believed in genuine democracy which is the antonym of Communist government and one-party rule, and his party’s intention was not to govern Cuba but to liberate it from Spain.

       Marti’s famous observations of North American society (“Escenas Norteamericanas”) have been distorted by the dictatorship and utilized as the chief “substantiation” backing the idea that the apostle shared with Fidel Castro and the Cuban nepotism an intense hatred for the United States’ political institutions and way of life. By profoundly exploring his conjectures regarding the United States readers can discover that they are both ambivalent and polemical, consequently, a further interpretation is required in order to discredit the theses advanced by the communist dictatorship.  It is imperative to commence this analysis by recognizing that Marti was indeed an anti-imperialist who deplored several United States foreign policies from the epoch; but to distort this into declaring that the apostle shared with Fidel an enormous detestation for this capitalistic society and its way of life is an oversimplification of his perspectives and hence, a mendacity. There existed both reprobation and admiration in Marti’s writings about the United States; the Cuban government, in an effort to relate the patriot’s conceptions with those of Fidel Castro, ignores the former’s praise of the American democracy and exclusively affirms and promulgates his disapproval. A more legitimate analysis should explain how and why Jose Marti’s impressions gradually shifted from adulation to criticism in the interval of approximately fifteen years that he lived in New York.

       From 1880 until his death in 1895, Marti wrote extensively about the United States and his topics reported from daily life observations to extensive analysis of political institutions and foreign policies. A vast number of his initial reflections were remarkably favorable: “I am, at last, in a country where everyone looks like his own master. One can breathe freely freedom being here the foundation, the shield, the essence of life” (Marti, 103). The apostle admired the industriousness and willingness to succeed of the American people, he similarly praised Capitalism and the opportunities that this system provided for people to pursue and (with hard work) attain freedom and happiness. “[The idea] of giving ‘a fair day’s work for a fair dollar fascinated Marti, who never ceased to praise the industry and ingenuity of the North American workers” (Kirk, 278). In numerous occasions Marti expressed that the American model needed to be imitated in Latin-American nations in order for these to develop social and economically.

       From 1885 to roughly 1890, the Cuban patriot began criticizing key aspects of American politics. Specifically alarming for him was the fact that “[h]e seemed to think that most people were so preoccupied with working hard to save money and better their standard of living that politics had little to offer them” (Kirk, 279). In addition, Marti reprehended the “carnival atmosphere” that existed in United States’ politics (particularly during elections), the way demagogues and agitators were able to incite and control the politically uneducated masses’ passions, and the administrative corruption that existed at all levels of government. Nevertheless, “Marti still considered this unfortunate system infinitely more acceptable than the total lack of democracy in Cuba [and almost every Latin-American country] of that time” (Kirk, 280). Regarding this topic, he masterfully declared in one of his editorial: “¡Oh! muchos votos se venden; pero hay más que no se venden” (Marti, 123).

       The radicalization of Marti’s opinions against the United States occurred towards the end of 1889 as a result of perceiving its imperialistic intentions to conquer and subdue Latin-American countries, including Cuba, in an effort to augment its influence, power, and territory. “His basically sympathetic attitude became noticeably more critical as he attacked the powerful political elite which was encouraging territorial expansion into ‘Nuestra América” (Kirk, 284). This ideological transformation reached its pinnacle when the idea of acquiring Cuba from Spain started being discussed by American legislators and gained popularity throughout the United States. “For Marti, any attempt to sell his patria as if were some negotiable merchandise […] was completely unacceptable -particularly when the prospective purchaser was the United States” (Kirk, 284). Thence, as analytical interpreters we must place Marti’s opinions after 1889 in this turbulent context.

       Jose Marti was a reasonable and sensible essayist genius, but when it came to the subject of Cuba he was fanatically in love with its emancipation. Therefore, most of his views describing the United States after 1889 were influenced by this fervent passion that he felt towards Cuba, and the imminent danger that the powerful nation represented to the island’s independency aspirations. Based on this information, we allege that renowned phrases like “Viví en el monstruo y le conozco las entrañas […]” (Marti, Letter 1), when taken literally, do not represent Marti’s feelings towards the United States, its culture, people, or government; they are merely patriotic rejoinders to perceived planned aggressions of the United States against Cuba’s determination to be free. To compare Marti’s feelings towards the United States to Fidel Castro’s is a complete tergiversation of history. The later abominates its capitalistic society, laws, form of government, freedom, and openness (all of them qualities esteemed by Jose Marti); while the former predominantly expressed admiration for the egalitarian nation until he observed that the United States was certainly planning to interfere with the emancipation of his idolized homeland.

       In modern day Cuba, Jose Marti’s figure and ideas are artificially interrelated with Fidel Castro’s doctrines. The Communist absolutism has accomplished this by misrepresenting the apostle’s attitudes and placing his opinions out of context in an effort to legitimize their ignominious political and social systems.  In this essay we have demonstrated that the dictatorship’s central assertions buttressing the conception they advance are inaccurate and deceiving. Jose Marti was not a Communist sympathizer, he rejected and criticized the ideology; he did not favor one party government, he idolized freedom and genuine democracy; his Partido Revolucionario Cubano shared no similarities with the Cuban Communist Party, the former’s intention was to liberate the nation, the latter is to subjugate it; he did not execrate the United States like Fidel Castro and his government do, he admired all the noble and democratic qualities of this great nation and only commenced to criticize it when he felt that the independency of his beloved Cuba was at stake.  One day, when Cuba becomes free, we hope that articles like this will help the Cuban people to open their eyes and realize that they have been historically deceived. The leading intention of this work is to serve as a guide to those who want to comprehend the distinctions that exist between pensamiento Martiano and ideologia fidelista. The author is convinced that this objective has been categorically achieved.




  1. muy bueno.

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