José Martí 128 years from immortality.

There are men who go through life and do not take care to leave traces, others do not even realise that they are going through life, but there are those who, unwittingly, and only with their thoughts focused on helping other people and entire peoples, make their lives leave an immense mark.

The essence of this Caribbean land was always in the National Hero José Martí, from his black dress in mourning for Cuba, to every little intellectual work he did. It is indisputable that in every moment of creation Martí had the Cuban in mind, a term which, although it did not appear explicitly, became the «leitmotiv» of much of his work.

However, the Apostle’s prose and verse did not entirely satisfy him. In May 1895 he realised that he needed more to fulfil his duty to his country. On the afternoon of the 19th, while Martí was riding his horse and was the target of a Spanish offensive, three shots pierced his body. The man who had made the island’s longed-for freedom his inspiration fell in combat and facing the sun, as he predicted in one of his poems, at the age of 42.

Cuba mourned one of its leaders. Today, 128 years after that fateful event that shook even the longest-serving combatants of the heroic deed, José Martí’s existence and death are summed up in his own words when he said: «Death is not true when the work of life has been well accomplished».

Written by Brenda González.

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