Jose Marti * NYT



This is another time. That happened in another era. You can say what you want. But it's useful to know, especially if you have Cuban roots, what The New York Times wrote after the death in combat of José Martí. History has probably buried the name of the man or woman whose poison pen defamed Martí. But it's a historical necessity to remember and reject what was written. Here it is:
Published in The New-York Times, June 5, 1895

The news of the death of José Martí, the so-called president of the Cuban Republic, has caused a real sensation. Martí was the soul of the revolution. He had initiated and prepared it, in spite of the little aid that he could find in Cuba every time he had attempted to create a revolutionary movement. Naturally, his death gives hope that the war will soon be ended. Martí was not a fearful rebel, nor was he one of the exceptional men who may overturn a country by force of talent. A commonplace poet and writer, a prolix orator of diffuse style, he had written and talked so much that he had obtained a reputation among the Separatists. These, lacking a chief having any prestige at all, gave him their money.

It would be unjust to deny that he had remarkable tenacity, activity, and perseverance. Perhaps he was also a man of conviction, as his friends assure. But he must be severely judged. To put into turbulence a country which asked nothing more than peace and work, to expose it to a ferocious race, thinking always of revenge against the whites, to light the fires of civil war, pillage under the pretext of "Cuba libre," and put obstacles in the way of reforms which had been demanded for years, are not acts that claim indulgence.

However, there are men more guilty than he was, and more deserving of public censure. They were paid by him or they expected to gain something if he could be victorious. To sustain the revolution he had to recourse to all sorts of means; lies, false news, calumny. The end of Martí is the beginning of the end... The war will be hereafter conducted by Negroes only, and bandits.