Cultural Independence of Cuba: Marti and Castro

Jose Marti and Fidel Castro were two men who loved their country very much, that can not be denied. That country was Cuba. Though these men come at different very different eras of Cuba, Marti in the back half of the 19th century, and Castro in the back half of the 20th century. And even though these two men may not have been aligned politically or socially, they both had a vision for Cuban identity and culture which included liberation. As well, how has Castro continued a legacy of Marti; is there even a legacy? As some scholars have pointed out, it may only be Castro that puts himself on the same hierarchy as Marti, in terms of great Cuban patriotic leaders. Jose Marti dedicated his life to make Cuba a free entity uncontrolled by Spanish rule. For Marti, Cuba needed to be liberated from the Spanish because Cubans had their own identity, that was not Spanish. For Marti it was unnecessary for Cuba to be at the behest of the Spanish government because Cuba was a different entity. Marti’s life goal was “to secure the complete liberation of Cuba and Puerto Rico from Spain, prevent [Cuba’s and Puerto Rico’s] annexation by the United States, and establish democratic and free republics” (Lacuona 1991: 55). This is obviously in stark contrast to Castro’s idea of his Cuba. Marti advocated for the democratic stability of Cuba, and Castro took to “total domination” (Lacuona 1991: 55) of Cuba through communism. Castro believed that liberating the Cuban people meant for equality of man, and turned Cubans into “slaves of the [state]” (Lacuona 1991: 56). In 1962, Castro delivered the Second Declaration of Havana which sought to uprise the people of Cuba, much like Marti’s Nuestra America. Castro reports on the economic instability of Latin America as a whole, comparative to the United States; it’s an anti-American sentiment that both leaders share in common. Castro compares the Cuba he is speaking of to the times of the Middle-Ages, where a new social class is about to be created, yet it will only weaken society (World Sourcebook 1997). In conclusion, there are two men at different stages of a developing countries life, in which they think that their assertion of power is better than someone else’s. Marti will definitely be held to a better place in Cuban society than Castro because of his promotion of democracy. Without a democratic framework, there would be no Castro to try and revolutionize this work. I can agree that Marti was first-class in creating a Cuba for everybody, and without Marti, Castro and communism would have never been given the chance to survive in Cuba.


Lecuona, Rafael A. March 1991. “Jose Marti and Fidel Castro.” International Journal on World Peace 8(1): 45-61.

Modern History Sourcebook. 1997. From Fidel Castro’s Personal Revolution in Cuba: 1959­           1973, by James Nelson Goodsell (New York: Knopf, 1975), pp. 264-268. Retrieved November 11, 2017 (

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