Martí, the Timeless One / Rebeca Monzo

Oil painting by Cuban painter, E. Abela

So loved by many, misunderstood by some and utilized by others.

Martí is the instinct of love, of generosity, of altruism, of sacrifice.

So predominant was the creative impulse in Martí that the sweep of his life arched further and further away from the center of his “me”.

“Man loves liberty, even if he does not know that he loves it. He is driven by it and flees from where it does not exist.”

“I do not believe that in matters that interest all and are the property of all, nor even in private matters, should the opinion of one man attempt to prevail.”

“All power broadly and extendedly exerted, degenerates when made a caste. With castes come interests, haughty positions, the fears of losing them, the intrigues to sustain them. Castes seek each other out among themselves, and support each other by the shoulder.”

“In the world, there should be a certain amount of decorum, as there should be a certain amount of light. When there are many men without decorum, there are always those who carry within themselves the decorum of many men. Those are the ones that rebel with terrible strength against those who rob peoples of their liberty, which is to rob men of their decorum. Within those men are thousands of men, an entire people, human dignity.”

Remembering the Apostle*, on the 158th anniversary of his birth (28 January, 1853).

*Translator’s note: This refers to El Apóstol de la Independencia Cubana, the Apostle of Cuban Independence, as José Martí is known reverentially by all Cubans.

Translated by: Yoyi el Monaguillo

January 27 2011