Thursday, January 28, 2010
Jose Marti by Trumbull White January 28 1853
Monumento Jose Mari **
escultor Juan Jose Sicre *
JOSE MARTI AND OTHER CUBAN HEROES
When the day comes that Cuba shall take her place
among the free and independent nation of the
earth. Jose Marti, who probably did more than any
other one man to arouse the insurgents to make
the final struggle for liberty , will not be among
then to share their triumphs . Struck down by a
Spanish bullet, almost at the commencement of
the las revolution , he sleeps beneath the southern
skies, and neither the clash of swords not the
thunder of the cannot over his grave can distrub
Born in Havana , the son of a Spanish army officer,
he was taught from his childwood days that the friends
of Cuba`s cause were rebels, deserving of death.
But as he grew older he commenced to think for
himself , and the more he learned of Spanish roberry,
injustice and cruelty, the more determined he became
to devote his life to the cause of his native land.
While yet a mere boy, he began the work He publis-
hed clandestine circular , he wrote a play in which he
depicted the wrongs inflicted upon the island people;
" Free Cuba". was his thought by day, his dreams at
night.. Through imprisonment and exile, in Spain ,
Mexico and the United States, every action of his life
was guided by the one ambition.
On April 14 th, 1895, in company with Maximo Gomez,
Marti landed on the coast of Cuba , at Cobonico His
coming gave the insurgents new courage, and their
numbers increased rapidly. He was made a Major General
of the army, and in company with Gomez , who hand
see service in the previous campaign , he led a number
of successful attacks against detachments of the Spanish
After organizing an expedition that was to march to
Puerto Principe ( Camaguey) under Gomez`s command,
Marti intended to go to the seacoasts, in order to return
abroad and continue his work there in favor of the
About this time a man named Chacon was captured by
Colonel Sandoval, of the Spanish forces , and letters from
the rebels were found in his possession, and some money
which he was going to make purchases for the insurgent
chiefs. This man gave knowledge, Colonel Sandoval, on the
19th of May , brought his army to La Brija. The Hernan
Cortez squadron , under Captain Capa, was in vanguard ,
and attacked a band commanded by Bellito , which had come
to meet the column.
When Colonel Sandoval heard of it, he avanced up to the plain
Dos Rios, and ordered his infantry to open fire. A spirited
combat ensued, with fatal results to the insurgents , as the
Spanish guide , Antonio Oliva, running up to help a soldier
who was surrouded by a large group of the enemy , fired
his rifle at a horseman, who felt to the ground, and was found
to be Jose Marti. Captain Enrique Sattie was the first to recognize
him. A flight tool place upon the spot, the rebels trying hard to
carry the corpse away , but they were repulsed. Maximo Gomez
was wounded in the encounter which for some days led to belief
that he too was dead. According to one narrative, Gomez was in
the the battle from the beginning, and while hurrying to recover
the corpse of Marti, he was slightly wounded. Others say that
famoun chief had already taken leave of Marti to go Camaguey,
when passing, at some distance from Dos Rios, he heard the report
of musketry. He imagined what was happenig, and ran to rescue the
civil chief of the revolution , but when he arrived, Marti had been
killed. Gomez being wounded , Borrero took him on his own house,
and in this manner carried him to a place of safety. The Spaniards,
after their victory moved to Remanganagaus , where the corpse
of Marti was embalmed. From the latter town it was taked to Santiago
de Cuba , and while on the way there, the troops had to repel an
attack from the rebels, who intended to carry off the coffin .
On arriving at the city , the remains of Marti were exhibited at
the cementery. Colonel Sandoval presided over the funeral ceremonies,
and the dead leader was given a decent reading .
Genthemen - in presence of the corpse of him who in life was
Jose Marti, and in the absence of any relative or friend who might
speaks over his remains such words as are customary , i request
you not to consider these remains to be those of an enemy any
more, but simply those of a man carried by political discords to
face Spanish soldiers. From the moment the spirits have freed
themselves of matter they are sheltered and magnanimously
pardoned by the Almighty , and the abandoned matter is left
in our care , for us to dispel all rencorous feelings, and give
the corpse such Christian burial as is due to the dead.
* Juan Jose Sicre
Juan José Sicre (born Juan José Sicre Velez in 1898 – 1974) was one of the greatest Cuban sculptors. His most famous sculpture is of José Martí y Pérez (1958) (the José Martí Memorial) in the Plaza de la Revolución in Havana.
Sicre graduated from an art academy in Havana in 1919 and earned an art scholarship to go to Europe where he studied in Madrid at the Fine Arts School of San Fernando in and later under Antoine Bourdelle in Paris, returning to Cuba in 1927.
Sicre, along with Gattorno and the painter Victor Manuel introduced European modern art style to Havana, and began Cuba's Modern Art Movement. He regularly contributed to the avant garde magazine, Revista de Avance, which helped to establish a Cuban national identity in the arts from 1927-1934. Sicre became the professor of sculpture at the Academy of San Alejandro.
** Sicre's Statue of Martí
He is best known in Cuba for his huge monuments to José Martí, Simón Bolívar, and Victor Hugo, all located in Havana. He also did statues of Eugenio María de Hostos in the Dominican Republic and of Alexandre Sabès Pétion and the Heroes of the Battle of Vertières in Haiti. In the United States he has a bust of John F. Kennedy at the Inter-American Development Bank. He also has in Washington, DC busts of Henry Clay, José Cecilio del Valle and Rubén Darío at the OAS Building. In Gainesville, Florida, there is a bronze head of Martí at the Center of Latin American Studies of the University of Florida. In Caracas, Venezuela, he produced a monument to Rómulo Gallegos.
He was married to Silvia D. Escoubet and their son, Jorge Sicre Escoubet, lived in Cleveland, Ohio and played with the orchestra and his grandson, Jorge Luis Sicre-Gattorno (1958- ), is an accomplished painter in the United States.