HAVANA TIMES — It was another January 28, but now with TeleSUR broadcasting the presidents of CELAC (the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) referring to Marti as a center of Latin American and Caribbean unity, all of this transmitted “live” for us Cubans.
At 160 years since his birth, I was indifferent.
Photos of another “March of the Torches,” fire and little paper flags, which are excuses for fun prior to that tribute.
As a little girl I learned Marti’s “Versos Sencillos,” “Yugo y estrella,” “Abdala” – all poems of bravery and sacrifice that brought me face to face with the concept of nationhood.
Filled with excitement, I also recited “La bailarina española,” and I was deeply intrigued by “La niña de Guatemala”. Love, disappointment, suicide. How did they feel Marti’s kisses?
Contests, Marti notebooks, his words traced on each wall of every classroom.
The Marti youth movement, a “Joven Patria” award for those who stood out in the study and dissemination of his thought, and who purged themselves of individual selfishness.
Parades, the Fragua and the Rincones Martianos, which inevitably reminded me of El Rincon and the San Lazaro pilgrimage.
We can still see our national hero on walls and billboards, incapable of making mistakes, as he’s diluted with each mention of him in each new speech.
His head converted into ivy-covered busts, sparing no costs on these, in children’s day care centers as well as in parks.
Marti losing his human dimension and becoming a myth, an object of religious worship that demands white roses.
His statue was imperturbable in the Civic Plaza of Batista as it is in the Revolution Square of Fidel Castro.
Another that with his finger signaling something we don’t understand and that has him frowning. Marti in marble, in bronze, motionless.
His words are repeated in so many contexts, his phrases parading before our eyes and driving us almost to the edge of hysteria, that independence leader, that Cuban Republican.
His idea of the Cuban Revolutionary Party (PRC) is now used as a justification for the current one-party system.
Marti is pushed around and referenced in a constitution that’s also proclaimed Marxist-Leninist.
Finally, he’s a diffuse ghost by dint of 50 years of contradictions.