Arts & Culture

Jose Martí lauded in poetry

BY RORY DALEY Observer writer daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 31, 2013    

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CUBAN national hero Jose Martí's 160th birthday was celebrated at its Jamaican embassy on Trafalgar Road in St Andrew, on Monday.

The event, which took the form of tributes, saw performances in poetry and speech.

Jamaican poet Yashika Graham did her interpretation of Sueno while a group of Cuban children provided a short history of Martí. They also recited one of Martí's works, Los Zapaticos de rosa.

The poem is about a two young girls from different social and financial backgrounds meeting on the beach.

Cuban ambassador to Jamaica, Yuri Gala López extoled Martí's legacy.

"Cuba would not be the nation it is without Jose Martí, and in many ways, his influence is still felt throughout the Caribbean and Latin America," he said.

Considered one of the great turn-of-the-century Latin American intellectuals, Marti was born January 28, 1853. His death in the Battle of Dos Ríos was used as a cry for Cuban independence from Spain. He was 42.

Other speakers for the evening included Osvaldo Cardendas, representing the Association of Cuban Residents in Jamaica; Lorenzo Gordon of the Jamaica/Cuba Friendship Association, and Sydney Bartley of the Ministry of Youth and Culture.

The evening ended with guests laying flowers at a bust of Martí.

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