By Alfred J. López
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Extra resources for José Martí and the Future of Cuban Nationalisms
In that column he would write about North American events and issues for a Latin American, and especially Mexican, audience. S. 30 In subsequent letters, Martí repeatedly appeals to Mercado for “una pequeña ayuda mensual de $50, a cambio, naturalmente, de un trabajo que valga mucho más . . si no me quiere ver en una agonía que mi carácter hace mayor” (a small monthly assistance of $50, in exchange, naturally, for work that is worth much more . . if you don’t want to see me in an agony that is exacerbated by La Patria y el Tirano / 25 my character) (Martí 5: 265).
Some members of Cuba’s first republican generation blamed Martí for the outcome. Since they were living in the aftermath, and little was known of Martí’s life and works, it is not surprising that his revolutionary and political genius was either ignored or misunderstood at the time. (José Martí, 47–48; emphasis added) In this context we can glimpse how, in the years immediately following the Second War for Independence, Martí’s name was, for many Cubans, mediated by the harsh realities of life in the shadow of the United States and the Platt Amendment.
43 La Patria y el Tirano / 31 Notwithstanding this “lapse,” however, the book from which I cite the foregoing passage finds Ripoll generally clinging to the ideological rigidity that characterizes his work on Martí. His stated task is to denounce what he sees as an ideology-driven interpretation constructed and maintained by the Marxist Cuban regime; implicitly, he also strives to present a Martí consistent with the Cuban exile community’s bourgeois capitalist icon. Paradoxically for an antiMarxist, such tactics constitute an unlikely dialectic, as they seem to signal their own move to overtake otherwise untenable contradictions (Martí’s virulent anticlericalism and his paradoxical canonization as the Apostle, for example) as part of the drive toward ever-higher unities.