Jose Marti, the national hero of Cuba and an important figure in Latin American literature, will be coming to the United States soon in two new books.
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Two recent books for children are inspired by the life and work of the Cuban hero, Jose Marti (1853-1895).
Emma Otheguy's illustrated book, Marti’s Song for Freedom: Marti and his verses for freedom, which has been released in a bilingual (Spanish and English) format, tells the story of Jose Marti in a way that children and pre-teens can understand.
In the story, Marti witnesses the exploitation of slavery as a young boy which later inspires his quest for freedom.
Through his life and works, Marti, one of the prime turn-of-the-century Latin American intellectuals, became a symbol for Cuban independence.
Marti was a critic of colonial influence in Cuba, from both Spain and the United States, who he saw as invaders.
His work as a political activist was crucial in helping Cuba win the Cuban War of Independence against Spanish colonizers who brutalized native Cubans, killing an estimated 200,000 in concentration camps during the nearly three year long war.
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While leading a group of rebels, Marti was killed in battle by Spanish royalists during the Battle of Dos Rios on May 19, 1895.
Marti’s martyrdom became a rallying cry for Cubans seeking independence from Spanish rule and his legacy continues to inspire the Cuban Revolution.