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  • A mural bearing the image of Cuban independence hero Jose Marti (L) and revolutionary leader Che Guevara in Managua.

    A mural bearing the image of Cuban independence hero Jose Marti (L) and revolutionary leader Che Guevara in Managua. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 January 2018

Cuban Ambassador Jose Carlos Rodriguez highlighted Marti's universality, saying he played a key role in achieving unity and creating "the necessary war" against Spain.

Almost 165 years have passed since the birth of revered Cuban national hero, poet, essayist and philosopher Jose Marti on January 28, 1853: a pivotal moment in human history that is this week being celebrated by devotees around the world. 

On Friday, the University of Havana paid homage in Cuba with a screening of the documentary "Antorchas Martianas," which centers on people who took part in 1953's March of the Torches a few years before U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown by Fidel Castro and his fellow revolutionaries.

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Jose Marti Cultural Society Vice-President Rene Gonzalez, who helped create the documentary, said the march "was the genesis of the Revolution that came later in 1959. We thought it important that new generations know this legacy.

"The protagonists of the march of 1953 were young and they played their lives against the tyranny of Fulgencio Batista," Gonzalez told Prensa Latina. "One sees them as old people, but it is always good to remember that they… (wanted) to fight and do things."

Commemorations also took place in Rome, Italy. There, the Cuban embassy invited political and social organizations, trade unions, the Cuban solidarity movement, Cuban expats and Italians to mark the occasion with recitations of Marti's writing and ideas.

Cuban Ambassador Jose Carlos Rodriguez highlighted the universality of the late revolutionary, saying he played a key role in achieving unity and creating "the necessary war" against Spanish colonialism.

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The ambassador also discussed how Fidel Castro admired Marti, stressing the connection between the two men and their respective struggles against Spain and the United States.

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