Two copies of “María Romero: Cuba’s Honored Guest.”


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Two copies of “María Romero: Cuba’s Honored Guest.”
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Romero, Eduardo S. ( donor )
Physical Location:
Box: 1
Folder: 52

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
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b EIn F Ne Yrk Cit;y at the 59th streest entanaeo to~ cent~ra~sb l Park, tand
~thPB4ree atue~s of the three men whor aro e rreognised as the greatest figuresC
th aaLLatindsoerin history. Those of Simwons olaivr~ and Sanr M~artin~ have had
$bai~r plwae of honor far many years, asr the statue of Jorse IMarti, resee
in Cuba zas the maty of indepeandenceo, and the father for whom ariaw Ronerro
ferlt auch grea6 love and prides vaeno t ereeted until recent years.

Thisa beutEifu equ~estia broase goalZptu~re depto~a ~s P.bemomen at
which Mark, or~alkto~y worunded inr 'batt]Les ~ti~~~ou nto M all floa Ma toee.
14~P vas exuted by the reno~wnd Ameritr~can sculptreas Ana gratt~ Ruhngrtomtn,
who~y also did as~~I of mthe f~amous a-tatues of Lin~oln that ~Cstad~ s in iashington,
D.c. The satu a~ e of Ylarti aes presaenbadted~ by rar Irun~tingtn as agite to t~he
Gs~ty of Newr YoIrk The Cubhan people raised one hundredba thousandd dol1sift ~to
pay for an arcppiriae granite pedental. The pedesta had a2lready been
insoribed an~d placed in pos~t~iona when Castro urnexpctedly camne into psower,
Impaetiaerflg, Niew Ybork City eprianoe Vidolnt ritatd batrsaon ~pro*Casrtro and
anat-ICastreo Cuban esi~dent of thea city. AQnd since thise rioted took place
at ther sited of te pJbedestal City officials had second ~thoughba about ther
advrisabili t k raising~ Mar r's statue to~ pub~icr vi~ew during such a cnrCiEl*i~~
verksal p o~de It wsas therefore ~onsge to storage in a vareho~us Iadd.1
anch timea as it should be deemedo safe tko give it its righ~tik1 place betweeils~ n
tdbe other two great ~Latin-AmericaX patriots.

Shrp wlsevral yelara Maria held the hope thati abe might liveo -to seerj the
proud daly whs~aren her father would git long last be accorded Sa the ~erF andl recognisn
tion long~ ovesrduea hiLm in thP8ese Unitpd States. Sub ~thi was~ not to ~be and hbe
had to remain content W~nth a color photograph tiaken of tbe magnifi1cen sculptures
vbilae it stllJ st~ood n tbe grounds of Hunting~8tonrr a etate in Conn1cticUt.

Jose Martil, instiateor and leaderw of th2e) Onh1an$~ revll)uti~ion whichl np as t
knowPn as the S5panish-eAmericans War~ finrally achieved hids place of honor whenm
his sotettxau wasa at 18*6 unv~eiled at Cenral~ Park on MPy 18 196$.I Honork guestsl
afttendin the ce~~nremon included, in addition ~to City offi~jls and Cuban dignt-1
tariess the proud grandson of Joseb Marti *r Cesar Ro~mare and the scrulptressl
herself, alread$ 92 yemrs at ageb and ati11 a remarkable ~personalty.

Coaarra other, bowever4b did two $aree~ivet g~reat honrsar beatowead upon
he by thre c~uban Oavernmen6 in tho e po.asr era, In Pbbruaryg 1993, on thes
ocon~asion of the cean~ten~dalt aslebration of the birth of her fatther Nazia Sflattu
to ~Havana at; the ivitation of the Oisuba GovPenrment~ for the ex~presle prpos~e of
presenting to that nation ~all of thea original letter written toi her in New Y8ork
by her ftathr during htsr 2traels as 4 pa~olial. exile fraom CuSa and later from
t~he battletfield on that ebama jlgl ladti Teddy RoosevelB3t land ia v1s olun~teer had
not yet joined foraea with ther Cubanar whetn Mcsar~, at the1~ age of r2, wbas killed$
pyl a Spanish soldirftz wi~th At ahot thr~Ough the harts~W~ Against the viahea of
Generaltt~~tt~t cam~es land other : Quan Ay Ileadenrs who felt that arissFJ was too valu~ab

Mari Raro Cua teHonredQuet *Pager 2

to the Cana of fr~e~sedoL to be risked~ in 4the lne~ of fire, $4ri l~eape onto a
horabP~ andY dashead into battle, Iby hmself. Idhen the amoke lferared rrcoer~ay of
h~is bag revealci~ed that, inr a breaspe~taket over his heat, Jo;ea MartiL carried a
emarjl1 photo of hisa be~rloved dlarug~ht;er Mria~, then 6~ youngn gir of fifPtseen.

2$1 raidditiron to Martile letters, Mariba also gaveo to Cuba the heavyP iron
abackl~e that hadii been~ worn by him when, ais ILllca 1-ertP old rstude~t; and po~tlitical
prixsone of theb tyrannicaZ l anrds than in power, he va~ae condaemed to erverr
one Ifull~ ytnea on a chain gang that vae s ared to worrk the lime quarr;FIies Undr
the hot Itropical3 aun.
Ther -colleat~on of lettrer uaiil placed (asnd hopFu~lly still remarina~) in
tha~Pe naiona3 IlhlVS Arc ies HavanaB T~he shlfack~le waB et~ into a specally-;S
constr~ucted glass case under SloCk and keay eattii placedK ase ~a pe3rmaen~t aa~hibit
in the little hous hrea Ma4~~frt as barnr, now sprseserved a a aaseI all museum n
old 14av~ana.wr

Upn her arrivalCj at Jose art A1F airport in Hbtavaa, Maria v~ae ~l~terally
wavampedi by tha enrmiours aaowed tbat waas thre to great~ her. During hesr~ tfwo
veaek stay1 at the 8041~51 Mast~Qf~ e hat abe Wrs vised and dined by I$ g olcd anrd dears
friendsa and ~recived ~the acooladse ofe zan ;emtoal public, OFffiaally, sbh
sher honored at a chamIpagneB recept2ianr given byg President Batista in the Palaaio~J,
and v8ae "later ~presen~ted tith the Ordfer of~ Carlosl Maneler de teepedea, olbish
carries the, title of Daa for ilts feml~re recipients. Thisa is thes hig~es awaard
that Cuba 4Bia confea r pon gfon-oiirttson of Cuba. It ist a veryJ beau~ti~ful decora-
tio~n and tor Xla the ru Isaes One at was ~also bestaued u~ponr 4arns Hlami~navar.

Thea Ponl unfortunately apeaot of P'~erals trip~ to Onbita wa~s thej fact ~that
it cames at a time vbhen sherra had not yet: fu3lly recooeread fro aa lo~ng ill~ne~ss
resrulting~ froma r'~ubc~roe Wakle~~ and dilabesocmlctip CQrDOISons Ibr1 ~tzhs reason
sh a~s i saccomp~aned b he~r da aughiterr, Mariua nJunriorag and vlae cassomea fleimitd
as~ to the nuMBer9~ of social and official functions th1at she cuxld a~ttend. Ibt
wsas nevrtwoPh~eles a reate thiyl ~and hono~i~ r flor her **~ somegthng~ that could be
Itkrenedl to n Quenn forl a Dys we and the me~aanry~ of it searvd to brighten her"
r~emaisrd~Ingg flarst

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