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1 AFRO CUBAN INTELLECTUALS AND THE DOCTRINE OF MART: THE DISCURSIVE BATTLE FOR CUBA LIBRE By KYLE DOHERTY A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTE R OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011
2 2011 Kyle Doherty
3 To my fiance A nna
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Studies for giving me the resources and the opportunity to conduct field research in Cuba. I also thank the staff of the Archivo Nacional de Cuba and the Biblioteca Nacio nal Jos Mart in Havana, Cuba, for accommodating me in my research I am also grateful for the assistance of my thesis committee: Dr. Richmond Brown, Dr. Jean Stubbs, and Dr. Lillian Guerra. Each committee member has helped to make this a better project I am particularly thankful to Dr. Guerra for her guidance in arranging my research trip to Cuba and for writing numerous letters of introduction on my behalf.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 6 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 8 2 RAFAEL SERRA, SOTERO FIGUEROA, AND JUAN GUALBERTO G"MEZ: DIVERGENT VISIONARIES ................................ ................................ .................... 20 3 ................................ ................................ .......................... 28 4 DEFINING THE REVOLUTION ................................ ................................ ............... 39 5 ORDER AND ANARCHISM ................................ ................................ ..................... 49 6 LABOR POLITICS AND THE REVOLUTION ................................ ........................... 58 7 SPIRITUALITY AND PHILOSOPHY IN CUBA LIBRE ................................ ............. 65 8 RECKONING WITH THE UNITED STATES ................................ ............................ 74 9 CONCLUSION AND EPILOGUE ................................ ................................ .............. 81 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 88 BIOGRAPHIC AL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................. 93
6 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts AFRO CUBAN INTELLECTUALS AND THE DOCTRINE OF MART : THE DISCURSIVE BATTLE FOR CUBA LIBRE By Kyle Doherty May 2011 Chair: Lillian Guerra Major: Latin American Studies From 1868 to 1898, Cuban separatists fought three wars against Spain amidst a protracted ideological battle over the future of the country. Critical to this long term movement of resistance was a new nationalism that unite d around a shared identity This ide ntity hinged on the radical idea that thanks to the Re v olution in Cuba, despite its history of slavery and racially heterogeneous population, race had ceased to exist. Jos Mart, founder of the Partido Revolucionario Cubano (P RC) and the patron saint of Cuba Libre most prominent champion. Mart acted on his philosophy of racelessness through his association with black intellectuals both in Cuba and in New York. Rafael Serra, Sotero Figueroa, and Juan Gualberto Gmez occupied rarified position s within the independence movement both as friends of Mart and as prominent activists and journalists In Cuba, Gmez wrote for the newspapers La Fraternidad and La Igualdad while Serra and Figueroa began publishing La Doctrina de Mart the elite interests. The nationalist passed o ver Serra, Figueroa, and Gmez portraying them as loyal supporters of Mart and the Cuban national
7 project without fully addressing the distinct perspectives and motivations with which they engaged the revolutionary discourse. In particular, their backgr ounds in class and race based activism informed their separate visions for Cuba Libre. as broad a base of support as possible, Serra and Figueroa staked out radical ideological positions that called for revolution a nd an end to class based privilege and hierarchy in Cuba Gmez, on the other hand, was a product of legal battles for civil rights. His experience working for state sanctioned reforms led him to a conservative, gradualist approach. Rather than Serra an d advocated limited reform and a Eurocentric worldview. This made Gmez into a dangerous figure whose ideas threatened the revolutionary change sought by radicals like Serra and Figueroa. Through discourse analysis of separatist newspapers like La Doctrina de Mart and La Igualdad m y vision for an independent united Cuba, actively prese nted their own exegesis of the
8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In many ways, the Cuban independence movement of the late nineteenth century was on the cutting edge of contemporary thought with regard to the nation. Rather than operating under an assumption of white racial superiority Cuban separatists united behind a new concept of nation based on a spiritual fraternity that disdain ed divisions of color and class. Cuban intellectuals pushed the ideal of raceless nationalism at a time wh en the prevailing philosophy Cubans room to stake their own claims to Cuban society. To do this, they needed to be active participants in the narrative building process, indirectly challenging the mythos constructed by their white compatriots while pledging undying devotion to the cause of Cuba Libre and its patron, Jos Mart a man who was known as El Apstol among Cuban exiles as early as 1883 Interest in Afro political role in the Cuban independence movement has been on the increase in the past 20 years thanks in large part to works by Aline Helg and Alejandro de la Fuente. The issue is particularl y relevant in light of rising racial inequalities in present day Cuba, where the Special Period of the 1990s saw economic opportunities and material wellbeing of Afro Cubans shrink relative to their white counterparts. 1 In the 52 nd year of the Cuban Revol ution, a movement founded on a commitment to egalitarianism, marginalized Afro Cubans are embracing racial subjectivity to assert their place in the nation. Their efforts echo the task of the separatist activists Rafael Serra, Sotero Figueroa, and Juan Gualberto Gmez, who also 1 Alejandro de la Fuente, A Nation for All: Race, Inequality, and Politics in Twentieth Century Cuba (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2001), 317 34.
9 represented black and working class aspirations amid a movement predicated on the normative ideal o f racelessness. My project is based on discourse analysis of the writings of the Afro Cuban and Puerto Rican intellectuals Rafael Serra, Sotero Figueroa, and Juan Gualberto Gmez, who joined Mart in the cause of Cuban independence, but had their own vis ion s of what the incipient nation would be and what it should offer to marginaliz ed segments of society. Despite leaving behind voluminous records of their ideas in the form of newspaper articles, t hey are largely absent from the historiography of the Cub an ind ependence movement, their scant biographies portraying them as dedicated martianos without fully addressing their disparate ideologies and motivations This work calls these silences into question by examining the discourse of black intellectuals wh o audaciously as their own. In so doing, they portrayed Mart in a light that helped to solidify his place as the spiritual founder of Cuba Libre. While the three protagonists of my study deferred to El Apstol throughout their lives as activ ists, they also deviated from him particularly after his death in 1895, when Revolucionario Cubano (PRC) came under the leadership of the elitist Toms Estrada Palma who guided the separatist movement away from ideologies that made conservative separatists uncomfortable U neasy with this change and eager to defend their interests Serra and Figueroa launched the alternative newspapers La Doctrina de Mart and La Revista de Cayo Hueso Despite its title, La Doctrina de Mart reflected a vision of nation that hinged on the leveling of the economic hierarchies. Gmez curtailed his journalistic enterprises during his exile in Spain from 1895 to 1898, b ut his writings from before and after that hiatus consistently reflect a gradualist, Eurocentric approach in envisioning the nation.
10 interests as they established their own narrative o f the independence movement and the independent Cuba to follow To understand the origins of the independence movement and the important role played by the labor movement and Afro Cuban activists one must account for conditions in Cuba during the post w ar 1880s. Spain treated organized labor with conciliation rather than the repressive tactics that helped precipitate the conflict in the first place. 2 Spain also reached out to Afro Cuban societies, sponsoring groups and listening to their grievances such as when Juan Gualberto Gmez tried a series of cases on behalf of Afro Cuban civil rights in the Spanish courts 3 This tactic of rapprochement was intended to defuse possible sources of separatist unrest amongst the Cuban populace. Under these circumstances, Afro Cuban and labor groups deemed cooperation with the Spanish colonial regime to be more productive than separatism. However, Spain changed t actics in 1890 with the appointment of the hard line Captain General Camilo Polavieja who turned to coercion in dealings with Cuban reformists of all stripes. 4 For the labor movement and black activists, w orking with the Spanish colonial government had be come impossible, resuscitating the ir desire for a break with the Spanish metropole Thousands of Cuban labor activists found themselves forced into exile in the United States for their radical activities. There, they formed tight knit migr communities in Key West, Tampa, and New York. The PRC success hinged on channeling these working activism and including them in the separatist cause. 2 Joan Casanovas, Bread, or bullets!: Urban Labor and Spanish Colonialism in Cuba, 1850 1898 (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998), 13. 3 Aline Helg, Our Rightful Share: The Afro Cuban Struggle for Equality, 1886 1912 (Chapel Hill, NC: University o f North Carolina Press, 1995), 3 8. 4 Casanovas, Bread, or bullets! 13.
11 Despite the divisions that would manifest themselves as the movement progressed Cuban separatists in exile united under the aegis of the P RC thanks to Jos and tireless organizational activities As Lillian Guerra explains in The Myth of Jos Mart El Apstol yers of ambiguity, resulting in persistent nation. Rather, they had fought, sometimes in alliance across race and class, sometimes divided 5 Against the counsel of friends, Mart traveled to Cuba in 1895 to be among the first to invade the island only to die in a hail of Spanish bullets during an ill advise d charge at the Battle of Dos R Toms Estrada Palma, a rising professional class and a pro imperialist governed from the perspective of the new migr elite coalescing in New York. 6 Though idealistic, Mart realized t he tenuous nature of the alliance and finessed the fine was the most important hurdle to overcome in the path to a new Cuba, and so he sought to make the issue d isappear with the novel assertion that race did not exist, a claim that ran counter to the scientific racism that prevailed at the time in elite circles. Mart asserted that, in Cuba, the racial divisions that erupted in violence in neighboring Haiti and Jamaica could not be found In 5 Lillian Guerra, The Myth of Jos Mart: Conflicting N ationalisms in Early Twentieth Century Cuba (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2005), 5. 6 Ibid., 44.
12 No hay odio de razas, porque no hay razas. Los pensadores canijos, los pensadores de lmparas, enhebran y recalientan las razas de librera, que el viajero justo y el observador cordial buscan en vano en la justicia de la Naturaleza, donde resalta en el amor victorioso y el apetito turbulento, la identidad universal del hombre. 7 What is more, Mart reasoned that what cultural differences existed between Cuban whit es and blacks were nullified by their shared, single minded devotion to the cause of Cuba Libre a cause for which all Cuban patriots were willing to die. los campos de batalla, muriendo por Cuba, han subido juntas por los aires las almas de los 8 This statement summ arizes a common theme in white C reole, pro simultaneously proved Afro worth as citizens and expiated the white guilt associated compatriots was so effective as to become commonplace in Cuban patriotic discourse through the present day. Thi s attitude is notably different from that of other Afro Caribbean populations, such as those of the English speaking islands, whose mobilization centered around race, eventually evolving into pan African nationalism. An examination of the divergent concep ts of race in the Caribbean is necessary to explain why this is. Dutch scholar Harry Hoetink attempts to explain this phenomenon in The Two Variants in Caribbean Race Relations wherein he argues that racial dynamics in Iberian colonies were fundamentally different from those of Northern European colonies due to what he terme that Northern Europeans, insulated as they were from darker skinned peoples, found Africans and Amerindians 7 Literatura hispanoamericana ed. David William Foster (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 460. 8 Ensayos y crnicas ed. Jos Olivio Jimnez (Madrid, Spain: Ediciones Ctedra, 2004), 173.
13 too strange and foreign to fully accept in society. Conversely, Iberians were well used to contact with a variety of darker skinned peoples, and did not see Africans as alien. 9 While still political expl anations. The Spanish colonies in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo were chronically underdeveloped and sparsely populated compared their Northern European counterparts. Land holdings were small, producing little more than what was needed for subsist ence and, as a consequence, planters could neither afford nor efficiently use a large slave labor force. 10 It was not until the 1800s, in the wake of the Haitian Revolution and the corresponding destruction of the Saint Domingue sugar plantations, that Cub a developed as a major sugar exporter and experienced a large influx of African slaves. Even so, Cuba, along with Puerto Rico, maintained roughly equal ratios of white to colored inhabitants, as opposed to the English and French Caribbean colonies, whose white populations never exceeded 10 percent of the whole. 11 The extreme demographic disparity in the latter colonies resulted in Anglo and Francophone elites political development radically different from that of Cuba and Puerto Rico. Franklin W. Knight observes substitute for home. They behaved as exiles in the tropics, lo nging to get back to the societies 9 Harry Hoetink, The Two Variants in Caribbean Race Relations trans. Eva M. Hooykaas (New York: Oxford University Press, 196 7), 170 1. 10 Winston James, Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia: Caribbean Radicalism in Early Twentieth Century America (New York: Verso, 1998), 102. 11 Ibid. 106.
14 12 Class structures were also different in the Hispanic Caribbean, which developed large peasantries made up of both whites and free persons of color. Thus, racial cleavages in those colonies we re not inherent to the entire system of production, as was the case in Northern European colonies in the Caribbean. radicalization of its principles that came from the surge of black participation. This was the case in the East where the war shook the foundations of colonialism and in the West where slaves, inspired by the war, staged strikes, slowdowns and even received cash wages as planter struggled to keep plantati ons running. 13 The full abolition of slavery in 1886 saw further transformations As planters and mill operators looked to migrant labor to augment their supply of cheap labor, they unwittingly introduced legions of politically radical Spanish workers into a volatile political climate. Spanish anarchists like Roig San Martn, editor of the labor periodical El Productor publicly argued that workers of all races in Cuba shared a common struggle for labor reform. Kirwin is dedication, delegates to the Workers Congress of 1892 to the owners of capital. 14 Figueroa and Serra would use this metaphor in their own writings while decrying the influence of the old bosses on the Cuban independence struggle. 12 Franklin W. Knight, The Caribbean: The Genesis of a Fragmented Nationalism 2nd ed (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), 179. 13 Rebecca J. Scott, Slave Emancipation in Cuba: The Transition to Free Labor, 1860 1899 (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985), 45 62. 14 Kirwin R. Shaffer, Anarchism and Countercultural Polit ics in Early Twentieth Century Cuba (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2005), 91.
15 philosophical denial of race. However, as progressive as this stance was, it was also strategic: Ada Ferrer points out that it tended toward oversimplifying the issue of race in Cuba while erect barriers to national well being, and to divide 15 This opened the door for white elites to criticize black activists f colonial order. Despite its limitations, contemporary black thinkers of the independence wars like Antonio Maceo and their civilian counterparts such as Serra embraced M wholeheartedly, declaring that to be Cuban transcended skin color. Alejandro de la Fuente has often emphasized the agency of Afro Cubans in forming their tory. In his society, if not actually take up their rightful share of it. que la subordinacin racial no est rgidamente codificada es al menos posible el ascenso 16 According to de la Fuente, it was a logical step for black activists to step into the fray with the ir own efforts at philosophical nation 15 eds. Jeffrey Grant Belnap and Raul A. Fernandez (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 19 98), 229. 16 Espacios, silencios y los sentidos de la libertad: Cuba entre 1878 y 1912 eds. Fernando Martnez Heredia, Rebecca J. Scott, and Orlando F. Garca Martnez (Havana, Cub a: Ediciones Unin, 2001), 241.
16 transformation, when competing visions of the nation and its people openly clash for legitimacy and consolidation, that the place of Afro 17 Without the context of a race blind movement, however far short it fell of true egalitarianism, de la Fuente argues that such participation on th e part of black intellectuals may not have been possible. Indeed, Rafael Serra and Juan Gualberto Gmez are products of a period in Cuban history when Afro Cubans sought to take advantage of the promise of racial democracy by solidifying their status as f ull and equal citizens. Black mutual aid societies and periodicals devoted to this purpose flourished in the 1880s. 18 As Rebecca Scott observes, these new institutions focused primarily on the social rehabilitation of the colored population, though they o publication, La Fraternidad 19 For a counter point, one could look to black intellectuals from the West Indies, whose radicalism eschewed any national grounding in favor of black rule, at least as proposed by African Mo vement of Marcus Garvey While Afro Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants in the United States, with some notable exceptions, identified principally with Latin culture, black intellectuals from the British and French Caribbean experienced an awakening of race specific awareness and pride. As Winston James observes, the overt tensions and violent struggles of Jim Crow society catalyzed racial self awareness for many Afro Antillean migrs of the British and French 17 de la Fuente, A Nation for All 1. 18 Philip A. Howard, Changing History: Afro Cuban Cabildos and Societies of Color in the Nineteenth Century (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1998). 19 Rebecca J. Scott, Slave Emancipation in Cuba: The Transition to Free Labor, 1860 1899 (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000), 269.
17 colonies. For instance, Marcus Garvey, who de veloped his Pan African philosophy while abroad standing tradition of black consciousness and mobilization. Unlike in the Cuban case, whites in Jamaica were collectively responsible for the systematic until the 1930s and 20 The black press in the United States had a similar outlook, born out of the reality of rampant discrimination and horrifi c racist violence aimed at preventing African Americans from claiming their share of American society. This survivalist bent is expressed in articles like one The Freeman which detailed how the judicial system fails to punish the p erpetrators of brutal lynchings and how white politicians in general, even those who appear sympathetic to black uplift, cannot be trusted. The article exhort ed upon yourselves in the future; place no more confidence in demag preservation is the first law of nature and the black man in official position is more likely to 21 The Freeman n was to urge blacks to withdraw from the general civil society into an insular African America that had little faith in the promise of the white controlled nation. Similarly, t he black focused discourse of the Anglo Caribbean and, later, the pan African s Cubans in who, despite their low economic and social status, joined white grandees like 20 Thomas C. Holt, The Problem of Freedom: Race, Labor, and Politics in Jamaica and Britain, 1832 1938 (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), 265 312. 21 The Freeman December 6, 1884, quoted in Martin E. Dann, ed. The Black Press 1827 1890: The Quest for National Identity
18 Toms Estrada Palma, a man who would go on to abandon the ideal s of racial and economic justice, in demanding independence from Spain. For intellectuals like Serra, Sotero Figueroa, and Juan Gualberto Gmez, working class partisanship and struggles for racial equality evolved into fierce advocacy of Cuba Libre which was to be a raceless, classless, New World utopia. While it was commonplace for Afro Hispanic immigrants in the United States to avoid connections with African American society or culture, one great exception to the divide was Arturo Alfonso Schomburg. S chomburg, an Afro Puerto Rican cigar worker, straddled the two models of Afro as secretary of Club Las Dos Antillas, a group which put forward the idea of unity between Cuba and Puerto Rico in the cause of independence from Spain and an embrace of the ideology of American community and became a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance as a scho lar of African culture and history. Winston James notes that from a young age in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Schomburg began to struggle against the dominant notion that Africans had no history and sought to disprove it through his collection of African cultur al artifacts which today resides in the Harlem branch of the New York Public Library. 22 While living as an Afro American in the United States after the war ended in 1898, Schomburg repudiated the entire Cuban national project in which his Afro Cuban friends had Writing in The Crisis time of hardship, during the days of the revolution, but in th e days of peace and white immigration they are deprived of positions, ostracized and made political outcasts. The Negro 22 James, Banner of Ethiopia, 199.
19 23 Ironically, while o Cuban veterans in the first decade of the Cuban Republic, especially the founders of the Partido Independiente de Color, his position contrasted sharply with the three black activists on whom this study focuses. Although their radicalism differed by deg ree, Serra, Gmez, and Figueroa never rescinded their belief in the capacity or the need of Cuban whites to overcome the historically accumulated prejudices of 23 The Crisis October 1910, 144, quoted in Jesse Hoffnung Journal of American Ethnic History 21, n o. 1 (Fall 2001): 20.
20 CHAPTER 2 RAFAEL SERRA, SOTERO FIGUEROA, AND JUAN GUALBERTO G"MEZ: DIVERGENT VISIONARIES consuming passion for uniting Cubans in the separatist struggle against Spanish rule, the three protagonists of my study represent three distinct perspectives on the problems that faced Cuba at the tu rn of the twentieth century. Each took strong positions on issues of class, race, and political philosophies that underpinned their discourse on the war for Cuba Libre Informed by their own personal histories and involvements with broader movements and political struggles of the day, each expressed influence. A cigar maker by trade, Rafael Serra, unlike Arturo Schomburg, discussed above, fully embraced radical l abor politics and Cuban nationalism both ideologies that attempted to transcend racial boundaries rather than advocate for the rights of specific racial groups. Serra young the rights of laborers and Afro Cubans, founding the radical newspaper, La Armona 1 Serra was Cuban Left by agitating for not only labor reforms but also socialist internationalism, worker initiated health reforms, radical education, revolutionary motherhood, and gender equity while rejecting the political system, 2 This activity attracted the ire of the 1 Pedro Deschamps Chapeaeux, Rafael Serra y Montalvo: Obrero Incansable de Nuestra Independencia (Havana, Cuba: Unin de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, 1975), 37. 2 Kirwin R. Shaffer, Anarchism and Countercultural Politics in Early Tw entieth Century Cuba (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2005), 2.
21 Spanish colonial authorities, however, who pressured Serra into silence and exile to Key West in 1880. 3 Shortly thereafter, Serra made his way to New York, where, inspired by the words o f Jos Mart, he became heavily involved in the Cuban separatist movement. Serra joined the Partido Revolucionario Cubano and befriended Mart while making the acquaintance of Toms Estrada Palma. 4 friend Sotero Figueroa entitled La Doctrina de Mart. The new paper was also a rebuke to the PRC and its official organ, Patria which had begun to lean toward the v iews of the migr elite after the aristocratic Toms Estrada Palma took the reins. 5 reminded readers of the dream of a Cuba Libre built on shared sacrifice and imbued with a collective zeal that transcended hierarchies of color and class. Serra ma de ed the first edition of La Doctrina : Nos ense el ilustre Mart, que un pueblo compuesto de distintos elementos vivos y maniatados por un mismo yugo, deben estar sinceramente unidos, y representados por igual en todas las capacidades contributivas la creacin del Pas: Porque los que como cubanos servim os para entrar en la comparticin del sacrificio, como cubanos, hemos de entrar tambin en la comparticin del beneficio. 6 Serra levels a clear challenge to the conservative trajectory of the PRC by evoking the name of Mart, its original leader, while ass erting that Afro Cubans, through their hardship and sacrifice 3 Deschamps Chapeaeux, Rafael Serra y Montalvo 37. 4 Ibid., 46 7. 5 Jesse Hoffnung New York 1891 Journal of American Ethnic History 21, no. 1 (Fall 2001): 16. 6 La Doctrina de Mart 25 June 18 96, 1.
22 on behalf of the insipient nation, had earned their place alongside the white elites as equal citizens rather than merely repaying the kindness of the masters who had freed them. In the same maiden issue of their newspaper, Sotero Figueroa also delivers a statement of purpose for the enterprise. e wr ote Rechazemos toda intransigencia que pueda desvirtuar nuestra obra; auscultemo s [sic] el corazn del pueblo para ser fieles intrpretes de ese Prometeo hermano nuestro atado la roca de todos los despotismos, y habremos cumplido la misin de la prensa digna, que corrige y ensea, la vez que es vlvula de seguridad por donde se es capan las quejas populares, que han de atender nuestros mandatarios si no quieren caer envueltos en el general anatema que alcanzan los que no saben no quieren dar satisfaccin la opinin pblica. 7 With characteristically grandiose imagery, Figueroa signal ed his intention to serve the interests of the oppressed while speaking truth to power. A close collaborator with Serra, Figueroa moved from his native Puerto Rico to New York City in 1889 and became an instrumental part of the Cuban independence mo vement as a journalist, historian, and proprietor of the print shop, Imprenta Amrica. Figueroa, a mulatto typesetter cum editor, became a tireless defender of the Patria La Doctrina de Mart and, later, the Florida based Revista de Cayo Hueso Though Puerto Rican by birth, Figueroa joined many of his countrymen with revolutionary sympathies in casting his lot with the Cubans, for whom independence was a popular cause sinc e the traumatically 8 Cuba and Puerto Rico as partners in the same anti colonial struggle. In a somewhat fatalistic verse appearing in an 1891 issue of La Revista Ilustrada de Nueva York Figueroa wro y Puerto Rico, en Guerra, con tutelas / fomentidas, que si estn en dos partidas / son una en 7 in La Doctrina de Mart 25 June 1896, 2. 8 Hoffnung Garskof, 11.
23 9 Figueroa befriended Jos Mart in Ne w York, becoming a close collaborator and secretary of the Partido Revolucionario Cubano, the independence activist group and de facto Cuban government in exile of which Mart was president. While engaged in the struggle for Cuban independence, Figueroa d id not forget founded the Club Borinquen, a sub group within the PRC that militated for Puerto Rican independence. 10 ill fated homecoming to Cuba led to his demise in 1895, Figueroa wrote an impassioned remembrance, declaring that En sus relaciones sociales Jos Mart era irresistible. Una a un bello corazn afabilidad tan extremada, que contaba a los amigos por el nmero de personas que llegaban a tr atarlo. Los pobres, los desgraciados, los humildes, hallaron siempre en l apoyo, cordialidad, afecto. Al lado suyo no haba rangos ni categoras; los hombres tenan el valer que supiesen conquistarse con su laboriosidad o con su suficiencia. 11 Figueroa r emembered Mart as a friend and compaero for his compassion for the less fortunate and his willingness to befriend people based on their worth as human beings, irrespective of nimity, Figueroa Figueroa praise d Mart as an enemy of hierarchies, a p erson who disregards castes and rank. 9 La Revista Ilustrada de Nueva York 1 June 1891, quoted in Sotero Figueroa, La verdad de la historia ed. Carlos Ripoll (San Juan, Puerto Rico: Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquea, 1977), 6. 10 Edna Acosta Beln, Sotero Figueroa http://www.enciclopediapr.org/ing/article.cfm?ref=06082925. 11 Yo conoc a Mart ed. Carme n Surez Len (Santa Clara, Cuba: Ediciones Capiro, 1998), 65.
24 Unlike the other subjects of this study, Juan Gualberto Gmez was born into slavery. While one may expect this would leave him with an even greater impetus to overturn colonial ved parents who worked on the ingenio of the wealthy Creole, doa Catalina Gmez. While still an infant, 12 assistance, the young Juan Gualberto took refuge in Paris t War. Biographer Leopoldo Horrego Estuch credits this sojourn with instilling Gmez with the values of equality and community, resulting in his return to Cuba at the age of 23 while a lesser man would have remained in the safety of France. abnegacin le arrastraba a las demandas reivindicadoras, disponindose a trabajar no solo por sus ideas separatistas, sino por library a sus hermanos de raza de la tragedia en que vivan, excluidos 13 Gmez met and befriended Jos Mart as the two were drawn 14 During the peripatetic worked with Gmez at the same law firm in Centro Habana. T hey also belonged to secret separatist clubs and came to know each other as the clubs coalesced in order to pool their resources in the wake of the Pact of Zanjn, the peace Unli ke Serra and Figueroa, Gmez met Mart much earlier in the future PRC delegado development as a revolutionary before Mart was indelibly influenced by the radicalism of the migr tobacco workers in Florida By 1880, Spain had driven both into exile: Mart to New York and Gmez to Spain, where he remained for 10 years 12 Leopoldo Horrego Estuch, Juan Gualberto Gmez: Un gran inconforme (Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2004), 3. 13 Ibid. 19. 14 Ibid.
25 before returning to Cuba. 15 After spending two years in prison, Gmez lived in Madrid, where he befriended prominent abolitionists and maintained his social and political activism One of his accomplishments was a successful suit before the Spanish Supreme Court that legalized separatist literature in Cuba. 16 He also won landmark cases that, on paper, desegregated Cuban public schools and ended legal discrimination in public place s. 17 That these triumphs went unheeded by Cuban authorities was profoundly frustrating for Gmez and led to his late shift to the separatist cause. In Cuba, Gmez was an outspoken critic of racism and racial inequality. He argued that it was not racial inferiority, but rather a deficit of education and culture that accounted for Afro e Afro Cuban paper La Igualdad and founder of La Fraternidad both of which served a readership comprised of the Afro Cuban petit bourgeoisie. This audience, inculcated with traditional notions of civilization and barbarism, sought to distance themselves from lower class Afro Cubans while asserting their own rights as Cuban citizens. Gmez reflected this perspective with paternalistic writings about the importance of education for people of color while also advocating organization in the face of persisten t white racism. In 1892, after the Payret Theater refused service to a prominent black family, he railed against businesses who remained indifferent to Afro won legal right to equal treatment in public settings and exhorted, Vayan [ a l Teatro] Payret los hombres de color que quieran reivindicar los derechos de su raza. Pero vayan resueltos a mostrarse tan prudentes y comedidos, como enrgicos en sostener despus sus reclamaciones en las esferas gubernaleras y 15 Yo conoc a Mart, ed. Carmen Surez Len (Santa Clara, Cuba: Ediciones Capiro, 1998), 80. 16 Ferrer, Insurgent Cuba 113. 17 Aline Helg, Our Rightful Share: The Afro Cuban Struggle for Equality, 1886 1912 (Chapel Hill, NC: University o f North Carolina Press 1995), 3 8.
26 Unmonos, p ues, todos los hombres de color, para dar la batalla a una preocupacin trasnochada, y para obligar a las empresas preocupadas a guardar a los elementos negros de este pas los miramientos y las consideraciones a que tienen derecho, por su laboriosidad, po r su cultura y por su honradez. 18 Though Gmez championed the radical notion that blacks and mulattos shared the same struggle for equality in Cuba, his experiences in Europe and Cuba led him to a much more cautious brand of activism. Rather than calling f or violent upheaval and radical change in Cuba, Gmez advocated gradual reform, falling squarely within t he Cuban political mainstream. This token Afro Cuban polit icians (along with Martn Mora Delgado) allowed into the political elite while Serra and Figueroa remained on the periphery, continuing to write, but effecting little real change. n the War for Independence. In 1895, he rode out to join the rebel forces only to be captured by the Spanish Guardia Civil and locked in the Morro Castle death. After months in prison, Gmez was sentenced to 20 yea Spanish enclave in Morocco. In the fall of 1897, the Spanish General Ramn Blanco issued an edict to free all political prisoners in an attempt to quell hostilities in Cuba This resulted in arch 1898, whereupon he embarked for New York to join the PRC. 19 The following chapters examine the discourse of Serra, Figueroa, and Gmez in the context of Mart and his enduring influence as a philosophical guide and political 18 La Igualdad 9 November 1892. 19 Octavio R. Costa, Juan Gualberto Gmez: Una vida sin sombra (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Editora Corripio, 1950), 160 75.
27 symbol. My analysis follows a series of themes that factored heavily in the separatist discourse. the struggle to define the subsequent separatist movement the c lash between order and anarchism, the influence of working class politics, the role of spirituality and Positivism and the issue of the looming United States Each of the protagonists of my study had different modes of looking at the world and as a cons equence, some are more heavily represented on certain topics than others Serra, for instance, had little to say on matters o f spirituality, while Figueroa, a n amateur historian, Furthermore, there are important differences in chronology. While Serra and Figueroa were contributing to the revolutionary war effort by reporting on the conflict as it happened, pre war writings deal with the grievances with the Spanis h colonial government and his opinions on what constituted an ideal society. treatment of the issues surrounding the struggle for a free Cuba reveals their willingness to explore new intellectual territory and stray from the doctrine of Mart as they envisioned a new Cuban society that would embody their ideal modern society.
28 CHAPTER 3 A recurring theme in the writings of Cuban separatist intellectuals during the period between wars (1880 1895) periodicals like Patria and La Doctrina de Mart frequently publishing hagiographic articles praising a canon of war heroes like the wealthy planter cum revolutionary leader Carlos Manuel de Cspedes For Mart and black activist writers, rehabilitating black war heroes like the famed general Antonio Maceo in the minds of whites was a particular priority. The collapse in 1878 of 1 In addition to providing the movement with inspi ring heroes and martyrs, this focus on the past was necessary to buttress the idea that Cuban independence had always gone hand in hand with an end to the Spanish colonial order and the adoption of the racial democracy envisioned by Mart. To achieve this Mart engaged in a deliberate effort to recreate the past in order to rally support for renewed rebellion. place in the mythology of the independence struggle as it provided an example of a united front of C uban patriots that, superficially, transcended the racial and class divisions that were thought to be insurmountable obstacles to independence. In Mart to independence, was a t riumph of racial egalitarianism wherein white planters, represented by the iconic Carlos Manuel de Cspedes, had cleansed themselves of the sin of slavery by 1 Aline Helg, Our Rightful Share: The Afro Cuban Struggle for Equality, 1886 1912 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1995), 89.
29 selflessly freeing their slaves. The freed men, in turn, expressed their gratitude and loyalty to their former masters by fighting for them against Spanish tyranny. Mart expresses this view in clared La abolicin de la esclavitud medida que ha ahorrado a Cuba la sangre y el odio de que an no h a salido, por no abolirla en su raz, la repblica del Norte, es el hecho ms puro y trascendental de la revolucin cubana. La revolucin, hecha por los dueos de los esclavos, declar libres a los esclavos. Todo esclavo de entonces, libre hoy, y sus hij os todos, son hijos de la revolucin cubana. 2 The essay, published in Patria provided a place for Afro Cubans within the revolution, but it also ascribe d to them a debt of gratitude to revolution and therefore, founded the nation history as complicated events had to be molded in the image of his ideals. For instance, Mart praised the heroes of the Ten Ye reality of their tepid commitment to the advancement of their Afro Cuban comrades. equality o de redencin del negro en Cuba, desde la primera Constitucin de la independencia, el 10 de 3 In fact, as A da Ferrer observes, the rebel leadership, including the vaunted Cspedes himself, became wary of too much freedom too quickly for their freedmen allies and conceded them only the right to leave their current 2 1894, in Jos Mart: Obras escogidas en tres tomos vol. 3 (Havana, Cuba: Editorial d e Ciencias Sociales, 2007), 317. 3 Ensayos y crnicas ed. Jos Olivio Jimnez (Madrid, Spain: Ediciones Ctedra, 2004), 174.
30 masters for new ones to be assigned by the Offic e of Libertos. 4 The freedmen remained in this state of quasi slavery for two years, at which point they were deemed to have had sufficient to be granted full liberation. Nonethele ss, idleness amongst the Libertos would be strictly forbidden. 5 Thus, a equality were continually undercut by conservative tendencies that drove its leadership to maintain elements of the colonial hierarchy. Many rank and file white rebels also resisted the social change they saw around them by maintain ing a deep suspicion that Afro Cuban insurgents were using the conflict as an opportunity to prosecute a race wa Antonio Maceo, widely revered for his military acumen, courage, and commitment to the revolution, contended with white subordinates who refused to accept orders from a black man. Many believed that Maceo, or any other Afro Cuban in a position of authority, sought to recreate the Haitian Revolution in Cuba, creating a black nation state. 6 Both positions echoed the anti After ten ye ars of brutal warfare that left each side depleted and dispirited, the conflict end to slavery or to grant Cuba its independence, a group of insurgents led by black officers such as Antonio Maceo and his brother Jos kept up the fight. The renewed war effort would be known as La Guerra Chiquita. While some radical whites supported the effort, the exhaustion 4 Ada Ferrer, Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868 1898 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1999), 24. 5 Ferrer, Insurgent Cuba 28. 6 Aline Helg, Our Rightful Share: The Afro Cuban Struggle for Equality, 1886 1912 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1995), 48.
31 inherent in ten years of bloody, total war engendered an understandable fatigue on the part of most Cuban elites, who disavowed Maceo and the remaining insurgents. who emphasized precisely this point in a n 1895 meet ing of Las Dos Antillas, a discussion society for black Cubans and Puerto Ricans uprising, the Grito de Lares, had succeeded in the task. 7 to defend Puerto R Afro they envisaged. As Jesse Hoffnung 8 Beyond that, Afro Cuban supporters. Juan Gualberto Gmez wrote in a similar vein in his 1885 in which he bitterl y recounted 9 With a subtle allies and their potential for violent social upheaval once Spain was defeated. This frank 7 Hoffnung 8 Ibid. 9 El Progreso 15 January 1885.
32 ew Gmez continue d pocos que protestaron contra lo convenido en el Zanjn, abandonaban la Isla sacudiendo, es cier 10 By specifically citing disgust with the Treaty of Zanjn as the reason for their departure, Gmez recognize d that this group of exiles was primarily Afro Cuban. Perhap s coincidentally, the comparison of the African diaspora with Jewish communities, a similarity that further ity over Creole solidarity. with racist ideology, a constant danger that contributed to his transition into more and more cautious political stands. Spanish official s and reactionary Cuban Autonomists responded to his call for black solidarity by accusing him of establishing the Directorio as a precursor to a black ruling class that would take over the island and turn it into a black republic. 11 As a response to this brand of racial fear mongering, Gmez tempered his racially based activism with frequent avowals of gratitude toward white Cubans who had advocated Afro Cuban causes. In an 1892 issue of La Igualdad Gmez praise d the white abolitionist Antonio Gonzlez M endoza: Gracias a las instancias del Sr. Mendoza, a poco se supo que los trescientos esclavos haban sido declarados libres por los dos herederos del Sr. Pedroso, hermoso ejemplo de conveniencia y humanidad, que todo corazn negro lata de admiracin y agr adecimiento, al escuchar el nombre 10 Ibid. 11 Helg, Our Rightful Share 51.
33 12 that Afro Cubans were too grateful to the whites who freed them to harbor any lingering animosity over their enslavement or, elite. The towering figure of Antonio Maceo, a hero to Cuban patriots and the subject of numerous hagiographic articles penned by migrs of all stripes, held special significance for Afro Cuban partisans. As Aline Helg shows, Maceo was known during the Ten Yea for being a courageous leader who gave his black soldiers a sense of self worth a nd even pride in their heritage. He was also known for awarding prestigious positions within his unit to those most worthy of them, irrespective of color or class. 13 That a mulatto soldier rose to such prominence provided greater credibility to the racelessness as a national, unifying ideal as well as a concrete figure who simultaneously could struggle for independence and in the pantheon of heroes it produced politically inert fashion. As Helg Maceo was not entirely harmonious, as the two had a fundamental disagreement with regard to the role of the military in the leadership of the independence movement. Maceo believed that the military should have ultimate authority over the war, while Mart believed that there should 12 La Igualdad 21 May 1892. 13 Helg, Our Rightful Share 60.
34 always be civilian oversight. Furthermore, Mart harbored concerns about the possibility of a race war. 14 He likely worried that Maceo, as a black authority figure, would incite uncomfortable parallels unease is apparent in his essay on Maceo, written in 1893. Within the article, Mart paints a pastoral, u lado del Atlntico, por el ro Matina, los pltanos son tan altos como la palma real, y es un cubano, que dio su sangre a Cuba, quien cra en la tierra amiga el platanal mejo 15 Mart makes enthusiasm he had previously conveyed in biographies of other Cuban heroes. 16 Figuero, who appreciated Maceo for his independent initiative and personal sense of right and wro ng the very reason that Mart distrusted him of an emancipated slave who fought out of gratitude toward a benevolent master, Maceo was a warrior with his own motivations and investment in the fight against Sp ain. Indeed, as Serra white leaders per se; on the contrary, much of the military success of the cause of Cuba Libre could have been attributed to Maceo instead. E mphasiz ing 14 Colonial Latin American Historical Review 10, no. 1 (Winter 2001): 83 4 15 Jos Mart: O bras escogidas en tres tomos vol. 3 (Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2007), 269. 16
35 white elite in an essay published in a December 1896 issue of La Doctrina de Mart Serra e embodiment of cubanidad especially when contested with the sudden surrender of white leaders to the Spanish in 1878 : En los momentos en que el incansable jefe cubano se preparaba lanzar sus tropas sobre Holgun, tiene noticia de que el Congreso cuban o haba pactado con Espaa la paz. Despus de las penalidades, de los sacificios y de las victorias alcanzadas costa de verdaderas proezas y de actos incontables de abnegacin y de heroism, no quiso aceptar las condiciones que dictaba el tratado, y ento nces lanz la conocida <
36 Maceo w as an inte l lectual who rightfully o ccupied a place in the classical model of the Renaissance man normally reserved for white heroes like Mximo Gmez and Carlos Manuel de heroic figure was a crucia l step for black intellectuals who sought to counter the idea of blacks as loyal, but simple minded allies of the white will to freedom. As Ada Ferrer argues, this idea lay at the heart of white 20 La Revista de Cayo Hueso also devoted sizable space to prais ing Antonio Maceo. like po wer while spinning his person and exploits into the ultimate expression of what cubanidad ought to be: [Maceo] vivir en esas pginas, ms que por sus extraordinarias proezas, que oscurecen las de la leyenda fabulosa de la antigedad porque entonces peleaban dioses y hombres animados por pasiones sensuales y con armas pobres y ridculas por sus virtudes cvicas, por su culto ferviente al ideal grandioso que transform a a un pueblo de esclavos en una repblica de ciudadanos conscientes, defensores de su propio derecho, celosos de su propia dignidad, irreductibles porque no van a la conquista del vellocino de oro, sino a la de abrir amplios horizontes a la actividad huma na y llamarse feliz interviniendo en la marcha ascendente de la patria redimida por sus nobles y desinteresados esfuerzos. 21 Argonauts, makes the war hero into the personification of the revolution and all it set out to incorruptible moral fabric and zeal for a new order in Cuba whose creation would defeat the 20 Ferrer, Insurgent Cuba 117 38. 21 La Revista de Cayo Hueso 12 December 1896, 2.
37 legacy of slavery. A By contrast, took on a much m ore grandiose tone. 22 Thus while Cspedes was a prim al force of nature, Maceo was a tiller of the land, subject to t he power of nature, ostensibly unleashed but still controlled by white men like Cspedes. Maceo as the politically motivated jug gernaut described by Serra and Figueroa. Still, one is tempted to ask how differently Mart might have depicted Maceo if he, like Serra and Figueroa, had been writing about Maceo in death, when Maceo was clearly less of a threat to the established racial order than he was in life. While this question can ultimately never be unlikely at best. 23 La Doctrina de Mart actively and vigorously defended Afro revolution and in Cuban society as a whole. When the conservative Havana paper Diario de la Marina for instance, wrote that the infamous Spanish gen ler Serra fired back with an article called In it, he ex tensively quote d a white general who praises black soldiers for their 22 1888, in Jos Mart: Obras escogidas en tres tomos vol. 2 (Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2007), 246. 23 Guerra, The Myth of Jos Mart 31 3.
38 loyalty and valor stating that black soldiers could not be tempted to defect La clase de color comprendi que se le halagaba para atraerla, y desde el halago 24 reaction against an insidious racism that lurked within the independence movement and, despite the best efforts of Mart, sought to discount the contributions of black patriots as Cuba Libre came closer to fruition. The importance of mythos. Black activist journalists sought to contest accepted notions about the war and its implications for race in Cuba by telling their own version of the events that provide a foundation expanded, the organization took on a more conservative ch aracter fueled by an influx of wealthy exiles who were perfectly content with traditional social and racial order, if not always with the nature of Spanish colonial rule and its effects on their own interests 24 La Doctrina de Mart 16 September 1896, 1.
39 CHAPTER 4 DEFINING THE REVOLU TION Though Mart, and thus the PRC, emphasized indiscriminate inclusion as the path to victory for C uba L ibre a battle over the identity of the movement and its constituents simmered beneath the surface. On a grand scale, the essential goals of the revo lution were contested: would Cuba be an independent nation with a modern, progressive ethos of egalitarianism, or would it maintain the structures that allowed the existing elite to retain its power and privilege? The Manifesto de Montecristi issues related to the economy and government. In the absence of any clear blueprint and without demise at Dos Ros left the revolutionary wing of the independence movement without a sufficiently powerful representative in New York to keep the reactionary inclinations of the migr elite at bay. While Mart had preached cooperation above all in his q uest to secure a broad coalition for the independence movement, La Doctrina de Mart leveled many firm critiques against the force The first page of the first issue of La Doctrina de Mart exemplifie d thi s clash between wa s immediately wa s a bold statement of purpose that paid mphasize d its implications for the ascendance of Afro Cubans. elementos vivos y maniatados por un mismo yugo, deben estar sinceramente unidos, y representados por igual en toda s las capacidades contributivas la creacin del Pas: Porque los que como cubanos servimos para entrar en la comparticin del sacrificio, como cubanos hemos
40 1 By declaring that all Cuban Creoles suffer culpability in the institution of slavery in the same manner that Mart often did. The message of this call for unity, however, is a demand for equality in Cuban socie ty that is more direct than Serra proceeds to up the ante derechos y completa garanta la mujer; abolir los privilegios, no tan solo en la ley escrita sino tambin en la ley moral; consagrarse toda obra de provecho comn; aplicar los progresos de la inteligencia las necesidades de la vida; establecer la igualdad; difundir la instruccin, y preserv 2 While this declaration of what Serra expected of a Serra exceeds El Apstol in his uncompromisingly broad scope. The rights in the list is also notable, as Mart took a conservative line with regard to the place of women in modern society and was prone to casual sexism in his writings. 3 Perhaps the most 4 Despite his qualification of implicit attack on the inversion of the bromide that the experience of slavery had left Afro Cubans morally bankrupt 1 La Doctrina de Mart 25 July 1896, 1. 2 3 en La amistad funesta Jos Mart: Las mscaras del escritor (Boulder, CO: Society of Spanish and Spanish portrayal of women. 4
41 and unfit for modern society. 5 The image of purification is also important in the context o f Serra ends the editorial with an explicitly ta, y en conformidad con los preceptos aceptados por todos, hemos de dirigir nuestros esfuerzos para el triunfo de la 6 In an editorial that defines the purpose of La Doctrina de Mart Serra ironically eschew ed identity comes from the working class radical wing of the Cuban emigracin. Serving as both an appeal to solidarity and a warning against straying too far from the interpretation. He wrote Siguiendo las enseanzas de l noble apstol i mrtir sublime, entremos en la nueva sociedad francamente por la ancha puerta de la justicia, con derechos por igual para todos i sin privilegios para nadie; pero seamos la vez tolerantes i benvolos, fiando ms, para llegar la perfec cin que aspiramos, en la influencia de la razn ejercida con moderacin discreta, que en fogosa impaciencia cargada siempre de peligros para la comunidad que pertenecemos. 7 Thus, while the letter is civil and some of the language with regard to doing away with privilege (a promise Estrada Palma would do little to keep in his tenure as president of the republic) remain ed were a clear rebuke to the sweeping 5 This argument had previously surfaced at th e end of La Guerra Chiquita, when the rebel General Guillermo Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868 1898 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1999), 87. 6 7 La Doctrina de Mart 25 July 1896, 1.
42 plan for change advocated by La Doctrina de Mart The future president of the Cuban Republic wa s serving notice that the elite Enrique Trujillo, a conservative migr printer who attacked the labor movement and promulgated racist ideas, exemplifies the rush of ruling class reactionaries who sought to co opt goals. 8 Initially the PRC gained momentum, beginning a pro separatist paper called El Porvenir Sotero face and his dubious ties to North American business interests. wrote Figueroa, y sabido es que con esa levadura nunca se ha hecho el pan eucarstico con que comulgan los pueblos dignos y celosos de su derecho. Mantener el fuego sagrado de la idea independient e: ser el vocero de las Justas aspiraciones populares; despertar la conciencia dormida al sentimiento del deber; tremolar la bandera de la fines del Director de El Avisa dor Cubano y qued hurfana de representacin en la ciudad neoyorkina la idea independiente por la cual tanta sangre se ha derramado y tanto herosmo insuperable se ha prodigado. 9 Figueroa went on in the next article in the series to suggest that Trujillo suponemos que por compra al seor Trujillo El Avisador Cubano ; lo transform, para sus fines, en Avisador Hispano Americano y la Direccin del flaman te peridico qued encomendada al que 8 Lillian Guerra, The Myth of Jos Mart: Conflicting Nationalisms in Early Twentieth Century Cuba (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2005), 38. 9 La Doctrina de Mart 30 December 1896, 2.
43 fu propietario del otro Avisador 10 The class independence movement. For Figu eroa, whose working class sympathies were well known, Trujillo represented a moneyed elite that sought only personal gain from the revolution and was eager to sell out the patria whose freedom was being bought with the blood of thousands of working class f oot soldiers. The preceding passages are also notable for the open hostility Figueroa expresses toward the other cheek doctrine of conciliation and inclusiveness. Indeed, Mart had his own frau Carmen Zayas Bazan, became fed up with his sought to leave New York with sole custody of their child, she approached Trujillo for help in obtaining permission from the Spanish consulate. As Lillian Guerra observes, Mart kept up personal correspondence with Trujillo despite this public affront to his honor. 11 In calling out Trujillo so v ehemently, Figueroa not only demonstrated a fiery devotion to the radical, labor oriented wing of the movement, but he also broke with El Apstol in dramatic fashion. one time Spanish loyalists like Trujillo saw the movement as safer and less radical. Recognizing the danger that thei and coopting former enemies of the revolution like Trujillo could no longer apply. Serra and Figueroa maintained, along with Mart, that Cuba, by its nature, was a land of the f ree, where slavery and colonial hierarchy were foreign concepts transplanted into hostile soil. This became a rhetorical tool to invalidate claims that the revolution had to moderate its 10 La Doctrina de Mart 15 February 1897, 2. 11 Guerra, The Myth of Jos Mart 42 3.
44 demands for social change. To do so was to betray the true Cuba and forget the sacrifice of its champion, Mart. For Serra, the battle had morphed into a fight for the soul of the revolution: a clash justice. In response to ch arges of dividing Cubans with his radical view of the revolution, Serra argued that to reject the fully formed republic that he sought was to deny the egalitarian society In an 1897 editorial enti wrote tregua contra todas las libertades media; contra las tradiciones incuas; contra los privilegios ilegales; contra todo lo que directa indirectamente viniese herir el corazn de la dignidad 12 A leader in a working class movement that emphasized social reform above all, Serra makes it clear that compromise and half measures had no place within the movement. ary of Cubans against the Spanish. Those Cubans who did not embrace the national project envisioned within La Doctrina de Mart had been hopelessly corrupted by the unnatural Spanish influence. This message lay under the surface of another theme that res ound ed class, but not ideology. In the third issue of La Doctrina de Mart Serra wrote that the Spanish han podido despecho de las sanas inclinaciones de aquel pueblo infeliz [Cuba], y porque no tienen ellos, los dominadores, prendas que perder, dividirnos en vergonzosas jerarquas de esclavos, consignados desde Espaa, corromper nuestras costumbres y ensanchar la ignorancia entre los naturales, para mejor ejercer la explot acin sin encontrar barreras. 13 12 La Doctrina de Mart 2 March 1897, 1. 13 La doctrina de Mart 22 August 1896, 1.
45 Serra asserts that the Spanish forced slavery upon the unwilling Creole population in order to suppress the natural Cuban tendency toward unity and cooperation, thus maintaining a subservient colony from which to extract weal th. In making this claim, Serra draws a stark distinction between the interests of Spaniard and Creole without acknowledging the class and racial cleavages within the Cuban signified an even more intimate bond of solidarity as it implie d that all Cuban Creoles suffered a form of slavery to the Spanish and not merely those who were literally enslaved. ed Mart as a ed pretenders to his throne. saben disponerse, luchar y vencer contra los hbitos odiosos, adquiridos en las impuras enseanzas del gobierno espaol, no son, no pueden ser revolucion arios; no son, ni pueden 14 Again, Serra ma de the assertion that enemies of his brand of revolution were brainwashed by the Spanish and, as such, were unworthy of membership in the movement founded by the irreproachable Mart. Even b efore the death of Mart or the start of the 1895 war, literature bears a similar mixture of Creole solidarity and stern rebukes of any back peddling on issues of social transformation that linked Spanish rule to race For inst y pugnan siempre por romper la cadena de la In effect, he asserts that Creole society was equally the victim of the Spanish conquistador as the 14 La Doctrina de Mart 2 September 1896, 1.
46 dueos 15 It is also a significant expression of racial solid arity that Figueroa, a descendant of actual slaves, freely used the idea of slavery as a metaphor for political bondage to the Spanish Empire. By associating subjugation to the Spanish Crown with slavery, Figueroa and Serra took a word loaded with the his tory of exploitation and misery for blacks in the Caribbean and broadened its meaning to include the whole of the Cuban population, not just those who actually were slaves. For Juan Gualberto Gmez, the realities of life in Cuba required a more concilia tory tone with regard to the goals of the revolution. In his moderation, Gmez actually represented an unexpected threat to the type of activism represented by Serra and Figueroa As a staunch advocate of civil liberties for blacks, Gmez had the outward appearance of a serious activist, yet his socially conservative ideology established him as a conduit through which Estrada Palma could coopt the radical element of the movement. juicio la solucin racional, pr ovechosa para todos, y definitiva, del problema cubano est en la wrote 16 separation f rom Spain is a sanguine notion that was his tract, which appeared in 1890 in La Fraternidad Gmez went on to assert 15 Sotero Figueroa, La verdad de la historia ed. Carlos Ripoll (San Juan, Puerto Rico: Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquea, 1977), 11. 16 La Fraternidad 15 September 1890.
47 legislacin del pas y se mueve perfectamente dentro de la rbita constitucional. No pedimos a nadie que empue las armas, que procure derrocar por la fue rza el orden legal establecido. Nada de eso, que es lo que la Constitucin proscribe y el Cdigo penal castiga, lo hacemos ni 17 blown revolution of the sort that Serra espouse d wa s a reflection of many factors. That he was writing before the outbreak of war in 1895 is clearly an explanation. However, Gmez also reflect ed a different philosophy for achieving social justice informed by his success arguing for equal rights for Afro Cubans in the Spanish courts Gmez b hierarchies. Gmez brought this staid approach to his role as leader Directorio Central de las Sociedades de la Raza de Color After laying out goals that include racially desegregated, co ed that the a la poltica militante. En l caben hombres pertenecientes a todas las opiniones, as por lo que respeta a los problemas polticos y generales de Cuba como a 18 This inclusive approach, which invite d Afr o Cubans of all political persuasions differ ed class partisans, but was also divergent in that Gmez explicitly call ed for solidarity amongst Gmez also stray ed neutral code in his newspaper, La Igualdad which was the organ of the Directorio 17 18 La Igualdad 15 June 1892.
48 the Spanish imposed concept of a raza de color or clase de color uniting blacks and mulattoes, C uban born and African born alike. According to him, the end of slavery had not eliminated 19 Writing in a context of pervasive racial discrimination and indifference amongst the elite toward reform, Gmez channeled his e nergies toward asserting Afro Cuban solidarity and equality with white Cubans. raza de color he would agai nst hierarchy and privilege, as his pre war writings demonstrated his fundamental opposition to radicalism and his willingness to pursue more modest reforms through the old systems of authority. Rather than calling for the destruction of existing power st ructures and denouncing the Cuban elite Gmez took on the role of a mediator who negotiated for the concession of civil rights. This would prove to be the case as a part of the Republican government, serve as a symbol of Cuban equality of opportunity used to refute claims that the island had not truly done away with the injustices of the past. 19 Aline Helg, Our Rightful Share: The Afro Cuban Struggle for Equality (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1995), 39.
49 CHAPTER 5 ORDER AND ANARCHISM Though Mart was careful to maintain a semblance of moderation in his plans for the governance of Cuba Libre his actions as leader of the PRC, including the recruitment of black, working class activists in his inner circle, indicate a commitment to broad participation in the party and opposition to traditi presidente delegado d this beli ef 1892 issue of Patria Article 4 read, El Partido Revolucionario Cubano no se propone perpetuar en la Repblica Cubana, con formas nuevas o con alteraciones m s aparentes que esenciales, el espritu autoritario y la composicin burocrtica de la colonia, sino fundar en el ejercicio franco y cordial de las capacidades legtimas del hombre, un pueblo nuevo y de sincera democracia, capaz de vencer, por el orden del trabajo real y el equilibrio de las fuerzas sociales, los peligros de la libertad repentina en una sociedad compuesta para la esclavitud. 1 class radicalism of the Florida cigar workers in its call for an end to authoritarianism and capricious, self serving government. Likewise, he refers to a regime that would not impede the natural capacity of the human s pirit, a principal goal of the anarchist philosophy favored by Cuban working class radicals. 2 Rafael Serra went much further than Mart in promoting this philosophy, outlining truly revolutionary goals for the new nation. As suggested previously, Juan Gu alberto Gmez had a socially conservative perspective on how 1 1892, in Obras escogidas en tres tomos ed. Ela Lpez Ugarte, vol. 3 (Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2007), 26. 2 Kirw in Shaffer, Anarchism and Countercultural Politics in Early Twentieth Century Cuba (Gainesville, FL: liberation, including sects that championed nu dism in the early twentieth century.
50 the society to come should be shaped, falling well short of Mart in the scope of his proposed reforms. transformed the PRC into an oligarchic, authoritarian government in waiting. As if to leave no doubt that Mart was no longer in charge, Estrada Palma drew up new rules for the organization that allowed him to simultaneously hold the office of President o f the PRC as well as Supreme Delegate of all the member clubs. 3 As we have seen, Rafael Serra and Sotero Figueroa used while never explicitly naming Estrada Pal ma as the principal enemy to workers and Afro company declined to make direct attacks against the post Mart PRC, they did not shy away from opining on the subject of how Cubans should be governed in an independent society. Though Mart left no blueprint as to how this would be accomplished, activists in the Afro Antillean press evoked the slain Apstol in order to bolster their own more precise visions of a just, equitable society free of the hierarchy that defined colonial Cuba. The contentious issue of Cuba Libre in the years leading up to the 1895 war as activists in Cuba plotted in separatist clubs and in the pages of separatist newsp apers In 1885, while still exiled to Spain, Gmez wrote voluminously on the subject of Cuban society for the Madrid newspaper El Progreso Though Gmez inveigh ed passionately against the institution of slavery and those who enabled it, he also compartme ntalize d it. 3 Unity, 1895
51 Painting traditional Cuban society as an idyllic land of hone st, simple folk, Gmez venerated the colonial hierarchy. wrote y descartado el hecho criminal de la esclavitud, abundaban las virtudes privadas. Proverbial era la honradez de sus habitantes. El dinero se prestaba sin ms garantas que la palabra. Las transacciones a plazos se llevaban a cabo sin contrato escrito. La probidad era completa. La familia viva unida. Ya hemos dicho de qu suerte exista algo como el patriciado antiguo. En toda familia bastaba que uno solo de sus individuos fuera rico, para que todos estuviesen al abrigo de la necesidad. En los campos la vida era patriarcal. 4 In this pastoral vision of Cuba, slavery was the only blemish on a folkloric culture where personal responsibility was the law of the land and the family, led by a patriarch, was the basic unit of society. The passage illustrates the persistent strain of worldview a perspective that underlay all of his writings on the subject of Cuban independence Whereas Figueroa and Serra viewed slavery as but one aspect of an abjectly corrupt culture, Gmez t ook pains to exclude it from what he saw as an otherwise just, wholesome society. paean to the rural lifestyle wa s an idealized portrayal of colonial Cuba and an old order that harkens to the traditional European emphasis on land and patriarchy. On his return to Cuba in 1890, Juan Gualberto Gmez resumed his role as an independence activist a nd wrote voluminously on his vision expressing his belief in gradualist, socially cautious change informed by his particular notions of what constituted a modern nation Gmez envisaged Cuba as a cosmopolitan nation that took its cues from foreign exampl es within the Western world. This Eurocentric worldview, influenced by his formative sojourn in Paris, is 4 El Progreso 15 January 1885.
52 who desired reform and a break with Spain, but nothin g so radical as to threaten their nineteenth century conception of orderly civilization. According to Gmez, Cuba [no] tuvo que luchar contra hbitos industriales fuertemente arraigados, ni que vencer desesperadoras arideces de la tierra, ni que allanar obstculos nacidos de opuestas necesidades con provinciales, es lo cierto que fue antes que su Metrpoli asequible a los adelantos agrcolas y a los progresos industriales. Antes que Catalua, tuvimos vas frreas; como antes que Madrid tuvo La Habana el a lumbrado elctrico. El yankee, nuestro vecino; el ingls, nuestro antiguo gran consumidor; el francs, nuestro simptico inspirador de ideas cultas y nuestro elegante maestro en buenas maneras nos trajeron todo lo que la Metrpoli no poda o no pensaba tra ernos. 5 Gmez portrayed Cuba as a blank slate on which the modern world had left a strong impression that took precedence over the influence of the retrograde Spanish Empire. Though Gmez describe d this state of affairs as a quintessentially American ph enomenon, his Eurocentric melange, Gmez fails to mention the influence of African culture on the island, an omission that was likely made in order to avoid r epelling white middle class liberals who were still wary of signs that independence would lead to chaos and black rule On the subject of government and hierarchy, Gmez muse d Tal vez no seamos muy demcratas; pero somos republicanos. El aura popular sonrea a nuestras antiguas ambiciones de gloria; y todos queremos llegar a la cspide, levantados por el voto popular que con ansia solicitamos. Luego, ocurre que no tenemos verdadera aristocracia, porque la que posee algn abolengo, carece de fortuna y l 6 approach to social change reveals itself in his endorsement of republicanism. Equally revealing is his attack on the idea of aristocracy in Cuba, which stem med from the traditional animus 5 La Fraternidad 23 September 1890. 6
53 be tween Spanish born peninsulares and Creoles. Real Cubans, Gmez wrote ascension de la democracia, representada por el modesto hijo del pueblo que saltaba del 7 e Spanish political mainstream, far removed from the activist labor movement represented by Serra and Figueroa, both of whom called for a leveling of the Cuban playing field rather than praising it as a land of opportunity. a product of modern radicalism that sought new ways of organizing society and uplifting those who had been relegated to working for the glory of the out his plan for a just, equitable civilization. He asserted actives, sin temor choque lamentable entre los elementos vivos de nuestro pas, y bastantes para crear, con sus virtudes ostensibles, con sus defectos corregidos por el amor y la previsin, una Repblica de espritu moderno, ajustada en los principios de equidad, de descentralizacin, de incesante labor en beneficio de la cultura de sus hijos, y del desenvolvimiento de los veneros 8 based political ideology of the tobacco worker community from whence he came. Also noteworthy is his call for decentralization, a concept that sparked great conflicts in v ast countries like Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, but which would seem out of place in the context of an 7 8 La Doctrina de Mart 2 October 1896, 1.
54 island, even a relatively large one. The inclusion of the idea reveals, however, a distrust of centralized power and authority that is in keeping with the original spirit of the PRC, which was composed of a coalition of clubs dispersed around the United States and the Caribbean. These authority in a manner si milar to U.S. style federalism. the Cuban migr community. By contrast, Enrique Trujillo, the conservative newspaper printer distrusted Mart and the far flung nature of the organization he led. Partido es su direcci wrote [el PRC] no hay Junta Directiva, sino un Delegado que asume los poderes, y que constituye, por 9 Trujillo complains that, unlike a monarchy or a rep ublic like the United States, the PRC had no clear line of succession if the worst should befall the Delegado. He warn ed Si el Delegado Director general muere se incapacita, queda acfalo por completo la representacin ejecutiva del Partido. Los ta les Estatutos no preveen quien sea su sucesor. Para llenar la vacante que reunirse los Clubs y Cuerpos de Consejo que estn en la gran ciudad de Nueva York, en la isla inglesa de Jamaica, en el histrico Cayo Hueso y en otros lugares, y mientras tanto, no hay quien funcione, y un mes, una semana, un da que se pierda, y en que el Partido no tenga representante, se viene abajo cualquiera combinacin; y carece aquel, por otra parte, de legalidad y prestigio, y est abocado la anarqua, que en este caso, im plicara la disolucin, lo mismo que eso, la falta de mtodo, orden y unidad, para llenar la difcil y complicada misin que se ha impuesto. 10 9 El Porvenir 4 May 1892, 2. 10 Ibid., 2.
55 stamp out the imperious hierarchy of existing power structures in Cuba and the rest of the world. for decentralized power structure. Decentralization also meant paying attent ion to the Cuban hinterland, which traditionally endured privations and neglect from the power elite while the capital city of Havana flourished. To alleviate this historic disparity, Serra advances a plan of state intervention decades ahead of its time. he state would enact infrastructure extremidades del pas las vas frreas, y las fluviales canalizando nuestros r os; todas estas atenciones descuidadas por cuatro siglos, y con detrimento nuestro desarrollo agrcola industrial, por el latrocinio y estupidez de ese gobierno sanguinario inicuo quien hemos de echar en el ocano, aunque para ello tengamos luego que construir sobre trescientos setentiseis 11 worldview while also stemming from his mission to lift the ignorant, underprivileged Cuban pueblo into an active, self awa re ally of the working class. Such an alliance would be necessary in the forcible overthrow of the established order envisioned by Serra. The article continued with violent imagery of the obliteration of the Autonomist government along with the Spanish. This is consistent with his recurring theme involving the aggressive purification of the irredeemably corrupt Cuban system wherein the powerful elite exploited the under classes and ignored their sufferings. 11
56 Serra was painfully aware that he could not lo ok to the PRC as a reliable ally in this crusade, as Estrada Palma and his allies expressed a desire to purge the movement of its 12 Defying Estrada Palma and his efforts at neutral the idea of moderation in the pursuit of liberty. isin, en negar su concurso, para que el triunfo de la causa cubana sea ms breve y menos destructora, 13 True to his modus operandi, Serra rejects half measures in the process of changing the country, subjugation. lo que nos queda de virtud y cor romper lo que tenemos de virilidad; antes que pueda la insolente Espaa satisfacer con nuestra sangre criolla esa sed insaciable de venganza; antes de 14 Frustrated by t launched a full throated condemnation of the gradualist reactionary approach of the post 1895 PRC. the trol and his rejection of any effort to work for reform within the existing system was informed by the 12 13 14 Ibid. frequent point of discussion for M
57 traditional hierarchy restricted the natural creative capacity o f the Cuban masses to build a liberated, modern nation. The remedy, according to Serra, could not be achieved through cooperation with those he considered to be the implacable enemies of the working class. As Joan Casanovas explains in Bread, or Bullets! the majority of Cuban labor activists had, by the owners of ca pital and other members of the ruling class. Violence was also not out of the question in this school of thought. 15 In casting his lot with this strain of working class radicalism, Serra expressed a vision for Cuba Libre that diverged from both Juan Gualb erto his proposed upheaval of Cuban society. As Chapter 6 will explore, radical labor politics had a n and race 15 Joan Casanovas, Bread, or Bullets!: Urban Labor and Spanish Colonialism in Cuba, 1850 1898 (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998), 147.
58 CHAPTER 6 LABOR POLITICS AND THE REVOLUTION Living and working in the United States had a profound influence on black participants in the Cuban independence movement for a number of reasons. Though racial tension had existed in Cuba and Puerto Rico, the experience of overt animosity against non whi tes in the U.S. was a jarring culture shock for Afro Antillean migrs. Within their enclaves of Cuban and Puerto Rican workers, however, whites and blacks maintained a solidarity that created islands of racial tolerance within the Jim Crow era U.S. South The thousands of Antillean immigrants who came to work in Florida and New York encountered a burgeoning world of labor politics that emphasized the universal solidarity of the worker across boundaries of nation and race. The U.S. at the time was a bubb ling cauldron of working class discontent, with approximately 24,000 labor strikes occurring between 1881 and 1900. Historian Walter Lafeber characterizes this capitalism had entered the American vocabulary in the hands of the few; the po w e r or influence of large 1 The cigar workers of Key West and Ybor City had a particularly lively culture of radicalism encouraged by public readings of newsp apers and leftist literature during work hours. 2 Cuba Libre close to their hearts. Their revolutionary fervor proved so influential to the Cuban independence movement that Jos Mart chose to announce the formation of the PRC before a crowd of cigar workers in Ybor City. 1 Walter Lafeber, The American Age: United States Foreign Policy at Home and Abroad (New York: Norton & Company, 1994), 161. 2 Winston James, Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia: Caribbean Radicalism in Early Twentieth Century America (New York: Verso, 1998), 241.
59 In 1893, Mart had an opportunity to prove his loyalty to the cause of labor with actions that match ed his inspiring words. After U.S. bosses attempted to thwart a strike in Key West by calling in immigrant Spanish strikebreakers, the Cuban strikers called on the PRC to come to their aid. Mart and the PRC came through, sending an attorney who successf ully sued the bosses, ironically by invoking U.S. immigration codes. This stoked the working devotion to Cuba Libre could any Cuban deny the duplicity of U.S. business interests or the way the U.S. government could if unchecked popular nationalist migr s, it was also a nation that they deeply identified with the figure of Jos 3 Through his decisive support for the workers and his sympathetic words, Mart harnessed the powerful historical force of nineteenth century working class discontent for t he Cuban national project. Sensing the inherent power in the language of class struggle, Mart and radical elements society a hallmark of their vision for the nat ion. Sotero Figueroa and Rafael Serra, themselves members of the working class, spoke directly to this desire for empowerment. Serra, a product of the political hotbed of the cigar factories, was a fierce advocate of working class aspirations and an oppo nent of hierarchy, writing about the revolution and Cuban society in terms that evoked anarchism as much as Mart. In a September issue of La Doctrina clases desheredadas deben moverse, y no esperarlo todo de la Providencia y sus mila 3 Lillian Guerra, The Myth of Jos Mart (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2005), 44.
60 antagonismo originado de su educacin defectuosa y servil, co ntribuyen, con su desunin 4 As we have seen, Serra had no patience for members of the elite who sought to defang the revolution by promoting a gradualist approach with li mited implications for social reform. The preceding passage indicates that he also had little to spare for peasants and workers who lacked the imagination to join him in militating for a better society. Serra went on to prescribe unity and reason amongst su organizacin juiciosa y ordenada, y con su espritu colectivo, que las clases trabajadores son 5 Here, Serra revisit ed a favorite theme: the idea that the natural good latent within Cubans had been suppressed by a corrupt and decadent society. He add ed however, that this cannot be Logically, organizers like Serra, who had the proper aspirations for society, would lead the way tracked closely to the politics of the migr tobacco workers whose radical enthusiasm was so in exile. Serra also takes aim at those who would impede the construction of a society that treated workers equitably. wrote comprise d a faction that no es elemento creador, ni compaa deseable, ni nada podemos esperar de esa insolencia, personificacin del cubanismo ruin, que sin ms patria ni ms humanidad que su propio inters, osa llamar al decoro cubano, que perdon a la vida al enemigo prisionero, horda de trtaros salvajes, y luego sin rubor, sin miramiento, 4 La Doctrina de Mart 2 September 1896, 1. 5 Ibid., 1.
61 dominada por la ms afrentosa cobarda, comulga con el crimen de la codicia extica, desbordada contra la produccin exuberante de su propia tierra. 6 Serra decl ares that real patriots should avoid the company of moneyed, reactionary elements within the independence movement and scorn their sympathy for the Spanish enemy, here portrayed as wild Tartars. The language in this passage takes a tone of class warfare, as Serra American capital, a danger Mart warned of in his reporting from th e Pan American Monetary Conference. Serra specifically targeted the Cuban elite who entertained such pro imperial values. By contrast, Mart had warned his readers of the disaster courted by such economic betrayal, but indicted all Latin American elites as equally vulnerable to the seduction of U.S. imperial promises. In his magnum opus, Nuestra Amrica Mart wrote 7 So, for Mart as for Serra, the allur e of foreign riches had a corrupting influence on Cubans, making them traitors to the patria, where their true allegiance should lie. This sentiment evokes cognitive dissonance when taken ding U.S. citizen Toms by vociferously attacking such elites who flaunted their connections with U.S. moneyed interests who viewed Cuba as a ripe opportunity fo r investment and plunder. 6 La Doctrina de Mart 22 August 1896, 1. 7 1891, in Jos Mart: Obras escogidas en tres tomos ed. Ela Lpez Ugarte, vol. 2 (Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2007), 503.
62 To counteract these well heeled adversaries of profound social revolution, Serra and Figueroa rallied their own contingent of radicalized working class migrs, emphasizing the power they had to collectively change Cuba for the b exhort ed the exile community to embrace its crucial role in realizing revolution in the homeland. wrote Espaa; de los anat emas repetidos infamantes de los cubanos cmplices de los cnicos profanadores de su propio pas; a despecho del fro abrumador del ostracismo; despecho de todo, la emigracin viril y previsora, acumul sus recursos de guerra, y comenz la lucha gigant 8 Here, Serra place d the oppressors in the same category of challenges to the revolutionary Cuban e xiles. This comparison dr ove to the cause and to the patria itself. era of modernity f or the nation. wrote muchos pueblos independientes para su mayor desenvolvimiento; porque casi toda la presente to el 9 This expression of economic nationalism, in addition to serving as a rebuke to the idea of North American affirm ed 8 Se 9 La Doctrina de Mart 24 October 1896, 1.
63 He continued o ha levantado industrias poderosas, y sus ingenieros, y sus abogados, y sus facultativos, y sus profesores, y sus artistas, y sus comerciantes, y sus obreros han 10 By el evating working individuals in this manner, Figueroa dr ew a stark distinction between a Cuban hereditary land. Thus, Figueroa posit ed rking and middle Afro Cuban cigar workers were especially drawn to Mart for his vigorous repudiation of racism and his personal relationships with black intellectual leaders like Raf ael Serra. Serra, himself a cigar maker, worked with Mart at the Ne w York based mutual aid society La Liga Antillana 11 For the printing of the all important Patria political tracts, the PRC leader turned to the prin ting press of Sotero Figueroa. While more socially conservative members of the elite like Estrada Palma or Patria 1895 editor, Enrique Jos Varona, would likely have balked at entrusting the party organ to a black Puerto Rican, Mart made good on h is inclusive rhetoric by prominently including black revolutionaries independent thinkers like Serra, Figueroa, and Juan Gualberto Gmez is a testament to his investm ent in the forward acknowledgement and respect with a loyalty that can only partly be explained by political expedience. The evocation of Mart was essential for any political tract related to Cu ban 10 11 James, Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia 244.
64 independence, but the Afro forma gestures. In Chapter 7, I ritual figure and the impact modernismo a burgeoning philosophical and literary mo vement in Latin America, on the discourse of the Cuban independence movement.
65 CHAPTER 7 SPIRITUALITY AND PHILOSOPHY IN CUBA LIBRE messianic figure who prophesied a new political order based on morality and nature The cause of Cuban independence, with Mart at the helm, became a sort of religious movement to free oppressed Cubans from a modern day Babylonian captivity. A theme thro idea of Cuban and, more broadly, Latin American civilization as a spiritual community born out la naturaleza narrative, in keeping with the modernista literary movement Mart helped to bring about. His spiritual attitudes eschewed organized religion in favor of an all encompassing reverence for traditional spiritual leaders like Jesus Christ in addition to Roman 1 This influenced his political beliefs in that he believed that the new Cuban nation was a place where all foreign, unnatural influence would be absent in favor of autochthono us culture and He wrote batallar, la llama roja / De la vela flamea Las ventanas / Abro, ya estrecho en m. Muda, 2 Inspired by transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mart makes ineffable Nature into a nation whose flag is a red flame which calls him to battle while seemingly undercutting his own nationalist drive by referring to Cuba as an ephemeral widow. The poem suggests that, for him, 1 Ensayos y crnicas ed. Jos Olivio Jimnez (Madrid, Spain: Ediciones Ctedra, 2004), 130. 2 Poesa completa vol. 1, 4th ed. (Havana, Cuba: Editorial Letras Cubanas, 2007), 128.
66 the concept of the nation was secondary to the embrace of Nature and the transcenden talist, Emersonian concept of Oversoul. That Mart embraces a philosophy that is anathema to his nationalist project speaks to his overriding goal of putting aside old conventions in favor of radically modern thinking. The price of this willingness to sa mple and synthesize opposing philosophies is occasional incoherence. Reconciling these spiritual concepts with the idea of the nation state became an ongoing project for Mart and his disciples. Figueroa, in particular, was attracted to the spiritual asp ects of the revolution, as evidenced by the strong religious overtones and Christian symbolism that appear in his writing. emise at Dos R os, Figueroa wrote an impassioned eulogy entitled Revista Cubana wrote indomable, su 3 If Mart was a nosotros, los fieles de siempre, los que participamos de sus inquietudes y esperanzas, y sufrimos con l en su calle de amargura, Mart no ha muerto; vive con vida inefable y lo tenemos ms 4 The biblical para remembrance implie d a special, intimate relationship between Mart and his close friends and followers that recalled that between Jesus Christ and the apostles. Just as Christ and his cohort were persecuted and misunderstood in their da y, Figueroa assert ed that he and his compatriots 3 1895, in Yo conoc a Mart ed. Carmen Surez Len (Santa Clara, Cuba: Ediciones Capiro, 1998), 57. 4 Ibid., 58.
67 struggled and suffered along with Mart in the fight for the vision of Cuba that they held dear. Figueroa would return to this imagery often, as with the October 1898 Revista de Cayo Hueso in which he reco unted the heroism and sacrifice of the Cuban Liberation Army. Though their hubisemos llegado la transfiguracin gloriosa del 3 de julio del 98, en que queda desecha p ara 5 unites these martyrs in a battle for not only political an d economic freedom, but the spiritual salvation of the Cuban and Puerto Rican people. pantheon, he meditation on the nature of community: Aquellos padres de casa, servidos desde la cuna por esclavos, que decidieron servir los esclavos con su sangre y se trocaron en padres de pueblo; aquellos propietarios regalones, que en la casa tenan su reciennacido y su mujer, y en una hora de transfiguracin sublime, se echaron selva adentro, con la estrella en la frente; aquellos letrados entumidas que al res plandor del primer rayo saltaron de la toga tentadora al caballo de pelear; aquellos jvenes anglicos que del altar de sus bodas del festn de la fortuna salieron, arrebatados de jbilo celeste, sangrar y morir, sin agua y sin almohada, por nuestro de coro de hombres; aquellos son carne nuestra, y entraas y orgullo nuestros, y races de nuestra libertad y padres de 6 munity is a metaphorical body, where each part relies upon the other for survival, much as Cuba relied on 5 Revista de Cayo Hueso 10 October 1898, 3. 6 La Doctrina de Mart 10 October 1896, 1.
68 volunteers from every walk of life. 7 into celestial bodies, yet another reflection of his mode rnism. Figueroa went on to venerate 8 This furthers the idea movement was not merely political, but profoundly spiritual, going so far as to refer to the movement as a priesthood, a community of men devoted to a higher power. Rafael Serra, while more secular in disposition than Figueroa and Mart, evinced similar p in his typical fashion enumerated a list of his expectations for the new Cuba, writing, Patria libre, donde quepamos todos, laboriosos, actives, sin temor choque lamentable en tre los elementos vivos de nuestro pas, y bastantes para crear, con sus virtudes ostensibles, con sus defectos corregidos por el amor y la previsin, una Repblica de espritu moderno, ajustada en los principios de equidad, de descentralizacin, de incesa nte labor en beneficio de la cultura de sus hijos, y del desenvolvimiento de las veneros de riquezas con que plugo la Omnipotencia bienhechora bendecir y embellecer nuestra tierra. 9 Like Mart, Serra emphasizes the idea of the community as a system of in terlocking parts, where every piece has its place within the whole. The spiritual aspect of this solidarity is muted in e preceding passage also touches on many of 7 Corinthians. 12.14 25. This, of course, ignores the fact that Afro ranks to a disproportionate degree. 8 9 La Doctrina de Mart 2 October 1896, 1.
69 rticularly his worshipful attitude toward n ature, naturaleza the type of soci ety that might spring from it. For instance, while recounting the story of the pilgrims on the Mayflower he wrote 10 Figu eroa also defers often to natural law to explain political action. In his Ensayo biogrfico he wrote that while the U.S. act ed [consegu] la emancipacin, es porque sta es una ley natural de la que no pueden s 11 While in that scenario, Figueroa declare d he wrote In La verdad de la historia he frame d the issue of independence in the language of science, that Lares Rebellion 12 With the preceding passage, Figueroa appears to have establish ed a hierarchy of the causes behind the political actions of the day. Rather tha n Juan Gualberto Gmez followed a similar philosophical trajectory, subscribing to ideas that emphasized ahistorical, structural forces that dictated history Unlike Fig ueroa and Mart, 10 Revista de Cayo Hueso 10 October 1898, 3. 11 Sotero Figueroa, Ensayo biogrfico de los que ms han contribuido al progreso de Puerto Rico (Ponce, Puerto Rico: El Vapor, 1888), q uoted in Figueroa, La verda d de la historia 7. 12 Figueroa, La verdad de la historia 17.
70 however, Gmez eschewed the notion that nature is devoid of inequalities Gmez emphasize d the importance of nature but does so in the form of geographic determinism. In an ongoing argument about the differences between the Old World an d the New, Gmez wrote intereses de un pas estn en relacin ntima con su posicin geogrfica, con su vecindad, con su climatologa. Y por eso es quimrico pretender que las mismas leyes econmicas y administrativas amparen y desarrollen los inter eses de un antiguo Estado europeo, de tradicin guerrera, de historia agitada, de constitucin montaosa, de atmosfera fra a la vez que los de una comarca americana, virgen, de ndole pacifica, sin verdadera tradicin, de terrario llano y temperatura tr 13 With this assertion, Gmez align ed himself with the fashionable racial essentialism an idea that held tremendous sway in the thinking of elites and intellectuals of the late nineteenth century. Gmez, while not as prone to spiritual allusions as Mart or Figueroa, did subscribe to a In an 1892 l mundo nuestro, no es un genovs, ni siquiera un italiano: sino un hombre en toda la extensin de la palabra, un grande hombre; algo ms todava: un hombre inmortal, a quien habramos llamado Dios, si la Filosofa, en vez de crear Dioses nuevos, no hubier 14 In modernist fashion, Gmez denie d Furthermore, this apotheosis of Columbus yields the interesting prospect of a pantheon of New World gods ushered into ex 13 El Progreso 15 January 1885. 14 La Igualdad 12 October 1892.
71 d the mechanisms of colonization and empire as expressions of human progress. ding in Positivism, a philosophy developed by Auguste Comte which asserted that the application of scientific principles by the state was essential for human progress. The philosophy found its most devoted adherents in Latin America, as heads of state ord that its ideas inflected any belief in progress through the nation. 15 licitly endorsed these ideas, writing, No han abundado las almas dotadas del tem ple necesario para llevar al terreno de los hechos todo lo que racionalmente concibieran. El nmero de los que a tan alta categora pertenecen es bastante limitado. Y con ser tan reducida la lista de los que Auguste Comte y Carlyle han llamado hombres t picos, todava, si bien se mira, en el Catecismo positivista hay muchos nombres que en el no pudieran figurar, si habra que equipararlos, por la perseverancia en el esfuerzo, al gran nombre de Coln. 16 Gmez praises Columbus as a sort of Positivist ubermen del genio sobre la supersticin; del saber, modesto, pero firme, sobre la estulticia chillona y 17 Nature as well as Applying these beliefs to the separ atist cause, Gmez painted Spain as a backward, superstitious fiefdom unable to comprehend the modernity of the New World. wrote 15 Howard J. Wiarda, The Soul of Latin America: The Cultural and Political Tradition (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001), 160 2. 16 17 Ibid.
72 tendencias belicosas; pero esto degener bien pronto en causa de oscurantismo, porque interpreta dos en su sentido ms estrecho las admirables doctrinas de Jess, acabaron por atrofiar 18 For Gmez, Old World Catholicism and perhaps Christianity in general were outmoded traditions that contr ibuted to the backwardness of the Spanish government. He continue d : Cuba, por el contrario, es un pueblo americano. La influencia del medio ha ido operando insensible, pero seguramente, sobre las razas que lo habitan; de tal suerte, que ni el hijo del p eninsular es espaol ni el hijo del negro es africano. Nada ha venido a favorecer aqu el instinto guerrero. Nada a entronizar el fanatismo religioso. El soldado y el fraile son casi desconocidos en el hogar cubano. Y as como la vocacin militar apena s existe entre nosotros, puede tambin decirse que en materia religiosa nuestra caracterstica es el indiferentismo. 19 Gmez paraphrase d modernity. In particular, the church, which held enormous sway in the Old World, was the object of indifference for Cubans. One also notes the influence of Positivism in the essay, as Cuba is portrayed as an enlightened society that had evolved beyond warfare and religious fanaticism. philosophical blueprint for a modern nation that could withstand the vicissitudes of the material world with an inner strength predicated on egalitarianism and spiritual resolve. That this blueprint was inchoate and often contradictory is a reflection of the influence of an age in which old ideological structures gave way to a wave of new id eas and schools of thought. Followers 18 La Fraternidad 23 September 1890. 19
73 frameworks that synthesized El Apstol with their own notions of what constituted a modern society. Chapter 8
74 CHAPTER 8 RECKONING WITH THE UNITED STATES The migr elite based in the cosmopolitan metropolis of New York, looked to the United States as a model for what a modern nation should be. For Jos Mart, the United States represented a form of modernity that was at once admirable and dangerous. As Julio Ramos explains, the image of American progress was seductive for many Latin American intellectuals modern space par excellence a new society where progress had succeeded in freeing itself from the he 1 material progress and industrialization, building such wonders as the Brooklyn Bridge, a feat Mart lauded in his essay of the same name. The Cuban writer saw the bridge as a symbol of piece, he lamented the fate of the faceless workers who toiled to bring the mighty bridge to mrtires hermosos, entraas de la 2 of the famed New York carnival. After describing a hellish scene in which working class masses gathered to consume vast quantities in a festival of orgiastic excess, Mart claims that none of those modern wonders can satisfy the La tin American sensibility : Es fama que una melanclica tristeza se apodera de los hombres de nuestros pueblos hispanoamericanos que all viven, que se buscan en vano y no se hallan; 1 Julio Ramos, Divergent Modernities: Culture and Politics in Nineteenth Century Latin America trans. John D. Blanco (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001), 153. 2 Obras completas 20 vols (Havana, Cuba: Editorial Nacional de Cuba, 1963 1973), 10: 430.
75 que por mucho que las primeras impresiones hayan halagado sus sentidos, enamorado sus ojos, deslumbrado y ofuscado su razn, la angustia de la soledad les posee al fin, la nostalgia de un mundo spiritual superior los invade y aflige y, salgan o no a los ojos, rompe el espritu espantado en raudal amargusimo de lgrimas, por que aquella gran tierra est vaca de espritu 3 and his desire for Cuba to follow a different path toward modernity. Having become intimately acquainted with the c hauvinist lens through which the U.S. elite viewed the world, Mart warned against Latin Americans developing overly close ties with governments, Mart attended the Mon etary Conference of the American Republics, a summit in which the U.S. sought to strengthen economic ties with Latin America through the use of a common currency. He took the opportunity to denounce the proposal as a ploy to exert greater political contro l over peoples whom they considered inferior. Where the U.S. representative econmica, dice unin poltica. El pueblo que compra, manda. El pueblo que vende, si 4 Mart also bajeza de la raza negra, que esclavizaron ayer y vejan hoy, y de la india, que exterminan. Creen que los pueblos 5 It 3 Escenas americanas (Barcelona, Spain: Linkgua ediciones, 200 3 ), 106 4 Jos Mart: Obras escogidas en tres tomos ed. Ela Lpez Ugarte, vol. 2 (Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2007), 518. 5 8.
76 them as blacks and Indians. They themselves, after all, were quite racist and mar ginalized their On the issue of outright annexation by the United States, which many conservative Cubans and expansionist Americans favored, Mart was unequivocal in his opposition. In response to an insulting edi torial printed in the Philadelphia newspaper, the Manufacturer Mart issued a fiery rebuttal: It is probable that no self respecting Cuban would like to see his country annexed to a nation where the leaders of opinion share towards him the prejudices excu sable country of petty talkers, incapable of action, hostile to hard work, that, in a mass with the other countries of Spanish America, we are by arrogant travelers and writers represented to be. 6 In this, Mart addresses the ignorance of American leaders with regard to the Cuban people and Latin Americans in general, classifying them as a monol ithic, inferior race of homunculi. That seemingly insatiable push to extract profit from its southern neighbors prompted alarm. om the Pan American Congress, Sotero Figueroa warned centro especulativo, ide el Congreso Pan Americano, que, en realidad, no era otra cosa que una especie de Liga mercantil que tenda la subordinacin tcita del Continente del Sur por y 7 6 Selected Writings ed. trans. Est her Allen (New York: Penguin Books, 2002), 263. 7 La Doctrina de Mart 15 Feb 1897, 2.
77 American nationalists throughout Central America and the Caribbean, thoug h Cuba and his Having lived in the United States and witnessed its culture first hand, Figueroa used his experiences to warn his own countrymen of the colossal In his book, Ensayo biogrfico de los que ms han contribuido al progreso de Puerto Rico which he published in 1888, Figueroa que esta raza no tiende a perfe ccionar o mejorar, por el cruzamiento, a las que cree inferiores, sin otra razn que abone esta soberbia creencia que la del engrandecimiento material, como si slo de pan viviese el hombre. Por esto extermina, en su victoriosa marcha, a los elementos que se le 8 As is his wont, Figueroa employs religious imagery to vacuou it) with dangerously expansionist tendencies. Also worthy of note is his which implies an essentialist argument that the North American ch aracter arises from a deeply ingrained volksgeist, reducing the actions of an entire nation to a set of inevitable tendencies in much the same way that Mart, and later the Nicaraguan poet Ruben Daro, critiqued the U.S. Rafael Serra, in an article entitle americanos, se dejan dominar po r alucinaciones de belleza que en realidad no existe, comencemos por una de las 8 Sotero Figueroa, Ensayo biogrfico de los que ms han contribuido al progreso de Puerto Rico (Ponce, Puerto Rico: El Vapor, 1888) q uoted in Sotero Figueroa, La verdad de la historia ed. Carlos Ripoll (San Juan, Puerto Rico: Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquea, 1977), 7.
78 9 ing North Americans as shallow brutes with little sense of spirituality. The issue of race in the United States was also a frequent point of criticism leveled at the powerful neighbor as Cuban intellectuals sought to develop a national ethos that transce nded s with ridiculous movements 10 stripped from them, both in the horrific scen e to which the title alludes and in the cake walk, a dispiriting scene in which black couples danced for coins. Mart scorn ed both the dancers who, throw their a rms around each other and trumpet with delight, finding in their young souls neither pity nor any manliness that would make them and the man who will be born from them suffer 11 In both essays, Mart underlines essenti al differences between Cuba and the United States. Whereas the situation for black Americans was a travesty that weakened the country as a whole, Cuba Libre was to be a country that lacked such problems thanks to the rejection of race as a foundational or functional concept in the future polity of an independent republic. 9 La Doctrina de Mart 15 January 1898, 2. 10 11 Selected Writings ed. trans. Esther Allen (New York: Penguin Books, 2002), 311.
79 Rafael Serra also critiqued the United States from the pages of La Doctrina de Mart while joining Mart in criticizing the perceived lack of true civilization in both black and white Am ericans. that North American proponents of con las clases desheredadas que nos vinieran de Espaa A ll, eran despreciada s por la nobleza espaola, pero ac, para la conservacin del territorio, eran investidas de excesiva autoridad contra el criollo. 12 T his was another danger associated with mismo con los blancos americanos que los 13 chea p, African American labor reflected would merely take the place of Spain, which had already sent its lower classes to Cuba to seek their fortunes and di senfranchise native workers Serra went on to deliver the dire warning that those humanidad, [los negros] tienen en los Estados Unidos. 14 Serra did not specify that it would be only Afro Cubans who would suffer this debasement, implying that the entirety of the Cuban population would be stripped of its humanity and become second class citizens if the island should fall under the sway of the racist policies of th e North. In October 1898, t en years after the publication of Ensayo biogrfico the U.S. intervention had begun. Figueroa responded to this turn of events with a column that was much more charitable toward the United States. In the Revista de Cayo Hueso he compared the Cuban 12 13 Ibid. 14 Ibid.
80 las leyes y su amor por el trabajo emulador, tienen hoy la ventura de vivir en la repblica ms 15 Rather than emphasizing the differences between the two peoples, as Mart had, he reverses course by suggesting the two had a common love for freedom, and even that Cubans should imitate the North American work ethic and aspire to the regarding the dearth of soul in the materialistic U.S. The drastic sh ift in tone with regard to the were insufficient to prevent the War for Ind ependence from becoming the Spanish American War. Serra and Figueroa, like Mart, lived in the United States for many years, and were conscious of the threat it posed to the revolutionary national project they were attempting to realize with an in dependent Cuba. dramatically shifted in 1898, his earlier work, including his accusations that Enrique Trujillo was an agent of U.S. capitalism, reveal his ideas to be fundamentally in sync with Serra and antipathy to the United States and all it stood for. The conclusion to my project explores the reactions of Serra, Figueroa, and Gmez to a new order in Cuba dominated by the U.S. and by in waiting. 15 La Revista de Cayo Hueso 10 October 1898, 3.
81 CHAPTER 9 CONC LUSION AND EPILOGUE In 1898, Cuba traded the domination of a weakened European power for that of the reconstruction while shunting aside the Liberation Army and the ideol ogy of racelessness that had served as a founding principle of the revolution. Rafael Serra, Sotero Figueroa, and Juan Gualberto Gmez each relocated to Cuba after the end of hostilities to find that none of their goals for the revolution would come to pa ss. Under the governance of the U.S., then the Cuban Republic, formed in 1902 with Toms Estrada Palma as president, Cubans saw a return of the old colonial hierarchies of class and race. After a brief period of rule under the comparatively even handed J ohn R. Brooke, the fighter in the American West, took a hard reestablish the old colonial order at every opp ortunity. Among his first actions was to fill every level of government with Spanish loyalists (those who had remained neutral during the war) and 1 The new government was almost certain to mai ntain every possible vestige of Spanish rule. Under its reign, Afro 1 Lillian Guerra, The Myth of Jos Mart: Conflicting Nationalisms in Early Twentieth Century Cuba (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2005), 93.
82 2 Wood dismissed the entreaty outright, believing it neces sary to maintain Cuban republic as Haiti had done in the previous century. 3 The survival of the Spanish colonial custom of racial classification repudiated M These developments left Afro Cuban veterans and revolutionaries shocked to find that they were no longer wanted by the nation for which they had fought and suffered. Historian tration deliberately excluded Afro Cubans from positions of power at a crucial moment of Cuban history, just when the latter could have claimed 4 Serra, Figueroa, and Gmez were exceptions as prominent, well placed intellectuals with close ties to Estrada Palma and the PRC. Each would maintain their activism in favor of reform, though Gmez would persist in subordinating revolutionary goals to i deals of order and civilization. On October 24, 1898, the third and final Assembly of Representatives of the Cuban revolutionary government in arms took place in Santa Cruz, Camagey. 5 Juan Gualberto Gmez, recently returned from his latest forced sojour n in Spain, took his place in the assembly and expressed optimism that the United States would help ease Cuba into independence in an orderly fashion. Gmez, who likely viewed the U.S. as a progressive, modernizing influence, recommended that Cubans coope rate with the intervention and that the Liberation Army 2 Guerra, Myth of Jos Mart 129. 3 Ibid. 129. 4 Aline Helg, Our Rightful Share : The Afro Cuban Struggle for Equality, 1886 1912 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1995) 97. 5 Leopoldo Horrego Estuch, Juan Gualberto Gmez: Un gran inconforme (Havan a, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2004), 92.
83 subordinate itself to the American occupation. To do otherwise, he warned, would be to appear desenvolvimiento de nuestra 6 Gmez tiene por objeto llevar a Cuba una agrupacin victoriosa q ue considere la Isla como su presa y dominio, sino preparar, con cuantos medios le permita la libertad del extranjero, la guerra que se 7 Thus, Gmez argued that the revolution had completed its mission of defeating the Spanish and, therefore, should disband. Ironically, this meant handing the reins of the island to a foreign power whose imperial ambitions Mart had long feared. In making this argument, Gm ez bajo el punto de vista de la conveniencia propia, ni mirado bajo el prisma del inters general, ni examinado al trasluz de nuestras tradiciones y compromisos. La inteligencia leal y sincera con 8 While Sotero Figueroa wrote favorably abo ut the U.S. intervention at its outset in his Revista de Cayo Hueso Gmez went much further by declaring that the revolutionary infrastructure should be dismantled 6 Por Cuba Libre 2nd ed., ed. Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring (Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1974), 447 8. 7 Ibid., 449. 8 Ibid., 448.
84 Though Gmez would become a prominent politician, many of his actions reflected how far he had come from his original activism on behalf of Afro Cubans and his subsequent cooption by the political elite. In 1902, a group of Afro Cuban veterans asked the g overnment to give more public jobs to blacks and desegregate the security forces, only to have Gmez telling the congregated veterans to curb their expectatio ns of the republic. 9 Serra and Figueroa moved to Havana in 1899, where they resumed their activism on behalf of their radical ideals. Both resumed writing, with Serra publishing a new version of La Doctrina de Mart and, later, El Nuevo Criollo Figueroa contributed to La Discusin a radical paper and frequent target of attacks from conservative papers like Diario de la Marina Figueroa also organized a new political organization called the Asociacin de Emigrados Revolucionarios Cubanos. Underlining t 1898 Cuba, national landmark. 10 Serra, meanwhile, used his newspaper to call on Cubans to unite in resistance to the U.S. intervention. In July of 1899, while the U.S. military government maintained that Cubans were not ready for self option of the revolution is subsumed by the need to expel the North American intervention. wrote dara al traste con todo ese fantasma tenebroso qu e constituye la obra siniestra y deplorable del irritante interventor. Pues slo en un pas debilitado ms que por los estragos de la guerra, por el desconcierto suicida de sus moradores, se atreviese un 9 Helg, Our Rightful Share, 126. 10 Josefina Toledo, Sotero Figueroa, editor de Patria : Apuntes para una biografa (Havana, Cuba: Editorial Letras Cubanas, 1985), 98 9.
85 poder extranjero sin ms ttulos que la exuberancia de su fuerza ni ms excusa que nuestra falta de previsin y uniformidad, no tan slo precisarse a invadir sino a establecer, en nombre de la humanidad y la justicia un sistema de humillantes desafueros, un sistema tan opuesto al sentido comn, repugnate a nuestro decoro y contrario a nuestra libertad. 11 heavy emphasis on the idea of presenting a united front. By 1899, it would have been clear to Serra that the Unit ed States constituted the greatest threat to the revolution he had envisioned. During the hostilities, the PRC relied on an army of poor and working class guerillas to a Palma and his cohort had the military of a world power as the ultimate guarantor of the old colonial order and the privileged position of the traditional elite within it. Serra, recognizing this new impediment to revolutionary change, shifted his discou rse to fit a new mission that required all In 1902, the Cuban Republic came into being with Toms Estrada Palma as its first president. Both Serra and Gmez were eventually elected to the Chamber of Representatives. While Gmez had the clout to run without a political benefactor as a Liberal, the lesser known Serra ran with finally compromising his ideals in exchange for a In order to establi sh an independent republic, the United States preserve order. Thoug h he had earlier supported the U.S. intervention, Gmez was a prominent opponent of the amendment. 11 La Doctrina de Mart 9 July 1899, in Rafael Serra, patriota y revolucionario, fraternal amigo de Mart (Havana, Cuba: s.n., 1959), 130.
86 appointed Sotero Figueroa to a position at an official newspaper for the g de Asuntos Generales. The post was short lived, however, as Figueroa wrote an article critical of legend grew). Figueroa was soon fired from his position, his article lost to history (likely never published). 12 instability following a massive campaign of intimidat ion and electoral fraud perpetrated by 13 protested this latest incursion, for the group held the Cuban president responsible. Figueroa despot ismo los frenos / Si de la patria los trenos; / Nos piden favor y ayuda, / Probemos que no 14 As Figu e his adopted Cuban patria through the written word, the forces of wealth and power in Cuba and abroad consistently triumphed over his vision of an independent society free of economic hierarchies. The high hopes that he and Serra had harbored for the new Cuba had been frustrated. Both were overshadowed by Gmez, who would enjoy prominence as a war hero and Liberal politician, 12 Toledo, Sotero Figueroa 101. 13 See Guerra, The Myth of Jos Mart for a thorough explanation of the circumstances behind the 1906 intervention. 14 in Toledo, Sotero Figueroa 104.
87 though he himself had compromised his own battle against racism in order to conform to a political system dominated by reactionary interests that abhorred popular mobilization In some respects, t he hi story of original discourse, as the anti racist rhetoric of the indepen dence movement gave way to the machinations of a poli tical elite that shaped the narrative of the independence struggle to legitimize the marginalization of Afro Cubans and workers However, intellectuals like Serra and Figueroa were able to use the martyred leader as a powerful symbol that lent their activ ism a legitimacy that guaranteed it an audience legitimacy as a symbol for a just, equitable Cuba for the popular classes by imbuing his image with revolutionary substance that the man himself lacked I words and deeds that sustained his hold over the Cuban imagination, but rather it was the interpretation of his memory by the likes of Serra and Figueroa activists who had listened to the martyred leader and heard their own revolutionary message. They then crafted their own Doctrine of Mart that contained their own visions and ambitions for Cuba Libre.
88 LIST OF REFERENCES Primary Sources Estrada Palma, Toms. La Doctrina de Mart 25 July 1896. In Yo conoc a Mart ed. Carmen Surez Len. Santa Clara, Cuba: Ediciones Capiro. 1977. La verdad de la historia ed. Carlos Ripoll. San Juan, Puerto Rico: Instituto de Cultura Puertorrique na. La Revista De Cayo Hueso. 10 October 1898. La Doctrina de Mart 30 December 1896. La Doctrina de Mart 15 February 1897. La Doctrina de Mart 24 October 1896. La Doctrina de Mart 10 October 1896. La Doctrina de Mart 25 June 1896. La Revista de Cayo Hueso 12 December 1896. Garvey, Marcus. 198 7 The Tragedy of W hite I njustice. In Marcus Garvey: Life and Lessons ed s Robert A. Hill and Barbara Bair Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. La Igualdad 21 May 1892. Yo conoc a Mart Ed. Carmen Surez Len. Santa Clara, Cuba: Ediciones Capiro. La Igualdad 12 October 1892. El Progreso 15 January 1885. La Igualdad 9 November 1892. La Fraternidad 23 September 1890. La Igualdad 15 June 1892. La Fraternidad 15 September 1890.
89 1974. Po r Cuba Libre 2nd ed. Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales,. In Jos M art: Obras escogidas en tres tomos. Vol. 3. Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales. Obras escogidas en tres tomos. ed. Ela Lpez Ugarte. Vol. 3. Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales. In Jos Mart: Obras escogidas en tres tomos. Vol. 2. Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales. Jos mart: Obras escogidas en tres tomos. Vol. 2. Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales. In Poesa completa. 4th ed. Vol. 1. Havana, Cuba: Editorial L etras Cubanas. In Jos M art: Obras escogidas en tres tomos. Vol. 3. Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales. Ensayos y Crnicas. ed. Jos Olivio Jimnez. Madrid, Spain: Edic iones Ctedra. In Ensayos y Crnicas. ed. Jose Olivio Jimenez. Madrid, Spain: Ediciones Catedra. 200 3 In Escenas americanas Barcelona, Spain: Linkgua ediciones. 2002. A T own S ets a B lack M an on F ire. In Selected Writings ed. Esther Allen. New York: Penguin Books. 2002. A V indication of C uba. In Selected W ritings. ed. Esther Allen. New York: Penguin Books. 1994. Literatura hispanoamericana. ed. David William Foste r. New York: Oxford University Press. 1963 1973. El P uente de B rooklyn. In Obras completas. Vol. 10. Havana, Cuba: Editorial Nacional de Cuba. La Doctrina de Mart 16 September 1896. A dnde iremos? Rafael Serra, patriota y revolucionario, fraternal amigo de Mart Havana, Cuba: s.n. La Doctrina de Mart 15 December 1896.
90 La Doctrina de Mart 2 September 1896. La Doctrina de Mart 22 August 1896. La Doctrina de Mart 15 January 1898. La Doctrina de Mart 25 July 1896. La Doctrina de Mart 2 March 1897. La Doctrina de Mart 2 October 1896. El Porvenir 4 May 1892. Secondary Sources [cited March 20 2010]. Available from http://www.enciclopediapr.org/ing/article.cfm?ref=06082925. Casanovas, Joan. 1998. Bread, or B ullets!: Urban labor and S panish C olonialism in C uba, 1850 1898 Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. Costa, Octavio R. 1950. Juan Gualberto Gmez: Una vida sin sombra Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Editora Corripio. Dann, Martin E., ed. 1971. The B lack P ress 1827 1890: The Q uest for N ational I dentity New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. 1912. In Espacios, silencios y los sentidos de la libertad: Cuba entre 1878 y 1912. eds. Fernando Martinez Heredia, Rebecca J. Scott and Orlando F. Garcia Martinez. Havana, Cuba: Ediciones Unin. 2001. A N ation for A ll: Ra ce, I nequality, and P olitics in T wentieth C entury C uba Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. Deschamps Chapeaux, Pedro. 1975. Rafael Serra y Montalvo: Obrero incansable de nuestra independencia Havana, Cuba: Unin de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba. Fernndez Retamar, Roberto. In Jos Mart, Revolutionary Democrat eds. Christopher Abel, Nissa Torrents. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Ferrer, Ada. 1999. Insurgent C uba: Race, N ation, and R evolution, 1868 1898 Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.
91 1998. The S ilence of the P atriots. In Jos M art 's O ur A merica eds. Jeffrey Grant Belnap, Raul A. Fernandez. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. In Rafael Serra, patriota y revolucionario, fraternal amigo de Mart Havana, Cuba: s.n. Guerra, Lillian. 2005. The M yth of J os M art : Conflicting N ationalisms in E arly T wentieth C entury C uba Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. 2000. Crucibles of L iberation in Cuba: Jos M art, C onflicting N ationalisms and the S earch for S ocial U nity, 1895 1933. Ph.D. dissertation University of Wisconsin Madison. Helg, Aline. 1995. Our R ightful S hare: The A fro C uban S truggle for E quality, 1886 1912 Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. Colonial Latin American Historical Review 1 0, no. 1 (Winter 2001): 61 89. Hoetink, Harry. 1967. The T wo V ariants in C aribbean R ace R elations Trans. Eva M. Hooykaas. New York: Oxford University Press. Hoffnung Garskof, Jesse. The M igrations of A rturo S chomburg: On B eing A ntillano, N egro, and P uer to R ican in N ew Y ork 1891 1938. Journal of American Ethnic History 21 no. 1 (Fall 2001). Holt, Thomas C. 1992. The Problem of Freedom: Race, Labor, and Politics in Jamaica and Britain, 1832 1938 Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Horrego Estuch, Leopoldo. 2004. Juan Gualberto Gmez: Un gran inconforme Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales. James, Winston. 1998. Holding A loft the B anner of E thiopia : Caribbean Radicalism in Early Twentieth Century America New York: Verso. Knight, Franklin W. 1990. The C aribbean: The G enesis of a F ragmented N ationalism 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press. Lafeber, Walter. 1994. The A merican A ge: United S tates F oreign P olicy at H ome and A broad New York: Norton & Company. Prez, Louis A. 2006. Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution New York: Oxford University Press. 1999. On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.
92 1995. Jos Mart in the United States: The Florida Experience Tempe, AZ: ASU Center for Latin American Studies. Ramos, Julio. 2001. Divergent M odernities: Culture and P olitics in N ineteenth C entury Latin A merica Trans. John D. Blanco. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Scott, Rebecca J. 2000. Slave Eman cipation in Cuba: The Transition to Free Labor, 1860 1899 Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. Louisiana and Cuba, 1862 Beyond Slavery: Explor ations of Race, Labor, and Citizenship in Postemancipation Societies Eds. Frederick Cooper, Thomas C. Holt, and Rebecca J. Scott. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. The Hispanic American Histo rical Review 78, no. 4 (1998): 687 728. Shaffer, Kirwin. 2005. Anarchism and Countercultural Politics in Early Twentieth Century Cuba Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida. Skidmore, Thomas E. and Peter H. Smith. 2001. Modern Latin America 5 th ed. New York: Oxford University Press. Stein, Judith. 1986. The World of Marcus Garvey: Race and Class in Modern Society Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. Afrocuba: An Anthology of Cu ban Writing on Race, Politics, and Culture New York: Ocean Press. Afro Cuban Voices: On Race and Identity in Contemporary Cuba Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida. Toledo, Josefina. 1985. Sotero Figueroa, Editor de Patria : Apuntes para una b iografa Havana, Cuba: Editorial Letras Cubanas. Wiarda, Howard J. 2001. The Soul of Latin America: The Cultural and Political Tradition New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Zndegui, Guillermo de. 1954. Ambito de Mart Havana Cuba: P. Fernndez y Compaa.
93 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Kyle Doherty was born in Meridian, Mississippi, in 1986 to parents Sarah Springer and Thomas Doherty. At age 16, he left the Lauderdale County public school system for the Mississippi Schoo l for Math and Science, a public residential school in Columbus. From there, he enrolled in Millsaps College, a small liberal arts college considered among the premier institutions in the Southeast. There, Doherty majored in history and Spanish and completed an M agna cum L aude with honors in Spanish while winning top departmental honors for both majors. Doherty then spent a year working as an entertainment reporter for the Clarion Ledger Latin American Studies program.