Jose Martiby Jon Sterngass
Born in Havana, Cuba, in 1853, Jose Marti wasted little time establishing himself as one of Latin America's most eloquent and politically charged writers. By the age of 16, Marti had already decided that he would devote his life to defending his patria, or homeland. The publication of his first verse poem, "Abdala," which promoted Cuban independence from Spanish rule, led to his arrest by Spanish authorities in 1869. After spending several months in jail, Marti was exiled to Spain, where he studied law and wrote a pamphlet detailing his experience as a political prisoner. In 1881, Marti moved to the United States, where he continued to write poetry and worked as a journalist. Throughout this time, he campaigned for the liberation of Cuba, which culminated in his proclamation of Cuban independence, the Manifesto of Montecristi, in 1895.
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