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Marti was a top Cuban figure

The revolutionary in the war against Spain traveled the western hemisphere for support for his cause.

By MICHAEL CANNING, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 10, 2002

Nobody made off with the "n" on the "Marti" street sign.

But you probably wouldn't even wonder such a thing if Marti Street were in Ybor City, rather than Palma Ceia Park.

Jose Marti was a leading revolutionary figure in Cuba's war of independence from Spain in the 1890s. Along with New York City and Key West, Tampa was Marti's main stomping ground for raising spiritual and financial support for the war effort.

Marti was born in Havana in 1853. Jailed for disloyalty to Spain as a teen, he went on to become a poet, playwright, teacher and all-around intellectual revolutionary. He lived at various times in Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Venezuela. He first arrived in Tampa in 1891, where he soon formed the Cuban Revolution Party.

Marti was killed in action in Cuba's Oriente province in 1895. La Union Marti-Maceo, an Afro-Cuban social club in Ybor City, is also named for Marti, along with fellow patriot Antonio Maceo.

-- Source: Tampa Bay History Center.

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