2019 NEH Summer Institute, The Center for José Martí Studies Affiliate at the University of Tampa: “José Martí and the Nature of Cuban Independence” with John Tone

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The University of Tampa
Cubans and Spaniards fought a particularly brutal war from 1895 to 1898 that left 45,288 dead Spanish soldiers and as many as 170,000 Cuban dead, the vast majority of them civilians. Disease produced almost all of the deaths on the Spanish side, but the actions and policies of both the Cubans and the Spanish caused the vast majority of Cuban deaths. For this reason, some have characterized what happened in Cuba as genocide. This presentation will discuss the nature of the warfare in Cuba, paying particular attention to the role that José Martí played. Martí's skill as an organizer and propagandist were decisive in producing American intervention, which Cuban patriots both encouraged and feared. The tragic death of Martí in the early days of the conflict was also crucial, as it cleared the way for the unimpeded pursuit of total war by Máximo Gómez, whom Martí had opposed. The burnt earth policy of Gómez, in turn, paved the way for the even more destructive Spanish response known as Reconcentration. Cuba became independent, eventually, at the end of all of this destruction, but the island had been transformed into something Martí would scarcely have recognized.
Please click on YouTube Video link above to stream the presentation.
Martí, José, 1853-1895, Cuban War of Independence, Gómez, Máximo, 1836-1905, Spanish-American War, Guerra de Independencia cubana, Genocide, Reconcentration