N Broadway & E Fayette Street (Street View)
GPS: 39° 17′ 39.00″ N 76° 35′ 38.40″ W
Like another monumental figure in the Baltimore landscape, Simon Bolivar, José Julián Martí Pérez (1853-1895) was a pivotal figure in opposition to Spanish control of Central and South America. Marti, however, is a hero to the island nation of Cuba, claimed equally by all political factions. He is considered to be the “Apostle of Cuban Independence” and was a revolutionary patriot writer of great reknown, whose writings helped galvanize support for the unsuccessful 1895 colonial rebellion in Cuba. Baltimore’s memorial bust of Jose Marti was dedicated in 1998, under sponsorship by neighboring Latin American communities. Around the pedestal upon which the Marti bust rests are soil samples from 21 Latin American countries, Tampa & Key West and New York City.
Though not a career soldier himself, Marti was so passionately dedicated to the cause of Cuban Independence that he died fighting for it on the front-lines during the Battle of Dos Ríos. New York City’s Central Park boasts an equestrian monument to Marti, which is atypical of such memorials, depicting Marti at the moment of his death. A 358 foot tower and monument to Marti adorns the Plaza de la Revolución in Havana and was often used by Castro to address audiences of nearly a million. In 1999, a hand-picked Cuban baseball team defeated the Baltimore Orioles 12-6, while hundreds of anti-Castro protestors gathered at Marti’s bust in opposition.