Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

March 14, 1999.

NOT THE CITY OF "CHE" BUT THE CITY OF MARTA By Isabel Rey, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - If we Cubans have something we can be proud of it is that generation of men and women who gave their lives, their children, their fortune, in a word everything, for the motherland.

As a Cuban, that is the way I feel about it, and today, more than ever, I admire that human quality. Thus my amazement (or stupor) while reading the description that the government newspaper of my province gave to the city of Santa Clara (provincial capital), naming it "The City of Che."

After that first (bad) impression, I felt something inside of me rebelling against such injustice. No, gentlemen, it is not the City of Che, but rather the City of Marta.

Why would I want to erase such a profound mark? Because Marta's life lives on in the works that she left us. Born in a cradle of lace (with a silver spoon), Marta Abréu penetrated the popular soul. Quietly wherever there was an evil, she brought in a remedy as exemplified by the "Gran Cervantes" ("Great Cervantes") School for Black Children, for she could not understand how the color of skin could bring human inequality. And she also built "La Caridad" ("The Charity") Theater.

She inaugurated public and free lavatories, for the poorer classes of the city. She improved the Municipal Meteorological Observatory and the public electrical lighting system and she donated 50,000 pesos for the construction of the fire station.

Something special in her always dictated her acts of charity. She did not strive for any reward other than the pleasure of doing good and she did not aim to achieve any goal other than the improvement of humankind and her homeland. The patriot in Marta Abréu was the key to her life not only through material generosity with her contributions to the Cuban Revolutionary Party (Translator's note: See wars of independence, 19th Century) but also in her lending moral support which favored the island's cause.

That is why I write these lines so reverent for Marta Abréu, for her city, as an offer of amends due her memory.

Isabel Rey, Cuba Free Press.


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