Since the newspaper Patria was founded 126 years ago, the Cuban press has been continuing to open up new spaces for thinking and action with the passion of the truth
By Rosa Pérez López
José Julián Martí, the most inspirating colleague of Cuban journalists, showed evidence of his profession and principles in the printed word before his 16th birthday on January 1868, just three months after the uprising at the Demajagua sugar mill.
The precocious teenager wrote O Yara o Madrid in the only edition of El Diablo Cojuelo as an alternative for freedom or oppression; while in the only issue of La Patria Libre he interpreted as patriotism, not as “the foolish love of the land”, but as “the invincible hatred whom it opresses” and “the eternal grudge on whoever attacks” in the verses of his poem Abdala.
It was evident from that time that Martí was consistently committed with his time and passion for truth which enhanced the professional excercise of journalism and elevated it to the status of priesthood. The Apostle’s commitment and passion laid the basis for the founding of the newspaper Patria on the 14th of March, 1892.
Those were times to add souls to the cause of Cuban independence. During this fruitful truce which served as a patient, valiant, and colossal preamble, leader of the Necessary War which needed the participation and experience of the heroes of yesteryear and the vigorous impulse of the “new pine trees”, as Martí called the youth.
José Martí explained that a battle is lost when one does not immediately guide faith in the attack, faith that is so difficult to inspire. At this precise moment Patria was founded to unite and lead the attack, when it was most needed by the scattered consciousness of patriots in Cuba and in exile. Patria was a periodic publication intended to provide Martí’s clear and visionary doctrine, the vital desire of emancipation of Cubans and send it galloping through the jungle as soon as possible.
126 years later with the passion of truth, our press is positioned in the trenches of ideas, opening up new spaces for thinking and action and giving us the watchword of hearts involved with the fate and the future of Cuba.
Can the adversaries of the Revolution implement media campaigns seeking in vain to detract from the greatness of a social project that we will never surrender, and to which we have also joined cuban journalists in body and soul, not only as committed chroniclers of history, but also as active participants in that history, for the well-being of the homeland bequeathed to us by Fidel. We are an army of light and nothing will prevail against us.
Translated by ESTI