Jose Marti’s sincere rose

Guatemala, Dec 19.- It arrived at the capital’s Las Americas Avenue on August 23, 2013, and since then National Hero, José Martí, became more rooted in the history of Cuba and Guatemala.
In the square named after him, placing the three-meter sculpture was a challenge; but young Cuban sculptor Andres Gonzalez was pleased because it did not have a scratch.

A Prensa Latina piece of news from that day recalls that several municipality workers, supported by a crane, helped make the project by Andres and his student Oscar Luis Gonzalez a reality.

The two artists were watching every step of the meticulous transfer of the piece from the Municipality’s Workshop School to the busy road, some 10 kilometers.

“I think it is just an honor, a recognition of his imprint and affection he felt for the Guatemalan people, as much as the Guatemalan people feel for Marti,” Roberto Blanco said.

Blanco was the Cuban ambassador to Guatemala at the time when the official unvailing of the monument took place.

“It is a shrine of brotherhood and a recognition of the struggle of the two peoples,” he ratified.

Guatemalan and Cuban authorities welcomed the Maestro in Las Americas, where his statue stands out along with other memorable continental independence fighters.

Dozens of curious people passing by the site then recorded in their cell phones the image of the Cuban independence hero, who lived between 1877 and mid-1878 in Guatemala for a brief but intense period of time.

The sculpture of the so-called “Simple Pilgrim” is on a stand of more than six meters and has an iron frame covered with cement and stone dust from the mountains in the country’s eastern part.

A Marti with a book pressed to his chest next to a rose, extends his left arm as a sign of gratitude, hope, and merit…

“Without disturbing my decorum, without bending my fierceness, the people, sincere and generous, have given shelter to the simple pilgrim. It made him a teacher, which is to make him a creator. It has stretched out its hand to me and I shake it,” he wrote in his essay “Guatemala” in gratitude for all the affection he received from “a hospitable, rich and frank land.”

When appreciating him now, every traveler takes a different idea of the brilliant speaker, teacher, and poet who left a deep cultural and friendship bond between two peoples of what he called here for the first time Our America.

If you are a Cuban, you may immediately think of a free verse known since early childhood: “I grow a white rose /in July as in January /for the sincere friend /who gives me his frank hand…”.

If you are a Guatemalan, poem IX of his Versos Sencillos will come to your memory as well as the initial stanza carved to the left of the monument on a small plaque: “I want, in the shade of a wing, /to tell this story in bloom: /the girl from Guatemala, /the one who died of love.”

(Taken from Prensa Latina)