Among all of the sculptures of Marti that this city has, there are two that seem to me so contrary and antagonistic that I can barely recognize in them the same person. I am referring to the statue that presides over Central Park and the other Marti -close to the sea- that directs his threatening finger against the Office of Interests of the United States.
I know that each Cuban has his or her own Marti. Mine looks more like the figure, hand raised with the gesture of those who ask for the turn to speak, placed in a central place a few meters from the Capitol. With his marble finger, he seems to be willing to wait eighty more years for us to allow him to speak. I fantasize what words we would hear spoken by him if we weren’t submerged in a mob of slogans and insults. They would be, doubtlessly, phrases of civil tone said with the warm voice of those who propose ideas, and not with the hysterical intonation of those who deliver orders.
The other Marti, of athletic torso and accusatory stand, leaves little space for the imagination. His left arm points to a target outside of ourselves and attempts to concentrate in it the cause of all our problems. Not even the unusual detail of a child resting against him, can make me forget the authoritarian style of his posture. In front of that Marti, it is me who extends the hand and waits for the illusory permission to speak.
Two statues and the same individual: A Marti whom we don’t let speak, and another one who doesn’t want to hear us.
Left: The Marti in front of the Office of Interests of the United States in Havana.
Right: Statue of Marti in Central Park