March of the Torches in Tribute to the Birth of Cuba’s Jose Martí

By Víctor Villalba Gutiérrez on January 28, 2023 in Havana

Steps of the University of Havana. all photos Víctor Villalba Gutiérrez

Every January 27 Cuba’s apostle Jose Marti is reborn on the steps of the University of Havana by the noble act of young Cubans who then march with lighted torches as a symbol of the transcendence of his thought.

Tonight, as it was 70 years ago, university students descended the steps of to make the historic journey to the Forge Martiana, site of the ancient quarries where the teenage Martí suffered martyrdom for his deep and precocious patriotism.

Gen. Raul Castro, President Diaz-Canel and others join with the students.

Also participating was the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz; the president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel; other government authorities and delegates of the V International Conference for the Balance of the World accompanied the young Cubans in this march that honors the intellectual author of the struggles for the independence of the revolutionary Cuban nation.

The national president of the Federation of University Students (FEU), Julio Emilio Morejón Pérez, said during the commemorative act, “We carry in us the blood of the Apostle and of other men and women of the Revolution who have enriched this project of unity and creation, this work of the people, the same work that we come to defend here today and will always defend”.

Morejon warned that, “We will have to return to Marti again and again to assume him as a mobilizing dynamic force that invites to fight, to charge against inertia, hatred, apathy, routine, formalism, polarization, bureaucratism and everything that is presented as opposition to the sense of what is truly revolutionary”.

The first March of the Torches took place at midnight on January 27, 1953, when university students descended the steps of the University of Havana, during the time of the US backed dictator Fulgencio Batista, to the Forge Martiana to await the advent of the centenary of the birth of the Apostle, and inside that original march came a column of 300 men commanded by Fidel.

Source: Cuba en Resumen