Front Door to Cuba

Martí's Letter to Antonio Maceo

(From OBRAS COMPLETAS DE JOSÉ MARTÍ, La Habana, 1946, Vol.I, pp. 184-85)

Panama, June 22, 1894

General Antonio Maceo


My friend:

Here we are, and we are already going. We arrived yesterday after my maddening voyage; three days from Puntarenas to Panama. I am leaving here what I wanted to leave, and we depart this very day, a few hours from now, for Jamaica, so they will not be annoyed with me there, feeling they were slighted, and take the steamer to New York or New Orleans as a natural route. I will be able to take from the voyage all pretense of too much proximity. I presume I will find some news in Kingston, and even some agent from Havana-whom I do not want, Maceobecause it would be a sign of greater urgency, and we have quite enough of that already.

I intend to arrive without hindrance and disengage myself immediately. There you will be taking all the reins in your hands so that within some three weeks, as might happen, those who ought to go can be ready to go, even without having taken the obvious precautions or dropped the plow until the last minute or anticipated the family situation to any great extent, for within the limits of our poverty you can assure some miserable aid to those who might want to leave. I will be working on things around here so that within another three weeks, if necessary, the urgent matters will be in the hands of Pochet-or before, if upon arriving in New York he unfolds his plans. Thus if we had a little more time our friends might continue as they are for a little while longer, without the information their idleness would give, and without the loss of funds this would bring to the treasury; you know what that is, once it begins, and you can see the twofold advantage of disengagement up to the very end.

I am sure you are organizing our friends for this purpose, so that with my information from there they can almost without a sound go where you say. Do not forget Flor's suggestion regarding the place, for the advantage of his disappearing from Nicoya and being found in Mohín, with no reason at all for being noticed. I am enlarging the code here on an adjoining page, for due to the surprising departure of the steamer at Puntarenas I could not do so.

I think I mentioned Flor's suggestion regarding payment of part of the costs in Panama, but I find this complicated and touched by many hands. In case you should decide upon the type of construction suggested by Flor-and this I think also entails a certain risk, because you might have to be waiting for that detail-I repeat that eventually you would have to tell me where to cosign the costs as a whole.

I must finish because I want to have all the mail ready to go, and the people are already upon me. The details of my voyage, via two Cubans from Havana who I met, and news gathered along the way, confirm us in two things: the silent but growing desires of the country, and the timelines.

We alone could win.

Antonio Maceo photo

I am writing to Pochet, Loynaz, and Boix. I did not mention Flor's offer to Loynaz in case he is in some predicament here, although in this you will advise the proper thing to do.

And he could have disappeared before and gone away with Flor, to avoid attracting attention. You know. What shall I tell him?

We have not been able to forget María, and perhaps she is not paying us as well as she could, going out every morning in daylight. I am being filled with serene confidence and greater strength. Do not forget that you have a shield and comrade in


José Martí

José Martí's Letters to Antonio Maceo:
July 20 1882 / June 18 1894 / June 22 1894 / January 19 1895
Martí on Maceo (from Patria |

José Martí Portal | Martí/Apostle | Timeline | Books | Photos

Antonio Maceo | War for Independence

Front Door | Contents | Galleries | Site Index | Timetables