The true funeral route followed by José Martí’s corpse

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The true funeral route followed by José Martí’s corpse has been the subject of hundreds of investigations, hypotheses and even legends inside and outside Cuba.

Radio Grito de Baire, through its 12-episode audiovisual series Remanganagua: The True Funeral Route of José Martí, sets forth the results of serious local research.

This series includes contributions and experiences of journalists Juan Carlos Roque Alonso and Arnoldo Fernández Verdecia, as well as other writers inside and outside Contramaestre.

On May 19, 1895, José Martí, the Apostle of Cuban Independence, fell in combat in the area of Dos Ríos, East Cuba.

One day later, about 2:55 p.m., the body of José Martí was brought to the Remanganagua Cemetery, which today belongs to Contramaestre municipality in Santiago de Cuba province.

The ruins of a Spanish fort recall the moment of Martí’s first rest around 9:00 in the morning on May 20. From this place the message of the Spanish army was transmitted to General Martínez Campos, about the death of the Apostle.

Minutes later he was buried directly in the ground, with the body of a Spanish army sergeant on top.

Martí had been stripped of his belongings, which were exchanged for drinks in a bar nearby. This is where Martí received the services of the forensic doctor Pablo Valencia for the first autopsy. It was there where he was ordered the first and precarious box where his remains would rest.

On May 23, 1895, Valencia himself was in charge of leaving the heart and viscera of the Apostle buried in Remanganagua.This way this place turned into sacred land of Cuba.

At 10:00 in the morning of May 25, 1895, the body of the National Hero José Martí began its transit through the real funeral route, from the Remanganagua fort to the final rest in the city of Santiago de Cuba.

There were several rests along the way and one of them was a huge mamoncillo tree. The Spanish troops that guarded Martí’s body were besieged before reaching the area of Arroyo Blanco, today the municipality of Palma Soriano.

This work on the true funeral route of José Martí makes important contributions to Cuban historiography, by revealing the places through which his corpse was taken from his fall in Dos Ríos to the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in the city of Santiago de Cuba, where his remains definitely rest.

Edited by Jorge Lora


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