Havana, Aug 3.- The reissue 125 years ago of the newspaper El Cubano libre, by independence hero Antonio Maceo, shows the leading role that the ideological battle has had in the Cuban history.
Its importance was recognized by Maceo himself, when he defined it in a letter to its director, Captain Mariano Corona Ferrer, as an army corps made up of 12 columns that fights daily for the Cuban cause.
The importance of reissuing, in 1895, the first independent newspaper with a patriotic essence founded 27 years earlier, in 1868, by El Padre de la Patria, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, in Bayamo would soon become apparent.
From a cave in Holguín, in te eastern part of the island, the new version of El cubano libre published nearly 100 editions.
In them, the troop and the Cuban emigration were informed weekly about the details of the war, decrees, proclamations, manifests and other documents of the Government of the Republic of Cuba in Arms.
His printing press also served to edit, in 1896, the first booklet, to alphabetize and extend culture among soldiers.
Among his collaborators, the newspaper had José Martí, who years ago, in 1892, founded the Patria newspaper on emigration to gather and love and contribute to the preparation of the necessary war for the definitive independence of Spain.
Created under the ethical principles of both heroes, the mambí newspaper was not allowed to post personal opinions or against the cause of independence, nor regionalist approaches that caused so much damage to the cause of unity.
Its founder refrained from imposing political criteria, even though, in Martí's opinion, the Bronze Titan had as much strength in his mind as in his arms.
After the war, the paper continued to be published until the 1920s and the intervention of the United States was condemned in its pages.
Four decades later, in 1957, El cubano libre was reborn in the Sierra Maestra mountains on the initiative of the Argentine-Cuban commander Ernesto Guevara and, together with the Radio Rebelde station and other clandestine publications, he contributed to the revolutionary victory of January 1959. (Text and photo: PL)