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Gotham: a Refuge for Cuban Heroes

November 22, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, Graduate Center

Two Cuban revolutionaries, Félix Varela and José Martí, would find both prosperity and purpose in New York City during the 1800s. “They were drawn to Gotham because of its tolerance for political expression,” says Carmen Boullosa, a Distinguished Lecturer at City College, “and by the possibility of winning moral and financial support.” Varela, a Catholic priest who fled a death sentence by the Spanish crown, went on to publish a Spanish-language newspaper in New York that advocated the independence of Cuba and the abolition of slavery, and Martí, a beloved poet and essayist, became a national hero of the Cubans. Boullosa explores the historical and cultural connections of the Spanish-speaking world with New York City during the past two centuries, in a panel moderated by Mike Wallace and presented by the Gotham Center for New York City History at the CUNY Graduate Center.
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