Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Do You Know Who This Man Is?


A fabulous prize will be awarded to the first commenter who answers the question correctly. Winner: Agustín Fariñas.


The man pictured on this photograph is Major General José Francisco Martí y Zayas-Bazán, only son of the Apostle José Martí. His father dedicated his first book of poetry Ismaelillo to him. Martí fils joined the rebel ranks after his father's death in 1895, having literally to escape his mother via New York to do so. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Tunas de Bayamo, taking charge of the cannon when the canoneer was killed. As a result of this experience he was practically deaf for the rest of his life. He finished the War of Independence with the rank of captain and continued to serve in the Constitutional Army, in time reaching the rank of major general. President Mario García Menocal appointed him Chief of the Army and Secretary of War. He married the only daughter of Cuba's richest banker, Maria Teresa Bancés y Fernández-Criado. The marriage was without issue. He died on October 22, 1945 and with him also the direct line of descent from José Martí.


Sidebar:

Because of his profound deafness, which became more acute in his latter years, General Martí often asked to have conversations repeated to him three or four times. This led many people to suppose unjustly that he did not inherit much of his father's intelligence. In fact, he became known as "the son of the statue in Central Park," as dead mentally as that block of marble. This was simply not true. His letters and a few published articles show that he was a man of great culture and possessed a brilliant prose style; nonetheless, he chose to excel his father at the only thing he was sure he could — as a general.

51 comments:

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
Ok I give up. Who is it? Is it some old Cuban political figure? The face reminds me of someone but I cannot think who it might be. Please tell us, the suspense is killing me. You could at least give us a hint. Well, will you?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Agustín:

It's a picture of me when I was younger.

Actually, no.

It is a famous Cuban, long deceased, whose name starts with a "J." He did indeed hold an important position in Republican Cuba.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

More hints:

A veteran of the War of 1895, he became a General, Chief of the Army and Minister of War. This picture was taken when he was in his 50s. He died at age 67.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

More hints:

He is a byword in poetry but was not a poet himself.

Daniel @ Garanhuns Blog said...

Is it Diaz Balart?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Daniel:

No, it is not Díaz-Balart.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Another hint:

His name is doubly famous.

Lucy said...

Would it be Grau San Martín?

Vana said...

Manuel:
I have no clue, don't leave us hanging on tender hooks, I have wracked my brain with the clues you gave us, but....

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Lucy:

It is not Ramón Grau San Martín, though I grant you there is a similarity. In fact, two similarities. And that's another hint.

bbl said...

Presidente José Miguel Gómez
If that's who he is, then I must confess that I cheated:

http://www.historyofcuba.com/history/havana/JMGomez.htm

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

bbl:

He does also resemble President Gómez in the tiburón's skinnier days, and, coincidentally, also shares two things with him, as he does with Grau San Martín.

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
could it be Juan Bruno Zayas who later became President of the Republic?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Agustín:

Not Zayas. He was one of the few clean-shaven men of his time. Although the man depicted in the photograph shares more with Zayas than with either Grau or Gómez.

Lucy said...

Mi esposo claims he's not going to answer until he knows what the fabuloso prize is! :)

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
ok I will take another stab at it. Could it be General Jose de Jesus Monteagudo? If not I am stumped, but please hold on giving the answer. Not yet.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Lucy:

If no one has guessed by 12:00 midnight, the fabulous prize will become too fabulous for words.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Agustín:

Another fine guess, but no cigar.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

OK, let's recap the clues:

1). Name starts with "J"

2). Long deceased (obviously)

3). Veteran of the War of 1895

4). General; Chief of the Army; Secretary of War

5). Was not a poet, but has some connection to poetry

6). Has something in common with several Cuban presidents: Gómez, Zayas and Grau; but particularly with Zayas

7). The photograph was taken when he was in his 50s during 1930-1940

8). He died at age 67

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
it cannot possible be Juan Gualberto Gomez because he was more mulato than the man on this picture, right? Besides I think JGG was a lot older by the 30's. Ok, throw us another clue.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Agustín:

Juan Gualberto was heavier and his features had a more pronounced African cast. When Carlos Ripoll wrote an article about him in El Nuevo Herald calling him "the black José Martí" Juan Gualberto's descendents thanked him in a letter to the editor but objected to his being called "black" because they asserted he was a mulatto.

In any case, the man pictured in the photograph is white.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Another hint:

His first name is José.

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
would it be Jose Marti y Zayas Bazan, son of Jose Marti? Could it be?

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
I think I guessed right this time because of the name Jose, the Zayas connection and the poetry connection too. But the connection to Grau escapes me.

Charlie Bravo said...

Manuel, you've got a winner.

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
last letter from the Apostle to his son Jose Marti y Zayas Bazan. Montecristi] 1º de abril de 1895

Hijo:

Esta noche salgo para Cuba: salgo sin ti, cuando debieras estar a mi lado. Al salir, pienso en ti. Si desaparezco en el camino, recibirás con esta carta la leontina que usó en vida tu padre. Adiós. Sé justo.

Tu

José Martí

Is this the correct answer?

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
the ystery gigure was 67 when he died you said. The figures below add up to that number.

José Francisco Martí y Zayas-Bazán, nació en La Habana, el 22 de noviembre de 1878 y murió en esa ciudad, el 22 de octubre de 1945.

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
Sorry for the typos. I was so excited I made a mess of my keyboard. What I meant to say was:

the mystery figure was 67 when he died you said. The figures below add up to that number.

Agustin Farinas said...

He died when Ramon Grau San Martin was President of Cuba in 1945. Is that the connection with Grau?

bbl said...

Agustin, you got it right!

http://cgi.ebay.com/GENUINE-Photo-El-ISMAELILLO-Son-JOSE-MARTI-Cuba-1920s_W0QQitemZ190134448892QQcmdZViewItem

bbl said...

I looked in ebay because when I "right clicked" on the picture,under properties there was a reference to ebay. However, the information was a bit too obscure to search on. But I tried...

Manuel, this was entertaining and educational. Lets do it again.
Thanks!

Agustin Farinas said...

bbl,
Thanks for the link and the confirmation. The name Jose, and the double Zayas connection gave me finally the clue, but we are still awaiting confirmation from Manuel himself. Charlie Bravo said I was right. The face was somehow a bit familiar but I could not place it right away. I don't know just yet what I will do with my new Mercedes Benz!!LOL.

Vana said...

Congratulations Agustin I think you got it! I was going to suggest, Jose Montegudo, or Jose Ramon Barquin, but I think you got it

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Agustín:

Congratulations! You are the winner.

Your guess of President Alfredo Zayas was the closest because, of course, both shared the surname "Zayas" (the "Zayas" and the "Zayas-Bazán" are one and the same family).

Grau San Martín was also a good guess because "Martí" is in "Martín."

We will announce your fabulous price soon.

If anyone can predict what the price will be, he (or she) shall also receive the same price.

bbl said...

My guess is that you are going to purchase the picture for Agustin.

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
Thanks.
I am willing to bet you will get a comment from the infamous "chechechea" or even our deranged guest of the Madhouse, Fanto, saying the prize is an autograph picture of yourself! LOL.

Agustin Farinas said...

BBL,
knowing Manuel AKA "the Professor" ,and sharing his virtual friendship, experience and knowledge of History and Cuba is enough reward for me.

Manuel,
let's do it again. This was great fun and I am sure some of us learned something in the process too.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

BBL:

That cannot be the prize because then I would have to purchase the same photograph for you and there is only one available on eBay.

Indeed, the prize is more fabulous than the picture.

Vana said...

My guess is a book, on the life of Jose Marti Zayas Bazan, or one about the History of Cuba, or Manuel's translations of the Versos Sencillos

bbl said...

Agustin,
that was a heartfelt tribute. I understand you, I've been reading "the professor's" writings and comments. I admire his extensive kowledge of all things Cuban and his writing skills. I find myself looking up some of the words he uses on dictionary.com. I'm not ashamed to admit this since I consider myself a student. One is never too old to learn.
B

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

BBL:

I appreciate very much your kind remarks and I am glad that you have joined today our RCAB family. Stick around, it's gonna be a bumpy ride — but fun.

Vana said...

So Manuel what is the prize?

I have to say that jr resembled his father not at all, except for the forehead and the receeding hairline, I would have never guessed he was Marti's son, Marti was better looking, he had beautiful expressive eyes, do you have a pic of his mother? just for comparison

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Vana:

The ears are also similar. Martí had more delicate features and was smaller-boned than his son. But we must also take into account that Martí has always been portrayed in the most flattering way.

Now I've good news for you: you guessed correctly the fabulous prize and shall receive it yourself as well.

I am still trying to figure out how I can contact you so that you and Agustin can let me know where to send your fabulous prizes.

bbl said...

Manuel,
thanks for the welcome and the invite to stick around.

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
if the book Vana spoke about is the prize, my mom lives in Union City and you can send it there if you want. Just drop me a private email and I will give you her address and telephone number. Thank you. This was a lot of fun and at the same time educational. I suggest we do it again, even if there is no prize at the end of the rainbow as a reward.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

AgustíN:

That's just the problem. I don't have your e-mail address nor do I want you to disclose it here, for, as you may be aware, the denizens of The Madhouse are still prowling around this place and I wouldn't want your computer to be bombarded with viruses.

So let me give you an e-mail address which I created specifically for this purpose and which they can feel free to bombard as much as they want: m.tellechea@hotmail.com

Don't forget the dot between the "m" and "tellechea."

Looking forward to hearing from you. I think you will be very pleased with your fabulous price.

P.S. E-mail me too, Vana, for your prize for guessing correctly what the Agustín's fabulous prize was.

Vana said...

Goody, goody, I win, I'm excited Manuel, I love books, and if they have to do with the Apostle or Cuba even better,thank you Manuel, also let me extend my congratulations to Agustin, well done my friend

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
thanks for the award. I am sure that coming from you, it will be a very thoughtful gift to enlighten us and further our knowledge and intelectual experience. I will wriite you shortly with the pertinent information you have requested.

Vana,
thanks to you for the congratulations. It makes me feel very good to be able to share opinions and my thoughts with all of you specially since we are all Cubans and share many of the experiences we all have had over the last 47 years away from our country of birth. I am sure each one of us in our own way have many heart rendering stories to tell from our experiences. I enjoy sharing opinions with all of our friends on the Web such as KC and CB, Corgiguy and others. Even though we may be thousands of miles away from each other, every day we keep in touch and is like visiting with each and every one of you. The only thing missing is a cafecito and the face to face conversations. To each and everyone of you out there, I say that it makes me very happy to sit in front of my desktop and read your insightful and educated opinions and thoughts. Is a learning process every day. Perhaps one day soon we can sit in Cuba around a big table and remember fondly these trying times when we used to chat and exchange ideas, God willing we will some day. Thanks for being there.

Vana said...

Agustin:
You are so very welcome, you have taken the words right out of my mouth, I look forward to meeting all you guys here in the blogs, I feel we are friends, cyber Cuban friends, but friends none the less, this is the only time I can hang out with Cubans, knowing that all of you are my country men, as well as some honorary Cubans that visit with us, I find it very rewarding, we are all over the land, yet we a have a common ground for meeting.

I say lets make a date, the day Cuba is free, we shall all have to meet in person, with a cafecito, or beer in hand, and celebrate our friendship, which was forged in exile, and the internet, isn't the net a wonderful tool? look at all the wonderful people we get to meet, I feel very close to all of you, as if I knew you personaly, and to a certain extent I do! we pour all our love for our country, right here, and cement a deeper friendship every day, God bless all of you!

Agustin Farinas said...

Vana,
If we ever meet in a free Cuba, I will buy the very first 2 boxes of Heinekens and a couple of bottles of Cuban Rum to celebrate. Nothing will give more pelasure than to have a meeting with all of you guys in a fee Havana under those wonderful blue Cuban skies sharing a few beers with all of my Cuban cyber friends and talking about old times. I really hope that I am still alive by then. Heck, we may even buy Fantomas a few beers to get him shitfaced and there would be no need for the Thorazine! LOL. !

Vana said...

Agustin:
Lol...yes we may even celebrate with fanta, nothing I would like more, than to meet you my friends, and Agustin, I will help with the beer and the rum...but instead of heineken we may be toasting with, Polar, or Cristal, like you I hope I'm alive too, it cannot be that much longer my friend, it just can't