José Martí and Cuban Independence in Ybor City
The historic neighborhood of Ybor in Tampa, FL was an important site for the launch of the fight for Cuban Independence, spurred by José Martí's delivery of impassioned speeches to Cuban cigar workers. The walking guides below hope to offer a path through a selection of important sites connected to Martí.
Walking Tour of Ybor
This walking tour guides you through ten sites that feature historical markers pertaining to José Martí and the Cuban Revolution in Ybor. The walking tour is about fifteen to twenty minutes. The stops are listed below, with links to information on the historical markers.
- José Martí Historical Marker - in 1893, José Martí delivered a speech at this site asking Cuban cigar-makers for help in gaining Cuban independence.
- Attempt on the life of José Martí, 1893 - a failed attempt to poison Martí was performed here by Spanish agents.
- Founding of the Cigar Industry in Tampa - site detailing the founding of the cigar industry by Vincente Martinez Ybor.
- Patriot Instruction League - former location of the night school founded to educate Cuban cigar industry workers.
- Cuba newspaper - site of the publication of the "Cuba" newspaper, edited by revolutionary Ramon Rivero y Rivero.
- José Martí Park - a small park honoring Martí and other Cuban revolutionaries (see adjacent map for more information on the park).
- La Union Marti-Maceo - a society founded by Afro-Cuban cigarmakers in 1904 that offered education, health resources, and recreation to its members.
- Cradle of Cuban Liberty - site where Martí delivered two revolutionary speeches, and drafted the program for Cuban independence.
- El Chino – Pajarito - former site of the El Chino - Pajarito restaurant where many revolutionaries dined before joining the forces, including Martí.
- Emilio Pons Cigar Factory - site of the first local cigar factory in Ybor, Martí delivered his final speech to Cuban cigar-makers.
Note: The stops are mapped to the closest address within the vicinity of the historical marker, but all are visible from the stops. This is not an exhaustive guide to historical sites connected to Martí and the Cuban Revolution in Ybor, but is meant as a means to explore the local history as it relates to Martí.
José Martí Park Historical Markers
José Martí Park is open to the public from 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM on Monday through Friday. Located at the former site of revolutionary Paulina Pedroso's cabin, the land was donated to the Cuban government, which still owns the property to this day. The park contains soil from each of the Cuban provinces. Historical markers include:
- José Martí Historical Marker - this historical marker sits under a statue of Martí, neighbored by the flags for the United States and Cuba.
- Antonio Maceo Grajales, Lugarteniente General, Ejercito Libertador de Cuba - historical marker with a bust of the revolutionary lieutenant general Antonio Maceo Grajales.
- La Casa de Pedroso - a historical marker dedicated to the revolutionary Paulina Pedroso, who housed Martí while he healed from an assassination attempt and wrote speeches at her cabin.
Macdonald-Kelce Library - The University of Tampa - 401 W. Kennedy Blvd. - Tampa, FL 33606 - 813 257-3056 -