Publicado: Tue, 25 Aug, 2015

The journalist that was president of Cuba for 6 hours

This entry is also avaliable in: Spanish

Foto tomada de Internet Havana. In this month of August 28 the 143birthday of Márquez Sterling is celebrated (1872 -1934) whose exact name is Carlos Manuel Agustín Márquez Sterling y Loret de Mola.

The writer, diplomat, and Cuban journalist Márquez Sterling whose birth happened inside the Embassy of Cuba in weapons in Lima, Peru, is legally declared Cuban at birth, at that place where his father carried out the function of mambí delegate.
In 1894, when he was 22, he established friendly bonds with José Martí and got linked to the preparations of the War of Independence, but his bad health disabled him to participate in the war.

In New York he was the secretary of Gonzalo de Quesada who entrusted him with the organization of José Martí’s archives. Then, he left towards Paris in a propaganda mission, and he did the same thing a time later in Madrid. Once the war finished, he returned to Cuba and he played a position related to the inspection of the census.

Since he was very young he was linked to journalism. When he was 15, he founded the magazine El Estudiante, and one year later he collaborated in the newspaper “El Pueblo”. In 1889, he entered in the writing staff of “El Camagüeyano”, a newspaper created by his father.

During his first stay in Mexico he published articles in “El Eco del Comercio” and in “La Revista de Mérida”.” Later, he published articles in Havana, in the newspaper “La Lucha”. In his second stay in Mexico he wrote chronicles on chess for the “Diario del Hogar” and published the magazine “El Arte de Philidor” (1894). He also founded the weekly publication “La Lucha”, of revolutionary militancy, and he was a correspondent of “La Discusión” In Spain, he collaborated in the “Revista Internacional de Ajedrez”.

The emblematic Havana newspaper “El Mundo” founded in 1901 was the first in sending a Cuban correspondent abroad, and that correspondent was Manuel Márquez Sterling who was also part of the group of members of the Constituent Assembly when he traveled in 1901 to the United States to discuss with the president Mc Kinley the Platt Amendment.

Max Henríquez Ureña considered him as the oldest brother of the first republican generation of prose writers. He was the author of fifteen books on diverse topics as chess, history and politics. He was also the author of the foreword “Pláticas agridulces” (1906), of Sergio Cuevas Zequeira, and of “Episodios de la revolución cubana”, of Manuel de Cruz y Fernández, in its second edition of 1911.

His books are:
“Menudencias de crítica literaria”
“Hombres de pro”
“Tristes alegres”
“Ideas y sensaciones”
“Psicología profana”
“La muerte del Libertador”
“Burla, burlando”
“La Diplomacia en nuestra historia”
“Los últimos días del presidente Madero”
“Las Conferencias de Shoreham”
“El proceso histórico de la Enmienda Platt”

The circumstances took Sterling to serve as President of Cuba for 6 hours substituting Carlos Hevia and replaced at his position by Carlos Mendieta, in what was known by the Cuban people as Pentarquía whose indirect or direct author was Sergio Carbó Morera who granted Batista the colonel’s grade, Chief of the Army before the coup d’état on September 4, 1933 depriving Carlos’ ephemeral mandate of Carlos Manuel de Quesada, who had happened as president of Cuba after Gerardo Machado in his fall of the power.

Manuel Márquez Sterling lived 62 years and today more than ever he is considered an example to keep in mind for the future Cuba.

Apart from what has been written on him the definitive biography about his life is still to be written.
cartasaleandro@correodecuba.cu

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