“*Free Cuban Soil*
Parque Amigos de Jose Marti or Jose Marti Park, Ybor City’s strongest remaining tie to Cuba. The title to the park is own by the Cuban government, who purchased the land in 1957 to commemorate Marti, the father of Cuban independence. Stones, decorated with the Cuban flag, sit in a six plots of dirt. Each plot represents soil taken from the six original provinces in Cuba.
Jose Marti Park
Jose Marti arrived in Tampa in 1891. A Cuban patriot and brilliant poet, Marti helped start the Spanish Revolution. While in Tampa, he gave fiery speeches, raised money for the revolution and inspired cigar workers to donate 10% of their salary. He was killed in battle in 1865 before Cuba gained its freedom from Spain but is credited with beginning the movement.
Surrounded by a rail fence, the park is located on the former home of Rupert and Paulina Pedroso, an Afro-Cuban family who housed and protected Marti from Spanish assassins. A white life-size statue of Marti, with his hand welcoming visitors, stands at the back of the park, flanked by a U.S. and Cuban flags. On the wall behind the statue, a color map outlines the provinces of Cuba."
excerpt from: *"A Cuban State of Mind":http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/06-01/a-cuban-state-of-mind-tampa-florida-usa.html"over 5 years ago