José Julián Martí Pérez; January 28, 1853 – May 19, 1895) was a Cuban poet, essayist, journalist, translator, professor, and publisher, who is considered a national hero and an important figure in Latin American literature. He was very politically active, and is considered an important revolutionary philosopher and political theorist. Through his writings and political activity, he became a symbol of Cuba's bid for independence against Spain in the 19th century, and is referred to as the "Apostle of Cuban Independence." From adolescence, he dedicated his life to the promotion of liberty, political independence for Cuba, and intellectual independence for all Spanish Americans; his death was used as a cry for Cuban independence from Spain by both the Cuban revolutionaries and those Cubans previously reluctant to start a revolt. Martí was also used as a figurehead by the Cuban government throughout the government of Fidel Castro, and his writings were commonly cited as supporting socialism within Castro's administration.