A crowed overflowed the Sociedad La Union Marti-Maceo on Seventh Avenue in Ybor City late Sunday in a joint tribute with Cuban officials to the legacy of Jose Marti, considered the father of Cuban independence.
The afternoon opened with a speech extolling the virtues of Marti - who spent a great deal of time organizing cigar workers and Cuban ex-patriots in Ybor City - by Rafael Polanco Brahojos, Director of the Sociedad Cultural Jose Marti.
He was then followed with a speech on the impact of Marti by Llanio Gonzalez Perez, Consul General of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington D.C.
Here's some background on Marti's Tampa connection from Wikipedia:
On the 26 of November, he was invited by the Club Ignacio Agramonte, an organization founded by Cuban immigrants in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida, to a celebration to collect funding for the cause of Cuban independence. There he gave a lecture known as "Con Todos, y para el Bien de Todos", which was reprinted in Spanish language newspapers and periodicals across the United States. The following night, another lecture, " Los Pinos Nuevos", was given by Martí in another Tampa gathering in honor of the medical students killed in Cuba in 1871. In November artist Herman Norman painted a portrait of José Martí.
On January 5, 1892, Martí participated in a reunion of the emigration representatives, in Cayo Hueso, the Cuban community of Key West where the Bases del Partido Revolucionario (Basis of the Cuban Revolutionary Party) was passed. He began the process of organizing the newly formed party. To raise support and collect funding for the independence movement, he visited tobacco factories, where he gave speeches to the workers and united them in the cause. In March 1892 the first edition of the Patria newspaper, related to the Cuban Revolutionary Party, was published, funded and directed by Martí. On April 8, he was chosen delegate of the Cuban Revolutionary Party by the Cayo Hueso Club in Tampa and New York. From July to September 1892 he traveled through Florida, Washington, Philadelphia, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica on an organization mission among the exiled Cubans. On this mission, Martí made numerous speeches and visited various tobacco factories. On December 16 he was poisoned in Tampa.