The Cuban-born politician, essayist, and poet José Martí (1853-95) was a central figure in the Cuban fight for independence from Spain and in promoting intellectual and cultural life throughout Latin American at the end of the nineteenth-century. Martí spent most of the 1870s and 80s in exile. He moved to New York City in 1881 where he was joint consul for Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina, and organized the Cuban exile community to fight for Cuba’s independence from Spain. This letter was published in newspapers in both Buenos Aires and Mexico City. It shows Martí’s interest, common among intellectuals in both South and North America during this period, in the social and cultural differences between Latin America and the United States (which Martí calls North America). It also shows how he, like his peers, tended to see these differences as symptoms of those of the colonial influences of Anglo versus Latin Europe (although, in this text, Martí criticizes French painting, while complimenting the luminosity of Italian and Spanish art). But, Martí is ultimately more interested in noting the commonalities between North and South American art, now that U.S. has finally come into its own. His main concern is the cultural independence of the United States, and, despite the fact that he obviously sees the hyper-industrialized society of the United States as somewhat spiritually lacking, he clearly wants it to obtain cultural independence from England. Turning their attention to the landscape, he argues, has helped North American artists achieve this. In the process, their work has begun to display the luminosity and color of Italian and Spanish painting, which has always been the basis of Latin American painting, as he emphasizes.