One day it will seem the most absurd thing in the world that anyone should claim that José Martí had any affiliation with Karl Marx, and those who bothered to refute such folly will appear just as absurd. But it was not so in our time, when Fidel Castro and his cohorts kidnapped Martí and held him hostage in a web of lies and falsifications; then it was a battle for the soul of our country and its future, and the conqueror in that contest, almost in single combat, was Carlos Ripoll.
It was Carlos Ripoll, with his zeal and his modest means, who vanquished the Centro de Estudios Martianos, with its cadres of pseudo-intellectuals and its foreign camp followers; it was Ripoll, with his IBM Selectric typewriter and later his computer, who outproduced all the stolen presses in Cuba at the service of the state; and it was Ripoll, whose genius and honesty would have shone in a republic of honest men, who was a beacon of truth in our own Dark Ages.
The imminent resurrection of Cuba will owe much to him, for he preserved, against wind and storm, the historic foundations of our nation, upon which will rise a new republic true to Martí's ideals and worthy of them.
I knew him for 25 years; for 15 saw him on a weekly basis; and exchanged hundreds of letters with him. I translated many articles for him and was honored to co-author a book on Martí with him. It was to him that I first showed my translation of the Versos sencillos and to him that I turned when I had any questions about Martí. I can write about what he meant to our country, but I cannot write yet about what he meant to me as a friend and teacher.
Before Ripoll retired to Miami, he gave me his black IBM Selectric 2. I don't use it much anymore, but I still keep it on my desk.
La obra póstuma y el legado de Carlos Ripoll (1922-2011)