Collection CHC5133 - Carlos Márquez-Sterling Papers

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Carlos Márquez-Sterling Papers


  • 1960-1989 (Creation)
  • 1960s (Creation)


17 Boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Carlos Márquez-Sterling (1898-1991) was a Cuban lawyer, professor, writer and statesman active in island politics from the 1930s to the 1950s, and whose stature and political clout made him a leader of the exile patriotic movement from the 1960s to the 1980s. Márquez-Sterling was a congressman in Cuba’s House of Representatives from 1936 to 1946, acting as president of that body in 1936 and 1941. In 1940, he presided over the constitutional convention that created a more progressive constitution for the country; the document was in effect until Fulgencio Batista’s 1952 coup d’état.  Márquez-Sterling also worked as a professor of political economy at the University of Havana. Expanding on his political calling, he was appointed Minister of Labor and Minister of Education from 1941 to 1942, and would eventually become a presidential candidate in 1958 before the rise of Fidel Castro.

Early on Márquez-Sterling had qualms about Castro’s revolutionary movement, predicting it would lead to totalitarian rule: “Una revolución sólo podrá traer la anarquía y desembocar en una dictadura de tipo totalitario que Cuba nunca ha experimentado.”

Márquez-Sterling was an exile leader, founding the Movimiento Patriótico Cuba Libre in New York in the early 1960s, lobbying the United States for the establishment of a Cuban government in exile and organizing exile groups across the country. He moved to Miami in 1979, teaching and writing in his retirement.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The collection consists largely of handwritten and typed correspondence dating from the 1960s to the 1980s between Carlos Márquez-Sterling and family, friends, and exiled Cuban political figures. The collection also contains postcards; unedited book manuscripts; event invitations, announcements and programs; audiovisual materials; photographs and clippings.

Notable correspondents include past Latin American presidents José López Portillo (Mexico), Joaquín Balaguer (Dominican Republic) and Otilio Ulate (Costa Rica), as well as Cuban political personalities like Carlos Prío Socarrás, Fulgencio Batista Zaldívar, Rafael Guas Inclán and José Miró Cardona. Márquez-Sterling also corresponded with such distinguished journalists and literary figures as José Ignacio Rivero, Arturo Alfonso Roselló, Horacio Aguirre, Gastón Baquero and Octavio R. Costa.

The collection also highlights important correspondence and documents from Márquez-Sterling’s involvement in Cuban exile organizations such as the Movimiento Patriótico Cuba Libre, of which he was delegate general, and these groups’ interaction with international and American political figures, to wit, Ronald Reagan, former US ambassadors to Cuba Spruille Braden and Earl E.T. Smith, and Nicaraguan ambassador to the United States Guillermo Sevilla Sacasa.

System of arrangement

The collection is organized in two series, Correspondence and Personal Papers. Márquez-Sterling's original order was maintained when appropriate.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open for research.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Requests to publish or display materials from this collection require written permission from the rights owner. Please contact for more information.

Languages of the material

  • English
  • Spanish

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Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Manuel Márquez-Sterling, 2004 and 2011.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


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Related archival materials

Sombra y luz (ensayo de novela) – Alicia Peón y Varona, 1919

Correspondencia diplomática cruzada entre la Cancillería de la República de Cuba y la Comisión Permanente de Washington, D.C., (Estados Unidos de América) en relación con la reclamación interpuesta al Gobierno de la República Peruana por Denegación de Justicia, en perjuicio de ciudadanos cubanos – República de Cuba, Secretaría de Estado, 1940

The Cuban Heritage Collection contains the papers of several correspondents from the Carlos Márquez-Sterling Papers, listed below:

Agustín Acosta Papers

Gastón Baquero Papers

Fulgencio Batista Zaldívar Collection

Bernardo Benes Papers

Eugenio Castillo Papers

Octavio R. Costa Papers

Salvador Díaz-Versón Collection

Wilfredo Fernández Papers

Fernando Fernández-Cavada Collection

Leonardo Fernández Marcané Collection

Orestes Ferrara Papers

Eugenio Florit Papers

Gustavo Godoy y Agostini Collection

Luis V. Manrara Papers

Humberto Medrano Collection

José Miró Cardona Papers

Carlos Alberto Montaner Collection

Miguel Olba Benito Papers

Gonzalo de Palacio Collection

Humberto Piñera Llera Papers

Carlos M. Raggi Collection

Manuel Antonio (Tony) Varona

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