An essay on Caribbean anarchists and their newspaper ¡Tierra! .
Rooted in theories of radical media and social movements, this article explores the role of the Havana-based weekly anarchist newspaper ¡Tierra! in forging both a Cuban-wide and larger Caribbean-wide anarchist network from 1902-1915. Between 1898 and 1915, Cuban anarchists published no fewer than 15 newspapers, but ¡Tierra! was the longest-lived and most widely distributed. Besides distributing news and propaganda to workers in small towns, cities and mining communities across Cuba, these workers became key correspondents back to the Havana readership. Consequently, the paper became a crucial venue for readers across Cuba to communicate with one another and share tales of repression, compare conditions, and heighten awareness of the complexities of the island-wide struggle. In addition, a review of the newspaper finances reveals that the rural readership regularly provided between 35 and 60% of the urban paper's income. Also, the paper played a larger role as the journalistic hub for anarchists throughout the Caribbean. In particular, anarchist correspondents from Florida, Puerto Rico and the Panama Canal Zone contributed money and analyses about the status of the movements in those lands, providing readers throughout the distribution areas a means to compare their situations and develop a larger international consciousness.
Originally appeared in Caribbean Studies Volume 37 Number 2, July-December 2009