Preface

"This work is a brief overview of the influence that libertarian ideas have had upon the Cuban people. We believe that we have the duty to faithfully report the annals of the Cuban anarchists, who for more than a century have struggled and sacrificed in defense of liberty and for the interests of the most downtrodden classes in our society. We will briefly review the actions of a group of men and women who, totally without resources, without aid or protection, and who were forgotten and persecuted, not only influenced the history of the working class and campesinos, but also the history of the entire Cuban people."

These are the opening words in my pamphlet, Cuba, The Anarchists & Liberty, which was first published in English in 1987 by Monty Miller Press, and which has been reprinted since then by various groups, most recently appearing in electronic form on the Internet. It provides the basis of this small book. The emphasis in the present work lies in the final chapters, in which I deal with the last years of organized anarchism in Cuba, covering a series of incidents and events which were not included in the pamphlet.

As was to be expected, given its wide distribution, marxist and pro-Castro critics attempted to discredit my pamphlet. The least cynical accused me of producing an apologetic "panegyric" whose purpose was propagandistic. This is untrue. While I am an anarchist and the pamphlet certainly was pro-anarchist, it's right and proper that every social group promulgate its own "historical truth," as long as that interpretation is based in verifiable facts. That was my purpose and method in Cuba, the Anarchists & Liberty, and it continues to be so in the present work.

I would like to thank the last survivors of the Cuban anarchist movement"”now spread across the diaspora"”who have helped to make this project possible. Suria Liunsaín, Claudio Martínez, León G. Montelongo, and Helio Nardo collaborated on the final chapters. I also received assistance from several persons no longer on the scene: Marcelo Salinas, Casto Moscú, Manuel Ferro, Manuel González, Agustín Castro, Abelardo Iglesias, and Santiago Cobo. All of them contributed their memories to this work.

Finally, this book is dedicated in its entirety to all those anonymous militants whose names do not appear here, but whose selfless example made an ineradicable impression on our national destiny. Without them this history could never have been written.

"”Frank Fernández, Miami, Florida