By Kirwin R. Shaffer
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Additional info for Anarchism and Countercultural Politics in Early Twentieth-Century Cuba
They pushed an “anti-imperialist” and “internationalist” agenda in the island’s war for independence; they saw the struggle not as a “nationalist” revolt, but as one link in the chain of an international anarchist revolution against all states, capital, and religion. Following independence, anarchists adopted popular symbols of the war in their struggle to free the island from what they saw as a coercive state apparatus that had replaced Spanish rule but not altered power relations throughout society.
15 Beyond Spanish-speaking anarchists in the United States and Cuba, the international anarchist community also was divided on whether to support the independence struggle. French anarchists who made up the bulk of the Parisbased French Committee for a Free Cuba supported the fight for independence; their support followed the lines of the 1892 Worker’s Congress Manifesto. Leading anarchist intellectuals and organizers like Peter Kropotkin in London and Emma Goldman in the United States remained neutral; they understood how anarchists could see this as a great opportunity to cast off colonial rule, but they remained unconvinced that anarchists could thwart the nationalists.
The Pact of Zanjón ended the Ten Years War (1868–1878); Cubans failed to gain their two primary objectives of independence and immediate abolition. Cuba for All | 41 In 1879 the Guerra Chiquita (1879–1880) erupted in eastern Cuba when popular black leaders refused to submit to the 1878 peace treaty and return to the plantations. ”5 In essence, Afro-Cuban participation in this second war for independence complemented the growing dimensions of popular nationalism. The nationalist struggle to throw off Spain came to include demands for broad social and economic transformation.
Anarchism and Countercultural Politics in Early Twentieth-Century Cuba by Kirwin R. Shaffer