“Cuba: who were the real fighters for freedom?” by F. Fernandez – Workers Soldiarity Federation ca. 1996

Issued by the Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF) in Johannesburg around 1996, “Cuba: who were the real fighters for freedom?” provided a history of Cuban anarchism. It was, in fact, a direct copy of the 1995 ASP (London) edition of Frank Fernandez’s Cuba, the Anarchists and Liberty (which originally appeared in Spanish in 1987),  enclosed in a WSF cover.

The new title was an obvious attempt to attract the attention of South African activists interested in Cuba, a country which then (as now) holds enormous attraction for many.  The story of Cuban anarchism provides a compelling example of libertarian labour, anti-colonial and anti-dictatorship activism; the repression of Cuban anarchism by the Castro regime provides a powerful criticism of that state.

As evident from the below scan, production values of were quite low, as most copies were made in short runs on available photocopiers.

CUBA - Who Were the Real Fighters for FreedomGet the PDF here





About Lucien van der Walt

I teach at Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape. I’m South African, born and bred. I have long been involved in union education, and have a background in social movement and left-wing activism, the Workers’ Library and Museum, the Anti-Privatisation Forum, and the National Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU). I’ve presented or published 100s of papers conferences and workshops, published in key journals like 'Capital and Class' and 'Labor History', have co-edited 4 journal specials (these on global labour history, African labour, and unions in the Global South), and produced five books. I was Southern Africa editor for the 2009 'International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest' (Blackwell). My focus has been on South Africa, but I have also done research in Zambia and Zimbabwe. I won the 2008 international 'Labor History' thesis prize, and the 2008/2009 Council for the Development of Social Science Research prize for best African dissertation, for my PhD thesis on South African anarchism, syndicalism and black militants. My books includd include 'Politics at a Distance from the State: Radical and African Perspectives' (2018, co-edited with Kirk Helliker), 'Negro e Vermelho: anarquismo, sindicalismo revolucionário e pessoas de cor na África Meridional nas décadas de 1880-1920,' and 'Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1880-1940: the praxis of national liberation, internationalism, and social revolution' (co-edited with Steve Hirsch, Brill, 2010/ 2014).