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San Martín, Enrique Roig (1843–1889)

Kirwin R. Shaffer


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Enrique Roig San Martín is recognized as one of the first great labor leaders in Cuba, promoting anarchosyndicalism as editor of the leading labor newspaper of the day, El Productor , in the decade before Cuba's last war for independence broke out in 1895. Born in Havana, Roig grew up in a comfortable professional family that allowed him to study medicine in Havana and Paris. Abandoning medical studies, he went to work in the island's expanding sugar industry, serving a stint managing a sugar mill. In 1882, he abandoned management and became allied with the island's working class, laboring as a cigar roller and accepting the editorship of El Obrero . That same year he helped to found the Centro de Instrucción y Recreo in Santiago de las Vegas, Cuba, thus reflecting his growing belief in the importance of educating workers and their children in the progressive ideas of the age. In July 1887, Roig became editor of the new (and soon to be most prominent) labor newspaper in Havana: El Productor , the official newspaper of the Junta Central de Artesanos de la Habana. Through this new role, coupled with his growing support for anarchosyndicalist ideas, Roig soon became involved in the burgeoning labor movement of Havana, serving in the leadership of the Círculo de Trabajadores and as secretary of the Junta Central. He would die soon after in 1889 at the age of 45 from complications ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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