Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba


A labor weekly called La Aurora.

Tamara Caridad Mesa González 22 octubre, 2020

The weekly La Aurora, the oldest precursor of our current newspaper Trabajadores, went public on October 22nd, 1865 in Havana and its significance is due to the fact that it reflected for the first time the struggles of Cuban workers for their emancipation.

According to historians, despite the strict censorship imposed by the Spanish colonialists, its pages denounced the miserable salaries received by employees, the overcrowding in workshops, the prohibitive prices of basic necessities and the high rents, which they made the conditions in which the workers worked and lived inhumane.

The founder and director of La Aurora was the young Asturian Saturnino Martínez, a torcedor of the Partagás factory, who created the Tobacco Association of Havana, which is why he is considered the first leader of the workers in that sector.

The Cuban writer Manuel Sellén was among the organ’s collaborators, in which works by other prominent intellectuals such as José Fornaris, Luis Victoriano Betancourt, Felipe Poey and Antonio Bachiller y Morales were also published.

Although it suffered from reflecting reformist and utopian nuances in its ideological vision in terms of fighting methods, the Spanish government considered it dangerous and closed the publication in 1868, at the beginning of the Ten Years’ War.

The labor weekly La Aurora, from Havana, spoke in favor of the organization of public libraries and night schools. With their campaigns, they made possible the creation of readings in the tobacco shops, which over time would become an enjoyable and instructive generalized practice on the Island.


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