A History of Organized Labor in Cuba

By Robert J. Alexander | Go to book overview

2
The Confederation National
Obrera de Cuba and Its Rivals

In the year 1925 two organizations were established that were to play a major role in Cuban organized labor. One was the Confederacidn Nacional Obrera de Cuba (CNOC), the country’s first national central labor organization, which was for a decade to be the largest element in the labor movement. The second was the Communist Party of Cuba, which was soon to become the most powerful political element working within Cuban organized labor.


FOUNDING OF THE CONFEDERACIόN NACIONAL
OBRERA DE CUBA

The establishment of the Confederaciόn Nacional Obrera de Cuba was the result of two congresses, one held in Cienfuegos in February 1925, the other in Camaguey in August of the same year. The first of these was a preparatory meeting, which drew up a Declaration of Principles for the new organization and named an organizing committee to issue invitations to and prepare for the actual founding meeting of the new central labor body.

What was called the Third National Labor Congress of Cuba then met in August and established the CNOC. That meeting was attended by delegates from eighty-two organizations, while another forty-six sent messages indicating their support for the confederation to be established. It was claimed at the time that there were 200,000 workers represented, in one way or another, at the founding congress of the CNOC. However, this was undoubtedly a considerable exaggeration. For one thing, only two organizations of sugar workers were represented, since that group, the largest single element in the Cuban working class, was

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