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Dissident Activist Joins Forces with Cuba’s Anarcho-Capitalists

By: Belén Marty - @belenmarty - Apr 20, 2015, 8:27 am
Cada vez más cubanos conocen esta filosofía política. (Ana Olema)
Growing numbers of Cubans are embracing the political philosophy of anarcho-capitalism. (Ana Olema)

EspañolCuba’s Anarcho-Capitalist Club (CAC) is expanding. The latest recruit to sign up is Cuban activist Ana Olema, who reports being an anarcho-capitalist all her life: she “just didn’t know it yet.”

The CAC, led by Nelson Chartland and Joisy García, is dedicated to spreading the ideas of the free market, the principle of non-aggression, and the defense of human rights throughout the communist Caribbean island.

The curious rise of the CAC began with several videos sent to García by a friend who lives overseas. In them, the well-known economics professor and political philosopher Jesús Huerta de Soto planted a seed which led the activist to question the tightly controlled social system in which he lived.

García, who has suffered two fractured vertebrae due to beatings by the Cuban police, told the PanAm Post that the principle enemies of anarcho-capitalism are “socialism and ignorance.”

His struggle against them, and the CAC’s promotion of alternative ideas, is supported by the Mises Hispanic Institute, which provided the group with free access to its online library of philosophical and political thinkers.


“We’re anarcho-capitalists in Cuba, where the totalitarian state has eliminated the individual, and exterminated a society.”

“It’s clear that Cubans would accept the idea of freedom and respect for the freedom of others. Now we have to educate them; we Cubans have forgotten what it is to be free,” Chartrand explained.

Ana Olema: “From Pioneer to Anarcho-Capitalist”

The cyberactivist, artist, and blogger Olema similarly argued that all human beings are anarcho-capitalist by nature, but they don’t know it, due to the “training as slaves that we’ve had throughout centuries of human history by the powers of repression.”

Ana Olema buscará plasmar los ideales ancaps en el arte. (Ana Olema)
Ana Olema hopes to spread anarcho-capitalist ideas through her art. (Ana Olema)

She arrived at the political philosophy because she didn’t feel comfortable with any other. “It happened to me as with Rothbard: my entire position was inconsistent,” she told the PanAm Post.

She explained that her father was her political inspiration; the first to talk to her about individualism, the small state, and of the damage to the individual and society caused by the welfare state.

“It was a painful awakening, because although I was already a committed anti-Castro activist, upon leaving Cuba I faced a global political discussion where I didn’t fit in. It was an unknown territory in which I was illiterate and brain-washed,” Olema added.

Upon arriving in the United States, after a harrowing journey by land from Ecuador, she didn’t see eye-to-eye with either the Republicans or the Democrats. Instead, she realized that she was philosophically opposed to “any kind of collectivism.”

Nor were classical liberalism, or minarchism (also known as minimal statism), enough. “I needed more: something strong to confront all the poison injected by the socialist utopia, and only anarcho-capitalism offered me that.”

She now seeks through her work as an artist for Cubans to begin to understand that their bodies are their own private property, and that private property is a right.

“They don’t have to be afraid to be free,” she concluded.

Forum for a Free Cuba

On April 10 and 11, a group of Cuban exiles convened the Forum for Cuba, taking as its subtitle #YoTambiénExijo (I Also Demand). The open event featuring important figures from the art world, activists, bloggers, historic exiles, and other campaigners was held to parallel the ongoing Summit of the Americas in Panama City.

V for Voluntarism: Cuban journalist Yusnaby Pérez with Joisy García during the Forum For Cuba.
V for Voluntarism: Cuban journalist Yusnaby Pérez with Joisy García during the Forum For Cuba. (Joisy García)

Cuban actor Roberto San Martín served as master of ceremonies for the forum, held in the College of Law at Florida International University in Miami.

Among the issues discussed were the systematic abuse of power on the island, how to secure greater protection for human rights, the struggle fought by dissidents since 56 years ago against the Castroist dictatorship, US-Cuban relations, and finally how the opposition and exiled activists can best use art, activism, and new technologies to challenge those in power.

Also on the agenda were discussions of anarcho-capitalism and the island’s nascent Bitcoin Cuba project. Olema reported that a workshop in Miami is set to discuss bringing the cryptocurrency to Cuba and the exiled community, and noted that many interested people have already come forward.

Bitcoin could prove a vital tool for sending and receiving remittances from overseas, given that over one-third of the Cuban population depends upon the support of relatives abroad, the majority living in the United States.

Translated by Laurie Blair.

Belén Marty Belén Marty

Belén Marty is the Libertarian Latina, a journalist based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has lived in Guatemala, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States and is a former candidate for local office with Argentina's Libertarian Party. Follow @BelenMarty.