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Boletin de el Internacional. [volume] : (Tampa, Fla.) 1936-1937
Place of publication:
Tampa, Fla.
Geographic coverage:
  • Tampa, Hillsborough, Florida  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Ybor City, Hillsborough, Florida  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Labor Temple
Dates of publication:
  • Año 1, num. 1 (Jun. 27 de 1936)-
  • Ceased in 1937.
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Cigar makers--Florida.
  • Cigar makers.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00861329
  • Cubans--Florida--Newspapers.
  • Cubans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00884834
  • Florida--Hillsborough County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01210214
  • Florida--Tampa--Ybor City.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01320892
  • Florida--Tampa.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01206282
  • Florida.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01205150
  • Hillsborough County (Fla.)--Newspapers.
  • Hispanic Americans--Florida--Newspapers.
  • Hispanic Americans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00957523
  • Tampa (Fla.)--Newspapers.
  • Tobacco workers--Labor unions--Florida.
  • Tobacco workers--Labor unions.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01152012
  • Ybor City (Tampa, Fla.)--Newspapers.
  • "Organo local de las Uniones de la International de Tabaqueros."
  • In Spanish and English.
  • Latest issue consulted: Año 2, num. 6 (Mayo 28, 1937).
  • Printer: Solis Print. Co.
sn 95047137
Succeeding Titles:
View complete holdings information
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Boletin de el Internacional. [volume] June 26, 1936 , Image 1


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El Internacional and Boletin de el Internacional

El Internacional was a labor paper from Ybor City, Tampa, Florida dedicated to supporting worker solidarity and unionization efforts in the first half of the twentieth century. It was the official local paper of the Unión Internacional de Tabaqueros (Cigar Maker's International Union) and published in the Centro Obrero, also called the Labor Temple, in Ybor from 1904 until at least 1948 by local workers. Dedicated to the "propaganda de la organización obrera" ("labor organization propaganda"), El Internacional's position was clearly pro-union, pro-labor, and anti-capitalist, driven by the interests of union members and tobacco workers in Tampa.

El Internacional was the longest running labor paper in Tampa; however, the paper experienced several interruptions due to economic depressions and union reorganizations over this time. Its longest break was from 1928 to 1933. It also went on hiatus in December 1904 and September 1906. Additionally, the paper experienced a change in name from 1936 to 1937 when it published under the name Boletin de el Internacional.

For most of its run, El Internacional was a four-page weekly paper published on Fridays. It was occasionally six pages early in its history and later expanded to eight pages from 1939 to 1941 and again in 1946. It was published biweekly from late 1933 to early 1934 and in 1944. It was published monthly in 1937 and from 1945 to 1948. Over its more than 40-year run, El Internacional ranged from three to eight columns. In 1938, it was measured at 14 by 20 inches.

El Internacional was produced by and for a diverse community of immigrant workers, mostly from Cuba, Spain, and Italy. The paper was predominantly in Spanish but was bilingual in Spanish and Italian from 1904-1910 and regularly trilingual in Spanish, English, and Italian in 1910 and 1921. The paper became progressively more bilingual in Spanish and English from 1916 onwards. By 1920, English content had expanded to a specially marked "English Section," and by 1941, the last page of the paper appeared as an English front page, including a translated title and masthead. In 1946, when the paper expanded to eight pages, the last four were usually exclusively English.

As the cigar industry declined in Tampa, so did the Cigarmakers' International Union and El Internacional. The decrease in union membership resulted in the decline in the paper's readership. Subscription numbers for El Internacional are occasionally printed in the paper, ranging from a peak of 10,000 subscribers from 1910 to 1911 to a low of 2,000 from 1913 to 1914 and remaining at 5,000 from 1914 to 1915 and from 1938 to 1940.

El Internacional predominantly covered local union news. It regularly published meeting times, union lists and finances, information and editorials about local strikes, and investigations and findings concerning working conditions and changes in the industry. It frequently published editorials on the labor situation in Tampa and universal workers' organization. It also published notices of cultural and community events sponsored by the social clubs and mutual aid societies in Ybor City, which were closely tied to tobacco workers and their unions. This section grew into the regular "Eventos Sociales" section.

In addition to local news, El Internacional also carried state and federal news concerning the tobacco industry and workers' rights as well as international political news, particularly from Cuba, Spain, and Italy, including reprints of articles from Cuban and Spanish newspapers and magazines. The paper took a clearly anti-fascist stance on the Spanish Civil War, the rise of Mussolini, and coups and dictatorships in Cuba. Apart from political and labor news, the paper also published literary and scientific articles and Spanish-language poetry, especially patriotic poems supporting Cuban independence. Local English news and state labor news were often translated and reprinted in El Internacional. In later years, El Internacional also published untranslated articles in English from other tobacco union publications. In 1939, the paper began regularly publishing political cartoons and occasional recipes in English.

El Internacional's content reflects a unique reading culture prevalent in the cigar factories of Cuba and Florida. Newspapers like El Internacional were primarily read aloud in the cigar factories by lectores, or readers, until the 1930s. Lectores often compiled and translated news from different, multilingual sources. Cigar workers voted on what was to be read to them and paid lectores themselves. Tobacco labor newspapers like El Internacional and other newspapers from early twentieth-century Ybor such as El Federal, Boletin Obrero, and La Gaceta reflect workers' interest in local labor organization, political news from their homelands, theories of labor and economics, and Spanish-language literature.

Provided by: University of Florida