Post by @CubanWindow
…….The island will gradually become Americanized and, in due time, we will have one of the richest and most desirable possessions in the world (…). General Leonard Wood, about Cuba Platt Amendment.
Each May 20 (referring to May 20, 1902) some Cubans here celebrate the birth of the “Republic of Cuba”, marking that ominous day as the beginning of the island’s independence, as if raising the Cuban flag and placing a creole in the presidential chair was sufficient ( Tomas Estrada Palma had the approval of the American authorities as a possible brake to the ascendancy of the most radical military leadership in the political life of the country)
The reality is very different, on May 20, 1902 begins the second North American occupation on the island, this time shielded behind the nefarious Platt Amendment (1)
On June 12, 1901, the Constituent Assembly approved the controversial Platt Amendment, imposed by the United States Congress, with which the United States government granted itself the right to intervene in the internal affairs of the Island when it deemed it convenient.
Platt Amendment was an appendix to the draft of the Budget Law of the Army approved by the United States Congress, and imposed as part of the text of the first Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, prepared by the Constituent Assembly of 1901.
In 8 articles it is summed up the interventionist, extraterritorial and annexationist character of the American empire over the island.
For those who wish to celebrate May 20 as the day of independence for Cuba, we leave this acert judgment by general Leonard Wood, military governor of the island during the American occupation:
(…) Of course, that Cuba has been left with a little or no independence at all with the Platt Amendment and the only indication now is to seek annexation.
This, however, will require some time and during the period in which Cuba maintains its own government, it is very desirable that one has to lead to its progress and improvement.
It can not make certain treaties without our consent, or borrow beyond certain limits and must maintain the sanitary conditions that have been precepted to it, by which it is evident that it is absolutely in our hands and I believe that there is no European government to consider it for a moment as something other than what it is, a real dependence on the United States, and as such it is worthy of our consideration.
With the control that will undoubtedly soon become a possession, soon we will practically control the sugar trade in the world.
The island will gradually become Americanized and, in due time, we will have one of the richest and most desirable possessions in the world (…).
To be continue …
I.-That the government of Cuba shall never enter into any treaty or other compact with any foreign power or powers which will impair or tend to impair the independence of Cuba, nor in any manner authorize or permit any foreign power or powers to obtain by colonization or for military or naval purposes or otherwise, lodgement in or control over any portion of said island.
II. That said government shall not assume or contract any public debt, to pay the interest upon which, and to make reasonable sinking fund provision for the ultimate discharge of which, the ordinary revenues of the island, after defraying the current expenses of government shall be inadequate.
III. That the government of Cuba consents that the United States may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty, and for discharging the obligations with respect to Cuba imposed by the treaty of Paris on the United States, now to be assumed and undertaken by the government of Cuba.
IV. That all Acts of the United States in Cuba during its military occupancy thereof are ratified and validated, and all lawful rights acquired thereunder shall be maintained and protected.
V. That the government of Cuba will execute, and as far as necessary extend, the plans already devised or other plans to be mutually agreed upon, for the sanitation of the cities of the island, to the end that a recurrence of epidemic and infectious diseases may be prevented, thereby assuring protection to the people and commerce of Cuba, as well as to the commerce of the southern ports of the United States and the people residing therein.
VI. That the Isle of Pines shall be omitted from the proposed constitutional boundaries of Cuba, the title thereto being left to future adjustment by treaty.
VII. That to enable the United States to maintain the independence of Cuba, and to protect the people thereof, as well as for its own defense, the government of Cuba will sell or lease to the United States lands necessary for coaling or naval stations at certain specified points to be agreed upon with the President of the United States.
VIII. That by way of further assurance the government of Cuba will embody the foregoing provisions in a permanent treaty with the United States.