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US relations with Cuba - Essay Example

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Cuba and the United States of America have had a complex history of relationships. “Nothing is ever simple in relations between the United States and Cuba”. Both have had interest in one another since well before either of their independence movements. …
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US relations with Cuba

Cuba and the United States of America have had a complex history of relationships. “Nothing is ever simple in relations between the United States and Cuba”. Both have had interest in one another since well before either of their independence movements. Relations between the North American mainland and the Caribbean Spanish colony began in the early 18th century through illicit commercial contracts between the European colonies of the New World, trading to elude colonial taxes. As the Spanish influence waned in the Caribbean, the United States gradually gained a position of economic and political dominance over the island, with the vast majority of foreign investment holdings, the bulk of imports and exports in its hands. It also boosted the legal and illegal trade and soon Cuba became a comparatively prosperous trading partner in the region.In the last quarter of 20th century, the Cuban resistance against the Spanish colonial rule grew stronger. Initially the rebels fighting for independence were supported by US President Grant led government, yet as the fighting erupted across mainland, US President Grant declined his support and hence the resistance was curtailed. US Secretary of State James G. Blaine wrote in 1881 of Cuba, “that rich island, the key to the Gulf of Mexico, and the field for our most extended trade in the Western Hemisphere, is, though in the hands of Spain, a part of the American commercial system… If ever ceasing to be Spanish, Cuba must necessarily become American and not fall under any other European Domination” (Sierra, 4).

Domination" (Sierra, 4). The United States major intervention in the Cuban conflict

started on February 15th, 1898 when the American battleship USS Maine sank in Havana

Harbor due to an explosion of some unknown reason. In Cuba the war became known as

"the U.S. intervention in Cuba's War of Independence" (Franklin, 5-34). On the 10th of

December 1898 Spain relinquished control of Cuba to the United States with the Treaty

of Paris.The treaty put an end to the Spanish Colonial Empire in the Americas marking

the beginning of United States expansion and long term political dominance over the

region. Immediately after the signing of the treaty, the US-owned "Island of Cuba Real

Estate Company" opened for business to sell Cuban land to Americans (Sierra, para. 1),

yet the struggle against the U.S. military rule continued under the brave leadership of

Cuba's national hero Jose Marti, until on May 20, 1902 Cuba was finally granted formal

independence. Nevertheless, United States authorities had already made a decision to

continue its right to intervene in Cuban affairs (either to preserve its independence or

stability) and on March 2, 1901, a year before formal impedance, the Congress of the

United States of America had passed an act called Platt Amendment (Bevans, 1116-17).

Despite recognizing Cuba's transition into an independent republic, United States

continued to exercise its right. The Plat Amendment was repealed in 1934 and both

countries entered a new agreement called the "Treaty of Relations". Among other things,

the Treaty of Relations continued the 1903 agreements that leased the Guantanamo Bay

naval base to the United States. The rise of General Fulgencio Batista in the 1930s to de

facto leader and President of Cuba for two terms (1940-44 and 1952-59) led to an era of

close co-operation between the governments of Cuba and the United States. According to

U.S. Ambassador to Cuba Arthur Gardner, "Batista had always leaned toward the United

States. I don't think we ever had a better friend. It was regrettable, like all South

Americans, that he was known-although I had no absolute knowledge of it-to be getting a

cut, I think is the word for it, in almost all the, things that were done. But, on the other ... Read More
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