History of Cuba - Part Two

The years between 1880 and 1886 were of the constant conspiracy activity of patriots of the Ten Years War, Spain has unfulfilled with its promises. Men that commanded the previous war like Maximum Gómez, Antonio Maceo, Calixto García (now in prison in Spain), Carlos Roloff, Flor Crombet and othesr, they make enormous efforts in the collection of money, buy weapons and organizational movements but the frustration and weakness generated by the last long war have not still been overcome by the Cuban's people. In December of 1886 Maximum Gómez announces the end of the revolutionary movement, also ballasted by the fact of being only leading for military and for the differences arisen between Gómez and Maceo and between Maceo and Crombet.

In 1892 José Martí, who didn't participate in the previous war but that has already suffered prison and exile for their conspiracy activities and he takes several years organizing the Cubans inside and outside of Cuba, found the Cuban Revolutionary Party in Cayo Hueso (United States, where it resides from 1881) whose objective is the freedom of Cuba and also found Patria, a newspaper that responds to the same objetives. In 1893 Maximum Gómez it is designated as military boss of the new revolutionary movement and Martí offers to Maceo participation in the leadership.

February 24, 1895 begin the Independence War with the Scream of Baire, a small village to some 80 kms from Santiago de Cuba, the second city in importance in the country, and the war will extend until August of 1898 when finally with the Treaty of Paris the island reaches its independence that won't become effective up to May 20, 1902. In the first months of the war José Martí dies (May 19, 1895) and Tomás Estrada Palma occupied as president of the Cuban Revolutionary Party. Later, Salvador Cisneros Betancourt is elect as President of the Republic in Weapons and General Maximo Gómez reaffirmed as General in Boss of the Ejército Libertador. At the end of 1897 General Antonio Maceo died in combat (December 7) near Punta Brava, province of Havana, already in this date Spain had in the island 240 000 regular troops and 60 000 irregular troops.

In April of 1898 United States that in spite of the sympathies of their people toward the rebels had stayed neutral in the war, enters in it soon after the explosion that destroyed Maine, a US war ship anchored in the Bay of Havana, beginning this way the Hispanic-Cuban-American war. In August of the same year an armistice is signed between Spain and United States putting end to the hostilities. In spite of their sacrifice for 3 years and of having combatted next to the American troops, the Cuban forces was not allowed to participate in the signature of the armistice in August neither in the signature of the Treaty of Paris in December that finished the war and assures the independence of Cuba. To the moment to enter the United States in the war the Ejército Libertador (Mambises) dominated completely in the rural areas of the island and the Spanish Army controlled the cities and towns, Spain already showed signs of exhaustion and the victory of the freedom cause of Cubans was close.

The balance of the war:

For the country the human and materialslosses were enormous, it is calculated that near 250 000 casualties because of the war, Cuba that had 1 631 687 inhabitants in the year 1887 and for the natural growth it should have reached in the year 1899 around the 1 800 000 inhabitants, really had in the census of that year a total of 1 572 747 inhabitants, never until then a country had lost its population's such proportion in a war. The material losses: got lost 90% of the bovine livestock, one of the main wealth of the country; 90 000 farm properties and 530 000 hectares of lands cultivated in 1887 they decreased at 6 000 and 364 000, respectively; of but of 1 000 sugar sugar factories in 1887 they existed alone 207 in 1899.

Between January 1ro, 1899 and May 20, 1902 the island is occupied by the United States with Leonardo Wood like governor, if United States still had annexionist ideas with regard to the island, they were abandoned when in the first elections that take place (for municipal positions) the party that pled for the annexation (Party Democratic Union) obtains a minimum of the votes in front of the parties in favor of the independence. During the North American occupation they were carried out big advances in the reparation of the island, including the almost total erradicación of the yellow fever taking like base the Cuban sage's studies Carlos J. Finlay, and in the organization of the educational system, of sanity, of mail and administrative.

May 20, 1902 was born the republic with Tomás Estrada Palma like first president and with the Costitución 1901 like artificial base to which the Enmienda Platt was added that gave United States the right to intervene in the Cuban matters and that was accepted by the independentistas like a smaller evil. The Platt Amendment was effective until the year 1934 when was abolished by means of the Permanent Treaty of 1934.

In 1905 General Maximo Gomez dies in Havana and next year sigiente, in 1906, the first North American intervention that will be prolonged up to 1909 takes place. The intervention takes place at the request of president Estrada Palma like consequence of rebellions that are happened in the country against its unpopular and fraudulent reelection for a second period.

The census of 1907 throws a population of 2 048 980 inhabitants. In this year arise the Independent Party of Color that accuses to the Republic of discriminating against the black population, rumors of a racial war run.

In 1912 the second North American intervention takes place in the island against president's José Miguel Gómez desires and using like pretext the necessity to protect the life and American citizens' properties before lifts that have been raised in the oriental region.

Between 1919 and 1920 takes place the called dances of the millions when the sugar reaches unprecedented prices due to the ruin of the industry of sugar of beet of Europe as a consequence of the recently finished war, the sugar reached a maximum price of 22.51 cent of dollar the pound and the production of the harvest of 1919-1920 was sold in $1,022,000,000 (more money that all the crops meetings from 1900 at 1914).

Between 1903 and 1924 the national income of Cuba multiplies by 4 and the cattle raising end up having 4 millions of heads of bovine with a estimate population of 3 345 000 inhabitants, the economy stays in expansion up to 1931, when the world economic crisis is already a fact.

An important part of the sugar industry and the plantations of cane of sugar are in hands of North American companies and the main trade centers in hands of Spaniards, the alone Cubans manage the threads of the political one and they are not few voices those that urge to revert this situation, the population's pressure it is strong in that sense. In 1925 Carlos Baliño and Julio Antonio Mella found the Communist Party and at the end of that year is elect president Gerardo Machado with a political platform of nationalist court and the slogan of "water, highways and schools."

The first two years of the government of Machado filled the hope to the Cuban population, the government was hones, it was legislated to regulate the sugar industry, to diversify the agriculture and to protect the Cuban products and began a vast program of public works and construction of highways (among them the Central Highway that communicates the occident island to east and that it is still nowadays in active) that gave work to thousands of Cuban. However very soon their government derived toward the dictatorship what sank to Cuba in one of his worst economic and social crises together to the crash of the Bag of New York of 1929. The constant manifestations of students and workers against the government and the limitless repression that it exercised ends in 1933 in a general strike that affects the complete country and a rising of the armed forces that force finally Machado to run away.

Gerardo Machado is substitute by Carlos Manuel de Cespedes (son of legendary first president's of the Republic in Weapons) as provisional president and he also has to give up when in September of the same year of 1933 Fulgencio Batista it heads a revolt in the army (know like the Revolt of the Sergeants) and soon taking the control of the country. Begins the Government of the 100 Days then with Ramón Grau San Martin like president and Antonio Guiteras like vice-president that introduced radical changes in the Cuban society in spite of their short duration.

In January of 1934 Fulgencio Batista that had been promoted colonel and boss of the Army, it causes the fall of the revolutionary government of Grau San Martin-Guiteras. From that moment and up to 1940, Batista controls the power and he names presidents Carlos Mendieta (1934-1935), Miguel Mariano Gómez (1936) and Federico Laredo Brú (1936-1940). During 1934 an agreement is also reached with the United States by means of which puts on term to the Platt Amendment, the nation of the north it conserves the Naval Base of Guantánamo.

In 1940 the Constitution of 1940 supported by all the political sectors of the included country the Popular Socialist Party arises (communist), in its moment one of those more progressive of the world. Begins then a period of governments' democratic succession that would last 12 years, period that was characterized partly by the prevailing political corruption and the gansterism of political court, the economy of the island, however, goes in increase.

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