By the time the conflict initiated, Cuba was by then a Spanish colony, insurrectos(angry nationalists) were the people behind the conflict which began as a simple revolt that was against the then ruling Spanish colonial regime. This revolt began in 1868 but the Spanish managed to pacify the insurgency up to 1878, they used to promise reforms but in reality, the changes were slow and slavery would not be abolished until later in 1886.
Worldwide sugar depression
Then came in the world wide sugar depression in 1889s, the depression hit Cuba hard as it was by then one of its greatest market economy, the economy would later suffer more in 1894 due to the enactment of an American Tariff act, this further hiked the sugar rate on cube by an incredible 40%. This would then be followed by Cuba disconnection from their biggest buyer of their local grown sugar, things became very hard for Cuban’s and this would just precipitate another major revolt. Things would not change until on 10th Feb 1896, a Spanish general, General Valeriano Weyler was sent to take up the reigns as the governor of Cuba. His task was to deflate the upcoming revolts and ground the rebels. (image by Dan W.)
General Valeriano Weyler
The new governor came with his new set of syntax complex rules, he then become barbaric by treating non rebels and rebels all in the same manner. He forced and concentrated much of the Cuban population in camps using a lot of violence. These camps became a death bed for many, on any average day, 46 people would die every day, most of them being children and women. People and more people died and in total more than 100,000 Cubans died in these concentration camps, the alarming death came as a wakeup call to other nations. United States felt sympathetic as Cubans were fighting their former colonial old powers but just like America had struggled and fought for its own revolution, it was time for Cuba to fight for its own freedom.
Yellow journalism was sensationalist and mostly fictitious in its reporting, they reported that over 400,000 people had died in Cuba based camps, this in turn led to the yellow press, (US news papers) to hype a daily call for immediate action. The newspapers further published a public hysteria article for war with Spain, but their intentions were just to increase sales volumes as these articles normally would sell like hot cake.
Not until in April 1896 did the yellow journalism heed to end Cubans people cry reached US governments. The US then suggested a revolutionist should be credited to the rights of the belligerence….this meant that in short, their government had officially acknowledged the Cuban revolution. The US expansionist came to the terms that if America would not be involved then higher stakes would jet in; they also realized if they would win the war against Spain, then they would be in a better position to the craved for Spanish Philippines. They sent the US navy as they were sure they would now have the gateway to get to China trade as well as that of the Far East.
America was looking for a channel to access the international trade, they saw that if they would open up Cuba, then it would function as a great trading market and expand their trade. Having a legitimate reason to stabilize Cuba, the Americans invested heavily and American businessmen landed Cuba with their millions of dollars. Investments that were of 30 to 50 million dollars would in exchange give a $100 million annually. What followed wea the insurrectos deliberate movement of destroying the American property and this is what has been causing American Cuban Conflict (image by epSos .de)
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Feature image Graham