[2015] fabian mendoza: Cuban Perspective

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[2015] fabian mendoza: Cuban Perspective

Cuban Perspective

A Cuban patriot named José Martí organized the revolution from his base of operations in the UnitedStates. For years, Martí had been working among the Cuban emigrés, both in the United States and innations throughout Latin America, attempting to plan a revolt against the Spanish government in Cuba.The revolutionary heartland was Florida, where there were sixty-one clubs devoted to Cubanindependence.

Martí recruited other military leaders to command the revolutionary forces in battle. He chose MáximoGómez to act as the Commander-in-Chief of his army, and he also obtained the services of AntonioMaceo to lead a portion of the Cuban revolutionaries. Both of these men had been heroes of the earlierwar against the Spanish in Cuba, so they would provide the insurrection with instant legitimacy for mostof the Cuban people.

Cuba's Second War for Independence began late in February of 1895. A previous attempt to overthrowthe Spanish rulers of Cuba had been defeated in 1878, but the intervening years had not seen muchimprovement in the status of the Cuban people.

In 1894, the United States levied a 40 percent tariff on imported sugar.(6) This led to an economicdepression in Cuba, causing Cuban sugar producers to begin looking for a way to retain the UnitedStates as a possible outlet for excess sugar production. Martí knew that talk of annexation would soon beoccurring, both in Havana and Washington. He had already decided that if Cuba was going toexperience "the reality of independence,

A more recent historian of Cuban history went one step further. Louis Pérez argued that the UnitedStates intervened in Cuba not because they wanted to help the Cubans defeat the Spanish, but becausethey saw their opportunity to obtain Cuba slipping away in a successful revolution.

Gómez personified the spirit of the revolution in the eyes of Cubans, and his dreamwas to become the George Washington of a newly liberated Cuban nation. General Maceo also served asan inspiration to many Cubans. As a mulatto, his participation in the rebellion convinced the mulattosand former slaves living in Cuba that they too would benefit from the revolution's success.


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