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Page one of the Platt Amendment.

The Platt Amendment was a rider appended to the Army Appropriations Act presented to the U.S. Senate by Connecticut Republican Senator Orville H. Platt (1827-1905) replacing the earlier Teller Amendment. The amendment stipulated the conditions for the withdrawal of United States troops remaining in Cuba since the Spanish-American War, and defined the terms of Cuban-U.S. relations until the 1934 Treaty of Relations. The Amendment ensured U.S. involvement in Cuban affairs, both foreign and domestic, and gave legal standing to U.S. claims to certain economic and military territories on the island including Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

Contents

American occupation of post-war Cuba

The Platt Amendment came in 1899 from the United States to expand its sphere of influence in Cuba and protect American investments by pacifying the state. During the Spanish-American War the United States maintained a military arsenal in Cuba to protect US holdings and mediate Spanish-Cuban relations.[1] In 1778, a formal policy of occupation was adopted after fears of an unmanageable revolutionary government in Cuba circulated among the McKinley administration in the wake of the fallen Spanish regime.[2]

In an effort to shape Cuba into a "self-governing colony, the United States established a Rural Guard composed of ex-rebel fighters charged with reducing theft and protecting foreign property[3]. Further, under appointed military general Leonard Wood, sanitation systems, road works and a Cuban education system were implemented (all programs and reforms were financed from the Cuban treasury).[4] Franchise was extended to literate, adult, male Cubans with property worth $250. This restricted the largely Afro-Cuban population from participating in the newly-formed government while enforcing American hegemony in Clminikn

Conditions of the Amendment

Formulated by the American Secretary of War Elihu Root, the Platt Amendment passed through the U.S. Senate by a vote of 43 to 20.[5] Though initially rejected by the Cuban assembly, the amendment was accepted by a vote of 16 to 11 with four abstentions and integrated into the Cuban Constitution.[6]

The amendment stipulated that Cuba would not transfer Cuban land to any power other than the United States, mandated that Cuba would contract no foreign debt without guarantees that the interest could be served from ordinary revenues, and ensured U.S. intervention in Cuban affairs when the United States deemed necessary. It also prevented Cuba from negotiating treaties with any country other than the United States that would either "impair or tend to impair the independence of Cuba" or allow "any foreign power or powers to obtain by colonization or for military or naval purposes or otherwise, lodgement in or control over any portion", thus greatly reducing Cuba's power.[7]

The Platt Amendment allowed Cuba only a limited right to conduct its own foreign and debt policies. It gave the United States an open door to intervene in Cuban affairs and define land claims. The Isle of Pines (now called Isla de la Juventud) was deemed outside the boundaries of Cuba until the title to it was adjusted in a future treaty. Cuba also agreed to sell or lease to the United States "lands necessary for coaling or naval stations at certain specified points to be agreed upon." The amendment leased Guantánamo Bay to the United States and provided for a formal treaty detailing all the foregoing provisions.

After U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt withdrew federal troops from the island in 1902, Cuba signed the Cuban-American Treaty (1903) outlining U.S. power in Cuba and the Caribbean. Tomás Estrada Palma, who had earlier favored outright annexation of Cuba by the United States, became President of Cuba on May 20, 1902.

Aftermath

Following acceptance of the amendment, the United States ratified a tariff pact that gave Cuban sugar preference in the U.S. market and protection to select U.S. products in the Cuban market. As a result of U.S. action sugar production dominated the Cuban economy while Cuban domestic consumption became increasingly dependent on U.S. producers.

With the exception of U.S. rights to Guantánamo Bay, the Platt Amendment provisions were repealed in 1934 when the Treaty of Relations was negotiated as a part of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Good Neighbor policy" toward Latin America. The long-term lease of Guantánamo Bay still continues, and according to the treaty, that right can be revoked only by the consent of both parties, or by abandonment of "the said naval station". The Cuban government under Castro strongly denounces the treaty on grounds that article 52 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties declares a treaty void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force. However, Article 4 of the same document states that Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties shall not be retroactively applied to any treaties made before itself.

External links

References

  1. ^ Lars Schoultz. Beneath the United States: A History of U.S. Policy Towards Latin America(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998), 128.
  2. ^ Benjamin Keen and Keith Haynes. A History of Latin America: Volume 2 Independence to the Present.(Boston: Houghton Mifflen Co., 2004),427.
  3. ^ Schoultz, 144.
  4. ^ Keen and Haynes, 428.
  5. ^ Schoultz, 150.
  6. ^ Schoultz, 151.
  7. ^ http://www.historyofcuba.com/history/platt.htm

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Platt Amendment
The Platt Amendment was a rider appended to the Army Appropriations Act, a United States federal law passed in March 1901. It stipulated the conditions for the withdrawal of United States troops remaining in Cuba since the Spanish-American War, and defined the terms of Cuban-U.S. relations until 1934. Formulated by the U.S. Secretary of War Elihu Root, the amendment was presented to the Senate by, and named for, Connecticut Republican Senator Orville H. Platt (1827-1905). It replaced the earlier Teller Amendment.Excerpted from Platt Amendment on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Whereas the Congress of the United States of America, by an Act approved March 2, 1901, provided as follows:

Provided further, That in fulfillment of the declaration contained in the joint resolution approved April twentieth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, entitled "For the recognition of the independence of the people of Cuba, demanding that the Government of Spain relinquish its authority and government in the island of Cuba, and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters, and directing the President of the United States to use the land and naval forces of the United States to carry these resolutions into effect," the President is hereby authorized to "leave the government and control of the island of Cuba to its people" so soon as a government shall have been established in said island under a constitution which, either as a part thereof or in an ordinance appended thereto, shall define the future relations of the United States with Cuba, substantially as follows:

Article 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."

Article 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."

Article 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."

Article 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."

Article 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."

Article 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."

Article 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."

Article VIII. That by way of further assurance the government of Cuba will embody the foregoing provisions in a permanent treaty with the United States."








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