August 17, 2005

Why Can’t We Be Friends? Part 1: The Ownership Society

“Cuba must be ours… Give us Cuba and our possessions are complete.” - Moses Yule Beach, New York Sun, July 23 1847

For over 150 years the U.S. has attempted to annex, control or dominate Cuba, and some of us can’t accept that Cubans declared their independence from the U.S. in 1959 with the emergence of the Cuban Revolution. Some of us refuse to acknowledge that we have no right or moral authority to enforce our will on the island.

Traditional U.S. policy towards Cuba was originally articulated by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams in 1823; “These islands (Cuba and Puerto Rico) are natural appendages of the North American continent, and one of them (Cuba) almost within sight of our shores, from a multitude of considerations has become an object of transcendent importance to the commercial and political interests of our Union… These are laws of political as well as physical gravitation.”

In December of that year, President James Monroe established the Monroe Doctrine to isolate the Western Hemisphere for U.S. influence, warning Europe not to interfere in the affairs of any of the American nations.

Two years later, in 1825, Secretary of State Henry Clay blocked a planned expedition from Mexico and Venezuela to help liberate Cuba from Spain. The decision was based on the belief that in due time, under the operation of the “law of political economy,” Cuba would come under U.S. control.

Such is the origin of U.S. policy towards Cuba.



Blogger Phersu19 said...


wow, what a blog! I really know nothing about the history of Cuba, but this makes it much more interesting; i love history. i am finishing a degree in Classics in October, so I kinda have to!
How strange to come across another personal history. I just finished reading 'A thousand pieces of gold - a memoir of China's past through its proverbs' by Adeline Yen Mah, which tells of her life in relation to the proverbs, as well as their history and the history of China! Fascinating, i can recommend it.
still chasing...

1:12 AM, September 24, 2005  

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