United States & Cuba Vs. Spain

By: Brandon Lewis

Cuba's Struggle for Independence

Dear editor, I believe, when writing stories, to be as accurate as possible. I understand it is your job and you need to get people to react. However, stretching the truth at times may cause problems throughout the public. However, in this case, it is good you stretched the truth showing Americans what Cuba is going through. Tens of thousands were forced into re-concentration camps, unsanitary prison camps that provided little food or shelter. I recommend staying up to date with the information and put more emphasis on what Cuban rebels are going through and what is happening to them.

De Lôme Letter and USS Maine Explosion

De Lôme's letter was never meant to be publicized. The stolen mail only brought offense to Americans but also did intensify anti-Spanish feelings in the United States. However, shortly after the letter, the USS Maine in the Havana Harbor exploded. More than 260 sailors died from the blast. Spain was the first to blame for this horrendous attack. We needed Americans to push the government into helping Cuba and fighting against Spain. The damage happening needed to be stopped. To prevent chaos, McKinley gave Spain one last chance to agree to an armistice, closing of the camps, and the granting of Cuba's independence. They agreed to everything but control of Cuba so war was declared.

War In Cuba

As a war correspondent, the fighting never seemed to end. It started in the Philippines when we began to prepare for our first battle. Roosevelt instructed my commander, Commodore George Dewey, to sail to Hong Kong and await further orders. On May 1st, we opened fire on the Spanish fleet and won the battle with little casualties and no ships lost. After, we quickly set up a blockade of Havana and the north coast of Cuba. Roosevelt joined by our side by quitting his post as assistant secretary to help lead us into battle. On July 1st, we attacked Santiago and quickly won that battle. The following week, we captured Puerto Rico leading to the surrender of Spain on August 12th. 5,500 Americans died in the battles but mostly because of yellow fever and malaria. However, the war was over.
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Treaty of Paris

Granted independence to Cuba and ceded Puerto Rico and the Pacific island of Guam to the United States. Under the treaty, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines became American possessions. The United States was now a colonial empire.

Clashing Views on the Philippines

William Jennings Bryan is arguing that the islands should be independent. President McKinley and the Republicans declared that American control was needed to keep law and order. The Senate later had a debate over the Treaty of Paris. The leading opponents were the members of the Anti-imperialist League, an organization formed during the war to oppose the establishment of U.S. colonies. After the victory of the war, the United States stayed in Cuba for four years to help rebuild what had been lost. In 1902, the US finally withdrew its troops but only after Cuba added provisions called the Platt Amendment, which allowed the US to intervene in Cuban affairs to buy or lease land for naval bases.