March 2nd: The U.S. Congress Passes The Platt Amendment Limiting The Autonomy of Cuba

March 2, 2023

In 1898, the United States defeated Spain in the Spanish-American War and gained control of Cuba. The U.S. military occupation of Cuba lasted until 1902, when Cuba became nominally independent. However, the U.S. government continued to exert significant influence over the island nation, both economically and politically.

In 1901, the U.S. government proposed the Platt Amendment to Cuba as a condition for the withdrawal of American troops. The Amendment was named after Senator Orville Platt of Connecticut, who had proposed it. The Amendment contained several provisions that severely limited the autonomy of Cuba and ensured continued U.S. involvement in the country.

The Platt Amendment was met with significant opposition in Cuba, with many Cubans viewing it as a violation of their sovereignty. However, the U.S. government insisted on its inclusion as a condition for the withdrawal of American troops. The Amendment was finally ratified by both the U.S. and Cuban governments in 1903.

The Amendment’s legacy, however, continued to shape the U.S.-Cuban relations throughout the 20th century. Many Cubans saw the Amendment as a symbol of U.S. imperialism and interventionism, while many Americans saw it as a necessary measure to ensure stability and democracy in a country that had been long plagued by political instability and corruption.


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