Tags: Cuba | cuba | history | teller amendment

Cuba History: What Is the Teller Amendment?

By    |   Thursday, 18 Feb 2016 06:02 PM

The Teller Amendment is part of the United States' history with Cuba, enacted in 1898 just before the Spanish-American war over Cuban independence.

Henry M. Teller, a Republican senator from Colorado who was supportive of Cuba's independence from Spain, sponsored the amendment that promised the U.S. would not try to gain permanent control over Cuba.

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The U.S. won the Spanish-American War in August 1898, gaining temporary control of Cuba as well as control of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. Despite the Teller Amendment, American troops remained on Cuban soil.

In 1901, a new set of rules was written to guide the U.S.-Cuba relationship. Crafted by Secretary of War Elihu Root and presented by Sen. Orville Platt of Connecticut, the eight guidelines included not allowing Cuba to give up their independence to any country and the permission of the U.S. to intervene for Cuba when needed. It also "permitted the United States to lease or buy lands for the purpose of the establishing naval bases (the main one was Guantanamo Bay) and coaling stations in Cuba," according to OurDocuments.gov.

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In return, the U.S. military would end its occupation of Cuba and begin the process of transferring sovereignty.

The new rules were begrudgingly accepted by Cuba and written into the treaty between the two countries, essentially making Cuba a protectorate of the United States. At that time, the Teller Amendment was replaced by the so-called Platt Amendment.

The Republic of Cuba formally gained its independence in 1902, but the Platt Amendment remained in place, governing the two countries' affairs, until U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt repealed it in 1934 as part of his "Good Neighbor" foreign policy toward Latin America.

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The Teller Amendment is part of the United States' history with Cuba, enacted in 1898 just before the Spanish-American war over Cuban independence.
cuba, history, teller amendment
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2016-02-18
Thursday, 18 Feb 2016 06:02 PM
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