• M. Epstein
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Cuba, except for a brief period of British occupancy in 1762–63, remained a Spanish possession from the date of its discovery by Columbus until December 10, 1898, when the sovereignty was relinquished under the terms of the Treaty of Paris which ended the armed intervention of the United States in the struggle of the Cubans against Spanish rule. Cuba thus became an independent State. A convention which assembled on November 5, 1900, drew up a constitution which was adopted February 21, 1901, under which the Island assumed a republican form of government, with a President, Vice-President, a Senate and a House of Representatives. A law was passed in Washington authorising the President of the United States to hand over the government to the Cuban people upon the undertaking that they should conclude no treaty with a foreign power that would endanger the independence of Cuba, that no debts should be contracted for which the current revenue would not suffice, that the United States should have certain rights of intervention, and be granted the use of Naval Stations. On June 12, 1901, these conditions were accepted. On February 24, 1902, the election of the President and Vice-President took place, and the control of the Island was formally transferred to the national government on May 20. The coaling station of Guantanamo Bay was leased to the United States for 2,000 dollars annually, on July 2, 1903. A reciprocal commercial treaty, December 27, 1903, further strengthened the ties between Cuba and the United States. After political disturbances, an American Commission formed a provisional government in August, 1906, which was continued until January 28, 1909, when the national government was resumed after the institution of electoral reforms. A constitutional convention was convened March, 1928, and approved various changes in the constitution including a proposal to increase the President’s term to 6 years without right of re-election. These changes came into effect on May 11, 1928, and, among other things, conferred upon women over 21 years of age the right to vote.


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1930

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  • M. Epstein

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