Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba


Matanzas and the Spanish-Cuban-American War

Gloria Machado León 6 mayo, 2014

With the entry of the United States in its imperialist phase, a new world view was developed in the 90´s of the XIX century , a fact that changed the American conception of the struggles for possession of the adjacent territories. For that they did not need a large fleet of war.

A theoretical -military captain AJ Mahan presented a thesis on the need for a large fleet of war that was taken into account by the northern government and carried out , using for the first time against Spain , which enabled him to realize his dream of more than 100 years : appropriate of Cuba .

The opportunity was given from 1896 . Spain, was becoming weak, while the mambí field  was getting strengthener . On February 8th, 1897 was published the letter sent from Havana to Madrid’s ambassador in Washington, Dupuy de Lome, and stolen by the young Gustavo Escoto from Matanzas where denigrated President McKinley.

A few days later , on 15 February , the Maine exploded in Havana harbor . All this and other matters allowed into the United States, April 25, 1897 , to declare war , but several days ago , in fact, modern fleet of Yankee war carried out military actions .

Spain was not ready to face this struggle . He had failed in his attempts to appease the Cubans autonomy and political , to defend his colony ” to the last man and the last peseta ” had sunk to the conduct of war .

Meanwhile Cubans had strengthened their desire for independence. A statement of General Pedro Betancourt clarifies the matter, she said:

 “While the absolute independence of Cuba remain in the fields of the revolution fails. After the Government of Weyler not fit between Cubans and Spaniards another covenant that the absolute independence. “

The powerful Yankee fleet proceeded , upon the declaration of war , to block the most important ports in the west of the island , including Matanzas . Meanwhile, the Spaniards reinforced their defenses in the mouth of the Matanzas harbor, summoning some guns , somewhat obsolete in Maya and Punta Sabanilla .

The first overt act was performed on April 27th when three ships of the aggressor squadron approached Maya tip was the Puritan , the New York and Cincinnati, and bombarded the defenses of Matanzas, without notice.

His poor shooting made ​​some shots to fall in the city causing panic . Meanwhile the Spanish fire from Morrillo made ​​to head for the open away from the Spanish artillery sea.

At the end of April was the prelude , which would have a broader development in May in the province of Matanzas and which will outline in future articles with more details. Thus was born what Lenin called , quite rightly , as THE FIRST IMPERIALIST WORLD WAR  .


Original text by Dr. Arnaldo Jiménez de la Cal on May 6th, 2014

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