Publication Date

4-15-2018

Advisor(s)

Valeria Lopez Fadul

Major

History (HIST)

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

From 1899 to 1925 a contingent of U.S. citizens claimed that Cuba's Isle of Pines was really U.S. territory. Their claims persuaded several U.S. senators and added to the tension between the U.S. and Cuba in the early twentieth century. I argue that the attempted U.S. annexation of the Isle of Pines was couched in racist rhetoric that sought to categorize Cuba as a fundamentally "black" nation. This view of Cuba relegated it to an inferior position and justified U.S. interference in Cuban affairs. I further argue that Cuban opponents of annexation were conscious of its broader significance and framed their opposition in a broader language of sovereign equality between nation-states. The struggle between these two camps shaped U.S. understandings of Cuba well after the annexationist movement was defeated in 1925.

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