The United States and Cuba: Business and Diplomacy, 1917-1960

By Robert F. Smith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SEVEN

Concessions to Cuban Nationalism:
The Price of Co-existence

I

The Crowder mission, the increase in the sugar tariff, and the increasing control of the sugar industry by American bankers all contributed to a development of anti-American feeling in Cuba. The first symptoms of this feeling appeared in 1921, and after the first few months of the 1922 "moralization" program the public protests against American policy increased.

After the cabinet reorganization in June 1922, one Havana newspaper came out with double-page headlines declaring, "HATRED OF NORTH AMERICANS WILL BE THE RELIGION OF CUBANS." This paper went on to warn that, "the day will have to arrive when we will consider it the most sacred duty of our life to walk along the street and eliminate the first American we encounter."1 An American writer in Cuba reported that there was a growing fear of actual intervention and complete American domination. This writer further stated that this Cuban fear of losing their independence was stimulated by the Crowder mission and the absorption of the sugar industry by American banks. The resulting anti-American feeling was even displayed in the advertisements of Cuban firms selling American goods. 2

On June 20, 1922 the Cuban Senate adopted a set of resolutions protesting against American interference in the affairs of the Cuban Government, and calling for adherence to the Root interpretation of the Platt Amendment. This action reflected the general feeling of the Zayas administration. President Zayas had

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