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

By Robert F. Smith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE

The Pattern of Cuban-
American Relations

I

American business interests and the State Department were closely connected in matters of Cuban-American relations. There were some disagreements over specific methods, but in general there was agreement concerning the basic goals of policy. As for example, in January 1922 Crowder and Lakin disagreed over the removal of the marines from Camaguey. Both agreed that American property should be protected, and the argument developed over the method-in this case the question of the location of the garrison. Some individual officials in the department objected to the policy advocated by these business groups interested in Cuba-such as J. Reuben Clark's advocacy of cleaning up Cuba in 1929-but the department's over-all policy was seldom swayed by these individual protests. Taken as a whole, the period from 1919-1933 was characterized by notable unanimity of views concerning motives and methods on the part of State Department officials and American businessmen.

The State Department and American business groups wanted to maintain a stable Cuban Government which would protect American economic interests-trade opportunities, and investments. Political reforms and democracy in Cuba were only stressed by the United States during times of crisis, as concessions to keep opposition groups from starting trouble. Reform was urged from 1920 to early 1923, and from 1931 into the Roosevelt period. Very little was said, however, from 1923 to 1931. It was not the policies of Machado per se that worried the State De

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