The Teller Amendment: Foreign Policy Blunder and a Stroke Of Pure Evil


It’s easy to look at America’s foreign policy blunders of the last 20 years and think all our problems have started recently. Its important to note that America has made horrible foreign policy decisions for over a century. Dominating weaker countries for resources is an American tradition as sacred as fireworks on the 4th of July!

            Back in the late 1800s natives of Cuba were having a revolution against their Spanish European overlords. Just like when the United States freed itself from the tyranny of King George, the Cubans were freeing themselves from a Spanish monarchy that had ruled for hundreds of years.

            Some in the United States felt it was in our best interests not to have strong foreign colonies near our boarders. Others wanted to see Cuba be free. A popular phrase at the time was “Cuba-libre.” Without the Spanish controlling Cuba, the United States would have a lot more access to Cuban resources like sugarcane.

            After the sinking of the U.S.S Maine was falsely blamed on Spanish warships, the media quickly engineered support for the Spanish American War. It was clear that the United States was not going to let Spain control the water ways so close to American shores.  America was going to help Cuba gain independence.

            The issue was that Cuban rebels did not want the help of the United States and even wrote a letter to the American Government saying so. In order for President McKinley to gain support for the war he had to add in what is known as the “Teller Amendment.” This was an amendment named after the congressman that introduced it. The Teller Amendment guaranteed Cuba its independence if they were to beat the Spanish. This reassured the Cuban rebels while also legitimizing support among the American people and its legislators.

            In short, the United States promised to withdraw its troops from Cuba after the war was over, and “leave control of the island to its people.”

            So the Cuban rebels win the war, with the help of the United States. Now the Cuban people can finally live free by their own rules….. right?

            Once the war ended the United States quickly reneged on the promises  made in the Teller Amendment and started wrangling for control. The war was authorized by congress under the guise that we were liberating Cuba. The Cuban rebels fought along side us for that same reason. Cuban natives won their war of independence, and yet, they were never really free at all. After decades of fighting for independence, Cuba had it ripped away from them in the blink of an eye.

            As long as money, power, and resources are involved, there is no lie too great for the American Oligarchy. To this very day American invasions and military coups are still done under the false pretense that afterwards the country has the chance to rule choose their own ruler, and rule themselves. Just make sure the ruler you choose will be a devout loyalist to American business interests. 

Sources

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teller_Amendment

2. Overthrow “Americas Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq” by Stephen Kinzer

Chris Weber

current events economics politics progressive

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