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Timetable History of Cuba

Struggle for Independence - 6

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1905

Americans purchase about $50 million worth of land in Cuba.

February. President Estrada Palma affiliates himself with the Moderate Party. They request that he appoint a new Presidential Cabinet.

February 2. Members of the President's Cabinet offer their resignation.

March 6. President Estrada Palma accepts the resignation of Cabinet members offered in February.The new Cabinet includes General Fernando Freyre de Andrade as Secretary of Government and Rafael Montalvo as Secretary of Public Works. The new Cabinet becomes known as the "Fighting Cabinet."

April 14. Six congressmen steal files that eventually lead to charges of criminality against members of the municipal council in Havana.

June 17. General Máximo Gómez dies in Vedado, Havana.

July 22. In San Antonio de Las Vueltas, Liberals burn down the government building.

September 4. In an interview, President Estrada Palma asserts that actions are more important than words. "What better or more eloquent platform can there be than deeds themselves?" he asks. "The past is a guarantee and sure pledge of the future."

September 22. Enrique Villuendas, leader of the Cienfuegos Liberal Party, is murdered shortly after writing a letter to General Gómez stating that his life is in danger. He becomes a martyr to the Liberals.

September 23. Preliminary elections are held, overseen by the government's rural guards and police, and many liberals are denied the right to vote. The Moderates claim victory.

September 27. Liberals publish a statement denouncing the Moderates and charging electoral fraud and violence. [On the same day, José Miguel Gómez resigns as chief of the Liberal party.]

October. Cases of Yellow Fever are reported. (Yellow Fever is banished by February 1908).

October 4. Fearing assassination, José Miguel Gómez sails to New York, where he denounces the Moderates and calls for U.S. intervention. "The United States has a direct responsibility concerning what is going on in Cuba," he says. "The United States is under the duty of putting an end to this situation…"

October 6. In New York, Gómez says "the moment has arrived for the United States and Cuba to give an authentic interpretation to the Platt Amendment."

October 7. The newspapers Diario de la Marina and El Mundo call for U.S. intervention in Cuba.

October. At least 150,000 fictitious names are registered to vote in the presidential election, and Liberals again accuse Moderates of fraud.

October. Liberals withdraw from the December elections claiming fraud.

November. According to a comprehensive report on the movement to colonize Cuba published by F.G. Carpenter, since the war with Spain, 13,000 Americans have purchased land in Cuba for a total of $50,000,000. (Jenks)

November 21 and 27. Armed rebellions and uprisings occur in Havana at Alquízar, La Salud and Batabanó, and in Pinar del Río at San Juan and Martínez.

December 2. Liberals don't show up to vote. President Estrada Palma and the Moderates claim victory.

1906

February 24. An attack on the Guanabacoa barracks, just outside Havana, results in the killing of several guards and the taking of arms and horses by the rebels.

April. The few remaining Liberals in congress try (in vain) to declare the elections illegal and void.

April. According to A History of the Cuban Republic, by Chapman, the balance in the Cuban treasury has grown to "approximately $25 million" by this date.

May 20. Tomás Estrada Palma is inaugurated as President for a second term.

July 1 1906 - June 30 1909
In this 3-year period, the government spends a total of $121,000,000 (which includes the tumultuous last months of Estrada Palma and part of the first year of José Miguel Gómez' presidency). In the previous 2 fiscal years the government spent an average of $26,000,000.

July 2. In Havana, a new lease is signed for Guantánamo Bay and Bahía Honda, for which the U.S. will pay $2,000 per year.

August 16. Open rebellion breaks out. By the end of the month armed conflicts are taking place in every province. This becomes known as "the little war of August."

"Once the revolt began," wrote Charles E. Chapman in A History of the Cuban Republic, "business men wanted intervention as soon as possible, but were afraid to speak in a loud voice, as their estates were at the mercy of the contending factions."

August 17. Rural guards engage in battle with rebels lead by General Mesa. Many rebel leaders are arrested throughout the island.

August 19. President Estrada Palma orders the arrest of General José Monteagudo (operating in Santa Clara), General Castillo Duany and Juan Gualberto Gómez (operating in Oriente).

August 20. Estrada Palma orders an increase of 2,000 men in the rural guards.

September. Rebel forces are in control of most of the island.

September 1. General Mario G. Menocal (a veteran of the War of Independence) meets with President Estrada Palma in Havana to discuss a compromise between the Liberals and the Moderates. Menocal suggests a plan in which all officials elected in 1905 resign except for the president and vice-president, and the Liberals unjustly removed from office are restored. He stipulates that the President see that necessary electoral and municipal laws are enacted and new elections held. A truce is enacted while the President considers the proposal.

September 8. Estrada Palma rejects Menocal's compromise proposal of September 1. He says he will not deal with the rebels until they lay down their weapons.

September 8. From Havana, Mr. Frank Maximilian Steinhart, American consul-general, sends a telegraph to the State Department in Washington:
"Absolutely confidential. Secretary of State, Cuba, has requested me in name of President Palma, to ask President Roosevelt send immediately two vessels; one to Habana, other to Cienfuegos; they must come at once. Government forces are unable to quell rebellion. The Government is unable to protect life and property. President Palma will convene Congress next Friday, and Congress will ask for our forcible intervention. It must be kept secret and confidential that Palma asked for vessels. No one here except President, Secretary of State, and myself know about it. Very anxiously awaiting reply."

September 10. Mr. Steinhart sends another message to Washington: "President here worried because no reply received my message, and asks war vessels be sent immediately."

September 10. Pamphlets distributed in Havana accuse Estrada Palma of stalling for time while working to secure U.S. intervention.

September 11. Mr. Steinhart sends a third message to Washington requesting U.S. intervention in Cuba.

September 12. The U.S. cruiser "Denver" arrives in Havana harbor.

September 14. Estrada Palma addresses the Cuban congress.

September 14. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt sends an open letter to Gonzalo de Quesada, the Cuban minister to Washington. He announces that he will send Secretary of War William H. Taft and Assistant Secretary of State Bacon to Cuba as special representatives. He also adds: "Whoever is responsible for armed revolt and outrage, whoever is responsible in any way for the condition of affairs that now obtain, is an enemy of Cuba. For there is just one way in which Cuban independence can be jeoparded, and that is for the Cuban people to show their inability to continue in their path of peaceful and orderly progress. Our intervention in Cuban affairs will only come if Cuba herself shows that she has fallen into the insurrectionary habit, that she lacks the self-restraint necessary to secure peaceful self-government, and that her contending factions have plunged the country into anarchy."

September 16. Aware that Taft and Bacon are on their way to Cuba, Estrada Palma issues a decree suspending hostilities and releases some political prisoners. Zayas comes out of hiding once its established that he will not be arrested.

September 19. Taft and Bacon arrive in Havana on the S.S. Des Moines. They spend several days in conversation with Liberal and Moderate Party leaders and soon come to believe (and communicate to the U.S. President) that the 1905 elections were dishonest.

September 20. U.S. sailors land in Cienfuegos.

September 24. Taft and Bacon submit their proposal to Estrada Palma (based on the compromise proposal suggested by Menocal on September 1). Estrada Palma completely rejects the plan.

September 26. Alfredo Zayas writes to Taft and Bacon: "The Government of Cuba having granted to the United States the right of intervention in accordance with Clause III of the Constitutional Appendix, it would seem but natural that the exercise of this right should not be hindered or resisted by the Government of Cuba."

September 28. Estrada Palma convenes congress and submits his own and his cabinet's immediate resignation. He hands custody of the treasury to Taft and Bacon.

September 29. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt names Taft "U.S. Governor of Cuba." Taft, who has previously served as military Governor of the Philippines, publishes a Proclamation, thereby taking control of the Cuban government.

"When the intervention came," wrote Charles E. Chapman in A History of the Cuban Republic, "with the proclamation of September 29, it came, not as a result of official request, but because there was no Cuban government at all."

September. Theodore Roosevelt: "I am so angry with that infernal little Cuban republic that I would like to wipe its people off the face of the earth. All we have wanted from them is that they would behave themselves and be prosperous and happy so that we would not have to interfere. And now, lo and behold, they have started an utterly unjustifiable and pointless revolution and may get things into such a snarl that we have no alternative…"

October 2. Ex-president Estrada Palma leaves Havana by train. He takes his family to Matanzas. They later continue to his old home in Bayamo, Oriente.

October 9. U.S. citizen Charles E. Magoon arrives in Havana to replace Taft as head of the provisional government of Cuba.

"Magoon was an honest man," wrote Charles E. Chapman in A History of the Cuban Republic, "and as a provisional governor of Cuba he merely reflected Secretary Taft."

October 10. Taft issues an amnesty proclamation covering crimes committed in connection with the revolt.

Estrada Palma writes to a personal friend. The letter is later published in Cuban newspapers.

October 12. Taft issues a decree asking that congress will remain in recess during the continuance of the provisional government. This leaves the executive and legislative power in the hands of the provisional governor.

October 13. Magoon replaces Taft as Military Governor of Cuba. [On two other occasions, in 1912 and 1917, U.S. military forces take control of the Cuban government.]

October 23. U.S. President Roosevelt issues an executive order in which Cuba's provisional governor comes under the direct supervision of the Secretary of War (Taft).

October 24. All weapons turned in by the insurgents are towed out of Havana harbor and thrown into the Gulf of Mexico.

November. In Cuba, a movement starts asking that the island be declared a protectorate of the U.S. In the U.S., annexationists revive their enthusiasm for Cuba: Senator J.T. Morgan of Alabama renews his effort to have Isle of Pines declared U.S. territory, and Senator Cullom, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, again voices his support for annexation.

November 3. The Moderate Party is formally dissolved.

November 27. Magoon organizes a commission to investigate claims for damages due to the "little war of August."

December 3. Under instructions from U.S. President Roosevelt, Taft decrees that the terms of all representatives elected on December 1 1905 and March 19 1906 are terminated as of October 12 1906. [Senators elected in 1902 and 1904 continue to draw full salaries until their terms expire.] He adds that new elections are to be held when "tranquility and public confidence are fully restored."

December 24. Magoon appoints an Advisory Law Commission to study legislative matters. It consists of 9 Cubans and 3 Americans. Colonel Enoch Herbert Crowder serves as presiding officer. Among the Cuban members are Alfredo Zayas and Juan Gualberto Gómez (who serves as secretary of the commission.).

1907

The Independent Party of Color is founded. Members accuse the Republic of betraying the black population.

March. Rumors circulate about a race war in Cuba.

April. In the U.S., the Supreme Court states that Isla de Pinos is de facto Cuban territory.

April 8. U.S. Secretary of War Taft visits Havana for two days.

May 8. Magoon orders the taking of a new census.

Summer. The Conservative Party is formally launched.

"It was clearly understood," wrote Chapman in A History of the Cuban Republic, "that the election was to be fought on the basis of personalities, not principles.
"By the spring of 1908 there were three principal parties in the field, the two Liberal groups and the Conservatives. The followers of Gómez, known popularly as 'Miguelistas,' called themselves the "Historic Liberals," claiming that the election of 1905 was no election and that therefore Gomez was still the true Liberal candidate. The Zayas supporters or 'Zayaistas,' retained the name Liberals, on the basis of the lapse of the Gomez candidacy and the superior claims of Zayas. Each group made formal nominations. The Conservatives preferred to await the result of the local elections before putting a presidential ticket in the field."

September 26. Seven men are arrested in Havana, including Juan Masso Parra, Lara Miret and Juan Ducasse. They are charged with conspiring "to burn property of foreigners," to incite a revolt. The government labels the "Masso Conspiracy" as an alien-conservative attempt to provoke annexation to the U.S.

September 30. The census count begins under the direction of Victor Hugo Olmstead.

October 31, 1907. The bill for the "revolution of 1906" comes in at $8,634,116.64. It includes 15, 027 claims for damages caused by the insurgents, and 6,557 claims of horses and mules taken or lost. "It's possible that Cuba paid at least ten million dollars to overthrow the Estrada Palma government," wrote Chapman, "which would have retired anyway some four months later than the intervention came to an end."

November 14. The census that began on September 30 is completed. Population has increased 30 percent since the census of 1899.

From:
The Politics of Intervention by Allan Reed Millett
"…in 1907 Cuba had more doctors than butchers, more lawyers than civil engineers."

According to “Our Cuban Colony: A Study in Sugar,” there were 24,161 men and 3,342 women employed in tobacco manufacturing in 1907. (Jenks)

1908

March. The results of the census are published. The population shows a 30% increase since 1899 for a total of 2,048,980. [Between 1901 and 1907, the birth rate jumped from 9.6 per thousand to 19.8.]

April. Magoon officially forms a Cuban army capable of defeating an insurrection.

August 7. "Agrupación Independiente de Color" is founded in Havana by Evaristo Estenoz, black journalist Gregorio Surín, and others. The name is later changed to "Partido Independiente de Color." They begin to publish the newspaper Previsión.

August 30. An excerpt from an article by Evaristo Estenoz, in the first issue of Previsión.

October 1. The rental of quarters for the Army of Cuban Pacification (U.S. soldiers) has surpassed $850,000. Chapman: "It is probable that Cuba paid at least ten million dollars to overthrow the Estrada Palma government, which would have retired anyway some four months later than the intervention came to an end."

November 4. Estrada Palma dies in his home in Bayamo, Oriente. Some say he died of a broken heart.

November 4. General José Miguel Gómez (a liberal) is elected President. He goes on to usher an era of public corruption, and is nicknamed "the shark."

November 7. Poet Emilio Ballagas is born in Camagüey, Cuba.

November 7. Governor Magoon signs a decree by which Estrada Palma's widow will receive a pension of $5,000 per year and $50 per month for each of his children.

1909

January 26. A new law establishes an 8-hour workday for government employees and workers in hotels and restaurants.

January 28. The second U.S. military occupation of Cuba ends. Luis E. Aguilar in Cuba: 1933, Prelude to Revolution. (Pg 28): "Psychologically or, perhaps, sociologically speaking, the second intervention proved disastrous for Cuba."

January 29. In the Havana Post, Henry Watterson writes of Magoon: "His work here has been far-reaching. It has been all embracing. It has caused two blades of grass to grow where but one had grown before."

The Naval Conference of London establishes as international law that a blockade is an act of war.

February 25. President Gómez goes before Congress to request appropriations for the new army.

Liga Antiplastica is established in Havana to oppose the Platt Amendment.

1910

February. The Partido Independiete de Color now includes 146 municipal committees: 53 in Santa Clara, 36 in Oriente, 32 in Havana, 13 in Pinar del Río, and 12 in Matanzas. (There are none in Camagüey.)

February 13. In the pro-Spanish paper El Diario de la Marina, Joaquín N. Aramburu states that if Cubans had listened to the wise calls for "an enlightened, scientific dictatorship," the island would have avoided the current "race problem."

April 22. Leaders of the "Partido Independiente de Color" are arrested in Havana, including: Estenoz, Julián Valdés Sierra, Antero Valdés Espada, Mauricio Lopez Luna, Agapito Rodriguez Pozo and José Inés García Madera.

April 23. Seventeen additional members of Partido Independiente de Color are arrested and brought to Havana. Bail is set at U.S. $10,000 for each of the 24 party leaders, and they're charged with "illicit association and conspiracy to foment an armed revolution." By the end of the year, over 220 party members have been arrested throughout the island and sent to Havana for prosecution.

May. Senator Martín Morúa Delgado introduces a law bans political parties based on race or religion. It becomes known as the Morúa Law. Societies of black Cubans, known as independistas, emerge to fight for the abrogation of this law. [Morúa Delgado dies shortly after being named Minister of Agriculture.]

May 20. Just before the largest ever harvest comes to an end, Afro-Cubans demonstrate en masse throughout the island. The movement is quickly crushed everywhere except Oriente province, especially in the Guantánamo region.

September 12. Attorney General Ponce releases 57 (of the 77) members of the Partido Independiente de Color still in jail, and reduces the bail for the remaining leaders to U.S. $3,000 each.

December. A verdict of Not Guilty is returned for the 20 members of the Partido Independiente de Color still charged with conspiracy. These include: Evaristo Estenoz Coromina, Agapito Rodríguez Pozo, José Inés García Madera, Julián Valdés Sierra, Francisco de Paula Luna, Claudio Pinto Iribarren, Gerónimo Morán Fernández, Ramon Calderon Moncada, and others.

December 8. A new law regulates the minimum salaries of those employed by the national government, provinces and municipalities.

1911

September 11. Ignacio Villa is born in Guanabacoa, Havana. He is later known as Bola de Nieve.

1912

April 23. Gerardo Machado resigns from the cabinet of President José Miguel Gómez in opposition to a "policy of partiality and proscription, prompted by purposes of hate and exclusion."

May 17. Evaristo Estenoz and Pedro Ivonnet (co-founders of the Partido Indepediente de Color, hold a meeting in Santiago. Estenoz calls for a massive, island-wide demonstration on May 20, the anniversary of the republic.

May 20. The planned demonstrations by members of the Partido Independiente de Color take place in Oriente and Santa Clara. The other provinces (Havana, Pinar del Rio, Matanzas and Camagüey) do not participate. Conservative estimates the following day report 300 to 600 participants in Oriente (most unarmed) and about 60 in Santa Clara.

Estenoz writes to the administrator of the U.S.-owned sugar mill Soledad requesting 25 guns and ammunition. He warns that he will destroy the estate's fields and mill.

From Cuba: A Short History, edited by Leslie Bethell:
"Equally alarmed, the United States government landed Marines in Daiquiri and announced further actions if the Cuban government failed 'to protect the lives or properties of American citizens'. Protesting against such intervention, President Gómez ordered the army to crush the rebellion. By June the leaders of the insurrection were dead and their followers killed or disbanded. The fear and resentment left by the episode hindered black participation in Cuban politics for many years."

May 21. Military troops are sent to Oriente.

May 24. The U.S. government authorizes marines to be dispatched from Guantánamo Naval Station to protect American lives and property. Three warships leave for Cuba: Prairie, Nashville, and Paducah.

May 25. Repression of the demonstration in Oriente has already started (even though there has been no property or physical damage), and newspapers have interpreted the events as a race war. "In short," wrote Aline Helg in Our Rightful Share, "repression preceded Independiente action… partly based on the belief that people of African descent were fanatic, violent, and irresponsible."

May 25. A note delivered to the Cuban Secretary of State by the American minister warns of another military intervention if "American lives and property" can't be protected.

May 26. At the House of Representatives, Campos Marquetti proposes amnesty for rebels who surrender within ten days.

May 27. General Monteagudo leaves from Havana for Oriente on the cruiser Cuba to take command of military forces.

May 27. An editorial in the conservative newspaper El Día, suggests that Cubans should follow a U.S. model of race relations, in which "blacks are mistreated and society is segregated." The author concludes, "dominated races do submit."

May 27. Congress passes a unanimous resolution that supports the government's policy in Oriente. (Marquetti's proposal of amnesty is ignored.)

May 31. In Oriente, General Carlos Mendieta invites journalists to witness "the efficiency of the army's new machine guns." He fires on an alleged rebel camp, and 150 peaceful Afro-Cuban peasants are killed or wounded. "Entire families were machine-gunned in their bohíos," wrote Aline Helg in Our Rightful Share. " According to one witness, the cries of the wounded resonated in the distance, and for days vultures circled over the area, attracted by the corpses."

May 31. In Oriente, independents attempt to show their determination with "limited sabotage." They burn a bridge, a post office, and the barracks of a rural guard, some wooden houses (which belong to the Santa Cecilia Sugar Company) and a railway station. This is the first act of violence instigated by the independents.

June 1. A manifesto issued by Juan Gualberto Gómez condemns the independents and shares the views of mainstream Afro-Cuban politicians, which includes concerns with the recent upsurge of white racism.

June 1. Independents take control of the town La Maya, where Afro-Cubans are the majority. Some buildings and houses burn.

June 2. In Oriente, Afro-Cuban leader Isidro Santos Carrera burns down the sugar mill La Maya.

June 3. President Gómez asks Congress for the right to declare martial law. The request is granted on June 5.

June 6. President Gómez asks the Cuban people to fight for "civilization" against the "ferocious savagery" of the independents. He invokes the image of a "raped teacher," which turns out to be a story fabricated by a conservative newspaper and not based on fact.

June 7. Congress approves 1 million pesos to put down the independents, and authorizes the president to enlist and organize men as necessary.

June 9. Beaupré requests the U.S. State Department to send a warship to Havana for "moral effect."

June 10. U.S. warships Washington and Rhode Island anchor in Havana. They stay until July 1. Their presence magnifies the negative rumors being spread.

June 12. Captain Arsenio Ortiz captures independent leader Gregorio Surín. 45 rebels are killed.

June 15. Genera Menocal, from his Chaparra sugar mill in Oriente, offers to supply the Army with 1,000 cavalrymen.

June 17. The French ambassador to Cuba sends home a report which reads in part: "The truth, I think, is as follows: There was an agreement between the President and the independents in view of a reelection; the president would appear as a savior, one would fight little, one would be content with threatening, and it would be mostly 'the cavalry of St. George' that would come into play."

June 20. Various newspapers accuse French consul Henri Bryois (who has opposed the massacre since the beginning) of conspiring with the independents. Members of the government express desire to expel him from the island, and the French Government eventually recall him.

June 22. By this date, over 700 rebels have surrendered, and it is estimated that about 500 returned home quietly.

June 25. General Monteagudo confronts rebels at Mícara. The government forces create such carnage that they can't tell how many rebels they killed.

June 27. Evaristo Estenoz is killed ("shot point blank"), along with 50 other men near Alto Songo. His body is displayed "covered with flies" in Santiago de Cuba.

July 15. Constitutional guarantees are restored in Oriente.

July 18. Ivonnet surrenders to authorities near El Caney. He is killed while "trying to escape." His body is publicly displayed. [Both Ivonnet and Estenoz were buried in common graves to prevent them from becoming symbols that could revive their memories.]

August 7. 500 Afro-Cuban prisoners are transferred to Havana.

December 27. In a formal treaty, the U.S. gives up its rights at Bahía Honda for increased rights in Guantánamo Bay.

1913

May 20. General Mario G. Menocal, a conservative, is sworn in as President. He goes on to serve for two terms.

1915

The Sociedad Cubana del Derecho Internacional begins an unrelenting campaign against the Platt Amendment, attacking “the humiliation of 1901.”

1917

General Mario G. Menocal begins a second term as President under unusual circumstances.

February. Under the leadership of José Miguel Gómez, liberals rebel in several provinces, accusing the government of "persistent repression." They capture Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey.

March 2. Desidario Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III is born in Santiago de Cuba. He is later known as Desi Arnaz.

March 7. Surrounded by the army in Las Villas, José Miguel Gómez surrenders. By May, the rest of the rebellion is over.

1918

January 12. Rolando Masferrer Rojas is born in Holguín, Oriente.

1919

November. Cuban sugar sells for 7.28 cents per pound.

According to “Our Cuban Colony: A Study in Sugar,” there were 20,484 men and 4,905 women employed in tobacco manufacturing in 1919. (Jenks)

1920

The Federación Obrera de la Habana (FOH) is founded by Alfredo López and Enrique Varona.

March. Cuban sugar sells for 13.54 cents per pound.

April. Cuban sugar sells for 19.56 cents per pound.

May. Cuban sugar sells for 22.51 cents per pound.The sugar crop of 1919-20 sells at $1,022,000,000 (more money than all the crops from 1900 to 1914).

June. The price of Cuban sugar drops to 20.31 cents per pound.

July. The price of Cuban sugar drops again to 18.56 cents per pound.

September. The price of sugar drops to 10.78 cents per pound.

October. The price of sugar drops to 9.00 cents per pound.

December. The price of sugar drops again to 5.51 cents per pound.

December 31. U.S. President Wilson orders General Enoch Crowder to Havana (without consulting the Cuban government) as his personal representative.

Alfredo Zayas claims victory in an ambiguous election.

From “The Cuban Situation and Our Treaty Relations” by Philip G. Wright. Pg. 53; “In 1916, 72 mills were listed as ‘American’ by the Cuban Bureau of Statistics; by 1920, only 55; yet the output was rapidly increasing.”

1921

January 6. General Enoch Crowder enters Havana aboard the battleship Minnesota. He establishes March 15 as the date of a new election.

May 20. Alfredo Zayas assumes the role of president.

May 21. The U.S. enacts emergency tariffs, increasing the tax on Cuban sugar from 1 to 1.6 cents per pound. (Wright)

June. José Miguel Gómez dies in New York.

1922

Manuel Sanquily again speaks against the selling of Cuban lands to foreigners.

April 7. Ramon Santamaria (later known as Mongo Santamaria) is born in Jesus Maria, Havana.

June. Under Crowder's watchful eyes, a new Cabinet is formed and nicknamed the "honest cabinet."

June. Congress adopts a resolution condemning Crowder's interventions in Cuban affairs.

December. After a lecture in Havana by José Arce of the University of Buenos Aires, the Student Federation (Directorio de la Federación de Estudiantes) is formed.

1923

January. Under the leadership of Julio Antonio Mella, students forcibly occupy Havana University and demand changes, including the modernization of textbooks, autonomy for the University and free education for all.

March 18. At a meeting of the Academy of Science in Havana, Rubén Martínez Villena (leader of the Communist Party) voices his displeasure of invited guest Erasmo Reguiferos Boudet, Secretary of State. Villena accuses the government of corruption and walks out of the meeting, followed by 13 others.

March 19. The Protest of the 13, a document signed by Villena and the 13 who walked out of the March 18 meeting, is published and circulated. Among those who signed the document are: Jorge Mañach, Juan Marinello, Francisco Ichaso, José Z. Tallet, Calixto Masó, Alberto Lamar Schweyer, Felix Lizaso and Rubén Martínez Villena.

October. The First National Congress for Students is held in Havana. 128 delegates from all over the country attend.

November 3. The José Martí Universidad Popular is created. It becomes a rallying point for young leftist intellectuals.

1924

June. Gerardo Machado becomes the official candidate of the Liberal party.

July. Machado publishes a 10-point platform and the slogan "Water, Roads and Schools."

October 19. The newspaper El País reports a shooting attack (with one person killed) on the train carrying Menocal to Oriente Province.

November. Gerardo Machado is elected president, winning in 5 of the 6 provinces. He looses only in conservative Pinar del Rio.

According to “Our Cuban Colony: A Study in Sugar,” the value of cigar exports in 1924 was $9,700,000, about one million dollars more than the value of cigar exports from Cuba in 1859, when three times as many cigars were exported. (Jenks)

1925

Labor organizer Carlos Baliño, student organizer Julio Antonio Mella, and others found the Cuban Communist Party.

May 20. Gerardo Machado, takes over as Cuba's fifth president. Foner: "The first two years of his term fulfill many Cuban hopes. The government was honest; legislation to protect Cuban products, diversify agriculture and regulate the sugar industry was promulgated, while a vast programme of public works and road construction, including a central highway from Havana to Santiago de Cuba, gave jobs to thousands of Cubans."

August. Student leaders Balliño and Julio Antonio Mella call for a Congress of all Communist groups in the island.

September 25. Julio Antonio Mella is expelled from Havana University. He is later accused of terrorism and arrested.

December. Wilfredo Fernández, leader of the Conservative Party, proclaims that Machado's programs are so "full of patriotism" that to oppose them is "unpatriotic."

1926

May 3. The Verdeja Act becomes law. It limits sugar crops for 1926 to 10 percent less than the previous year, and it prohibits the cutting of virgin forests for the purpose of planting more cane.

August 18. Orlando Bosch Ávila is born in Cuba.

The total value of sugar exports to the United States falls to less than $2 million.

1927

"Azúcar y población en las Antillas" (Sugar and Population in the Antilles) the most serious and influential criticism of latifundismo in Cuba is published by Ramiro Guerra y Sánchez.

Machado takes a step toward dictatorship. A pro-Machado Constitutional Assembly extends presidential terms to six years, and invites Machado to accept a new term in power.

Mid1927. Students led by Sánchez Arango form the University Student Directorate (Directorio Estudiantil Universitario).

October. A Sugar Defense Commission and a Sugar Export Company are created to control sugar production and export.

1928

April. Following Machado's orders, the University Council (made up of teachers and administrative officials) create disciplinary tribunals and expel leaders of the Directorio Estudiantil Universitario, including: Aureliano Sánchez Arango, Eduardo Chibás, Antonio Guiteras and others.

June 14. Ernesto Che Guevara is born in Rosario, Argentina.

September 14. Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez is born in Havana. He is later known as Alberto Korda, photographer of the Cuban Revolution. (Korda died on May 25, 2001.)

November 1. After Congress passes an Emergency Law prohibiting presidential nominations by any other than the Liberal, Conservative and Popular parties, Machado declares himself the only legal candidate of the Liberal, the Conservative and the Popular party, and runs for a second term unopposed. He is re-elected to a new, 6-year term.

From: Cuba, The Making Of A Revolution
By Ramon Eduardo Ruiz
Chapter 2, The Roots of Cuban Nationalism, page 39:
“By the late 1920’s the people disturbed by the role of American diplomacy in Cuban affairs which, in their opinion, had prostituted local politics, included not merely intellectuals and the militant nationalists of the past but students, professional men from socially prominent families, and countless members of clandestine labor organizations.”

From:
Cuba 1933, Prelude to Revolution
By Luis E. Aguilar
Chapter 2, Failure of the Republic, page 33
"With a large part of the land and sugar industry in American hands, and with the Spaniards still controlling most of the centers of trade in the cities, politics was one of the few fields open to Cubans in their own land. It was no accident that until the 1930's a bureaucratic position in Cuba was called un destino, "a destiny," a salvation, and that electoral campaigns were celebrated as the "second zafra" of the island.

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