Second Occupation of Cuba

The Second Occupation of Cuba by United States military forces, officially the Provisional Government of Cuba, lasted from September 1906 to February 1909.

When the government of Cuban President Tomás Estrada Palma collapsed, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt ordered U.S. military forces into Cuba. Their mission was to prevent fighting between the Cubans, to protect U.S. economic interests there, and to hold free elections in order to establish a new and legitimate government. Following the election of José Miguel Gómez in November 1908, U.S. officials judged the situation in Cuba sufficiently stable for the U.S. to withdraw its troops, a process that was completed in February 1909.[1][2]

An earlier occupation lasted from 1898–1902, from the conclusion of peace between the United States and Spain at the end of the Spanish–American War until the inauguration of the Republic of Cuba.

Provisional Government of Cuba

Location of Cuba
StatusUnited States military occupation
Common languagesSpanish, English
GovernmentMilitary occupation
Provisional Governor 
• 1906
William Howard Taft
• 1906–1909
Charles Edward Magoon
Historical eraModern Era
• United States invasion of Cuba
September 28 1906
• Completion of the withdrawal of American troops
February 6 1909
ISO 3166 codeCU
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Republic of Cuba (1902–59)
Republic of Cuba (1902–59)
Today part of Cuba
 United States
Second Occupation of Cuba
Part of the Banana Wars
A 1909 cartoon from Puck showing President Theodore Roosevelt, dressed in his Rough Riders uniform, handing off his policies to the future president, William H. Taft. William Loeb, Jr. is at left, holding Roosevelt's "Big Stick."
TypeMilitary occupation
ObjectiveProtect United States interests, stabilize Cuba, hold free elections
Executed by United States


The role of the United States in Cuban affairs, its responsibilities and prerogatives, derived from the Cuban–American Treaty of Relations of 1903, which Cuba and the United States had signed on 22 May 1903, and ratified in 1904.[3] Article III stated:[4] It contained this provision:

The Government of Cuba consents that the United States may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty, and for discharging the obligations with respect to Cuba imposed by the Treaty of Paris on the United States, now to be assumed and undertaken by the Government of Cuba.

The conflict between Cuba's political parties began during the presidential election of September 1905, in which Estrada Palma and his party rigged the election to ensure victory over the liberal candidate, José Miguel Gómez. The liberals orchestrated a revolt in August 1906. Both sides sought United States military intervention, the government expecting support in suppressing the rebellion and its opponents hoping for new, supervised elections. When Estrada Palma asked for U.S. troops, President Roosevelt was initially reluctant. He sent the Secretary of War William H. Taft and Assistant Secretary of State Robert Bacon to hold discussions in search of a negotiated resolution of the parties' differences. Arriving on 19 September, Taft and Bacon met with the leaders of both parties. When Estrada Palma recognized that Roosevelt was not prepared to support his position, he resigned on 28 September 1906.[5]


The day following his resignation, Secretary Taft invoked the terms of the 1903 treaty, established the Provisional Government of Cuba and named himself Provisional Governor of Cuba.[6][7] On 23 October 1906, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 518, ratifying Taft's actions.[6] U.S. officials ordered the United States Navy to land a brigade of marines. Under the command of Colonel Littleton Waller, they were to protect American citizens and patrol the island until the regular army arrived. The rebels offered no resistance and viewed the American intervention as a sign of success. The U.S. Army General Frederick Funston supervised the surrender of the rebels even before the army arrived. Funston resigned soon after though and was replaced by General James Franklin Bell.[1][8]

On 6 October, the first army soldiers landed from the transport Sumner. The force was originally called the Army of Cuban Intervention but Taft renamed it on 15 October the Army of Cuban Pacification.[9] The U.S. Congress and Roosevelt authorized the deployment of 18,000 men to Cuba for the expedition but the number in Cuba never exceeded 425 officers and 6,196 enlisted men. About half of the troops were from the 11th Cavalry Regiment under Colonel Earl Thomas and half from the 2nd Regiment, 1st Expeditionary Brigade. In one historian's account, the "Army of Cuban Pacification served as a strong moral presence on the island to encourage stability and obedience to the provisional government."[10] Many of the officers were veterans of the Filipino War and exercised strict discipline to prevent serious incidents of misconduct. Since the rebels had already laid down their arms, the Americans focused on building roads and outposts. A total of 92 kilometers of new roads were constructed during the occupation and the army manned about thirty different posts in both the rural and urban areas, including Guantanamo Bay. Headquarters was at Camp Columbia, west of Havana.[11] The military administration worried about their troops contracting typhoid, malaria and gonorrhea, and ten percent of the soldiers contracted a venereal disease during the occupation.[11]

Most of the troops were stationed in Santa Clara Province, near the population centers and strategically deployed along railways, roads, and other shipping lanes used to transport sugar cane, the principal American-owned business ventures in Cuba. In anticipation of future political unrest and rebellion, the Americans organized a Military Intelligence Division (MID) to gather information about Cuban military capacity and resources available to government opponents.[1][12] The MID prepared a list of names of all those who had participated in the revolt of 1906 and printed accurate maps of the Cuban topography. They also took detailed photographs for every strategic railroad bridge and waterway. Other troops reorganized and trained the Cuban Rural Guard (Guardia Rural Cubana), with an emphasis on improving discipline and morale and ending promotions based on politics. This effort had little impact, because the Cuban government decided to emphasize a reorganized and permanent Cuban army in place of the Rural Guard.[10] Creating a stronger and permanent military force was controversial because it could serve the political interests of the party in power, but its proponents argued that only a permanent fighting force could ensure longterm stability.

On 13 October 1906, Charles Edward Magoon assumed the position of Cuba's provisional governor and he decided that the country was stable enough to hold elections. Regional elections took place on 25 May 1908, and the presidential election on 14 November, both supervised by the U.S. military. The elections took place without incident and José Miguel Gómez was elected. He took office on 28 January 1909. The U.S. troops were withdrawn over the following weeks, with the last American forces leaving the island country on 6 February 1909.[1][13][14]

Assessing the operation, President Roosevelt praised its efficiency ("the swiftest mobilization and dispatch of troops over sea ever accomplished by our Government") and said it confirmed his support for organizing U.S. forces under the General Staff in the Army and the General Board in the Navy.[15]


During the occupation, the Afro-Cuban pitcher José de la Caridad Méndez faced the visiting Cincinnati Reds in December 1908. In a three-game exhibition series, he pitched 25 consecutive scoreless innings, including a five-hit shutout in the last game.[16]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Beede, pg. 28-30
  2. ^
  3. ^ 33 Stat. 2248
  4. ^ 33 Stat. 2251
  5. ^ Minger, Ralph Eldin. "William H. Taft and the United States Intervention in Cuba in 1906." The Hispanic American Historical Review. Vol. 41, No. 1 (Feb. 1961) , pp. 75–89. Duke University Press.
  6. ^ a b Records of the Provisional Government of Cuba, National Archives and Records Administration
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ United States War Department, pg. 313
  9. ^ Musicant, I, The Banana Wars, 1990, New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., ISBN 0025882104, page 63
  10. ^ a b Beebe
  11. ^ a b Musicant, I, The Banana Wars, 1990, New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., ISBN 0025882104, page 67
  12. ^
  13. ^ Otero, pg. 157
  14. ^
  15. ^ United States War Department, pg. 315
  16. ^ Dyreson, Mark (2013). Sport and American Society. Routledge. p. 220. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  • Beede, Benjamin R. (1994). The War of 1898, and U.S. Interventions, 1898–1934: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-8240-5624-8.
  • United States War Department (1907). Annual report of the Secretary of War, Part 3. United States Government Printing Office.
  • Otero, Juan Joaquin (1954). Libro De Cuba, Una Enciclopedia Ilustrada Que Abarca Las Ates, Las Letras, Las Ciencias, La Economia, La Politica, La Historia, La Docencia, Y ElProgreso General De La Nacion Cubana - Edicion Conmemorative del Cincuentenario de la Republica de Cuba, 1902-1952.

1906 (MCMVI)

was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar, the 1906th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 906th year of the 2nd millennium, the 6th year of the 20th century, and the 7th year of the 1900s decade. As of the start of 1906, the Gregorian calendar was

13 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

Banana Wars

The Banana Wars were occupations, police actions, and interventions on the part of the United States in Central America and the Caribbean between the end of the Spanish–American War in 1898 and the inception of the Good Neighbor Policy in 1934. These military interventions were most often carried out by the United States Marine Corps, which developed a manual, The Strategy and Tactics of Small Wars (1921) based on its experiences. On occasion, the Navy provided gunfire support and Army troops were also used.

With the Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the United States. Thereafter, the United States conducted military interventions in Cuba, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. The series of conflicts ended with the withdrawal of troops from Haiti in 1934 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The term was popularized in 1983 by writer Lester D. Langley. Langley wrote several books on Latin American history and American interactions including The United States and the Caribbean, 1900–1970 and The Banana Wars: An Inner History of American Empire, 1900-1934. His book on the Banana Wars encompasses the United States tropical empire that overtook the western hemisphere spanning both of the Roosevelt presidencies. The term was popularized through this writing which portrayed the United States as a police force that was sent to reconcile warring tropical countries, lawless societies and corrupt politicians, establishing a reign over tropical trade.

Bureau of Insular Affairs

The Bureau of Insular Affairs was a division of the United States Department of War that oversaw civil aspects of the administration of several territories from 1898 until 1939.

Charles Edward Magoon

Charles Edward Magoon (December 5, 1861 – January 14, 1920) was an American lawyer, judge, diplomat, and administrator who is best remembered as a governor of the Panama Canal Zone, Minister to Panama, and an occupation governor of Cuba. He was also the subject of several scandals during his career.

As a legal advisor working for the United States Department of War, he drafted recommendations and reports that were used by Congress and the executive branch in governing the United States' new territories following the Spanish–American War. These reports were collected as a published book in 1902, then considered the seminal work on the subject. During his time as a governor, Magoon worked to put these recommendations into practice.

Cuban–American Treaty of Relations (1903)

The 1903 Cuban–American Treaty of Relations (Spanish: Tratado Cubano–Estadounidense) was a treaty between the Republic of Cuba and the United States signed on May 22, 1903. The treaty contemplated leases of Guantánamo Bay; one such lease had been executed earlier in the year in February 1903, and a second lease was executed later in the year in July 1903.

Edwin St. John Greble

Edwin St. John Greble (June 24, 1859 – September 30, 1931) was a United States Army officer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He served in several conflicts, including the Spanish–American War and World War I.

José Méndez

José de la Caridad Méndez (March 19, 1887 – October 31, 1928) was a Cuban right-handed pitcher and manager in baseball's Negro Leagues. Born in Cárdenas, Matanzas, he died at age 41 in Havana. Known in Cuba as El Diamante Negro (the "Black Diamond"), he became a legend in his homeland. He was one of the first group of players elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. He was elected to the U.S. National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

LeRoy Eltinge

LeRoy Eltinge (September 17, 1872 – May 13, 1931) was a United States Army officer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He served in several conflicts, including the Spanish–American War and World War I, and he received the Distinguished Service Medal and numerous other awards for his role in them.

List of Presidents of Cuba

This article lists the Presidents of Cuba from 1902 until the present day.

The current President of Cuba (officially called President of the Council of State, according to the 1976 Constitution) is Miguel Díaz-Canel, since 19 April 2018.

Oliver Edwards (World War I general)

Oliver Edwards (December 2, 1871 – February 25, 1921) was a United States Army officer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He served in several conflicts, including the Spanish–American War and World War I, and he received the Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts in the latter conflict.

Platt Amendment

On March 2, 1901, the Platt Amendment was passed as part of the 1901 Army Appropriations Bill. It stipulated seven conditions for the withdrawal of United States troops remaining in Cuba at the end of the Spanish–American War, and an eighth condition that Cuba sign a treaty accepting these seven conditions. It defined the terms of Cuban–U.S. relations to essentially be an unequal one of U.S. dominance over Cuba.

On December 25, 1901, Cuba amended its constitution to contain, word for word, the seven applicable demands of the Platt Amendment.On May 22, 1903, Cuba entered into a treaty with the United States to make the same required seven pledges: the Cuban–American Treaty of Relations of 1903. Two of the seven pledges were to allow the United States to intervene unilaterally in Cuban affairs, and a pledge to lease land to the United States for naval bases on the island. (The Cuban-American Treaty of Relations of 1934 replaced the 1903 Treaty of Relations, and dropped three of the seven pledges.)

The 1903 Treaty of Relations was used as justification for the Second Occupation of Cuba from 1906 to 1909. On September 29, 1906, Secretary of War (and future U.S. president) William Howard Taft initiated the Second Occupation of Cuba when he established the Provisional Government of Cuba under the terms of the treaty (Article three), declaring himself Provisional Governor of Cuba. On October 23, 1906, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 518, ratifying the order.On May 29, 1934, the United States and Cuba signed the 1934 Treaty of Relations that in its first article abrogates the 1903 Treaty of Relations.

Republic of Cuba (1902–1959)

The First Republic of Cuba (Spanish: República de Cuba) of 1902 to 1959, referred by the current Cuban government as the Neocolonial Republic (Spanish: República Neocolonial), and as Free Cuba (Spanish: Cuba Libre) by Cuban dissidents, refers to the historical period in Cuba from 1902, when Cuba seceded from US rule in the aftermath of the Spanish–American War that took Cuba from Spanish rule in 1898, until communist revolutionaries took power in 1959.

The official form of government was representative democracy though at times it was controlled by a military junta or otherwise unelected government. After becoming head of the armed forces in 1933, colonel Fulgencio Batista played a dominant role in Cuban politics over the next decades. The Cuban Revolution of 1953–1959 massively changed Cuban society, creating a socialist state and ending US economic dominance in Cuba, as it aligned the country with the Soviet Union.

The Republic of Cuba has been regarded as a client state of the United States. From 1902–1932 Cuban and United States law included the Platt Amendment, which guaranteed the US right to intervene in Cuba and placed restrictions on Cuban foreign relations. In 1934, Cuba and the United States signed the Treaty of Relations in which Cuba was obligated to give preferential treatment of its economy to the United States, in exchange the United States gave Cuba a guaranteed 22 percent share of the US sugar market that later was amended to a 49 percent share in 1949.

Restoration (Spain)

The Restoration (Spanish: Restauración), or Bourbon Restoration (Restauración borbónica), is the name given to the period that began on 29 December 1874 — after a coup d'état by Martínez Campos ended the First Spanish Republic and restored the monarchy under Alfonso XII — and ended on 14 April 1931 with the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic.

After almost a whole century of political instability and many civil wars, the aim of the Restoration was to create a new political system, which ensured stability by the practice of turnismo. This was the deliberate rotation of the Liberal and Conservative parties in the government, so no sector of the bourgeoisie felt isolated, while all other parties were excluded from the system. This was achieved by electoral fraud. Opposition to the system came from republicans, socialists, anarchists, Basque and Catalan nationalists, and Carlists.

Sugar Intervention

The Sugar Intervention refers to the events in Cuba between 1917 and 1922, when the United States Marine Corps was stationed on the island.

Tomás Estrada Palma

Tomás Estrada Palma (c. July 9, 1835 – November 4, 1908) was a Cuban politician and the first President of Cuba. Initially he was the President of the Cuban Republic in Arms during the Ten Years' War and again between May 20, 1902 and September 28, 1906.

His collateral career as a New York City Area Educator and writer enabled Estrada Palma to create Pro-Cuban literature aimed at gaining sympathy, assistance and publicity. He was eventually successful in garnering the attention of influential Americans. He was an early and persistent voice calling for the United States to intervene in Cuba on humanitarian grounds.

He was the first President of Cuba, between May 20, 1902 and September 28, 1906. During his presidency his major accomplishments include improving Cuba's infrastructure, communication, and public health.

He is remembered in Cuba for allowing the Platt Amendment to be enacted, which ensured American political and economic dominance over Cuba.

USS New Jersey (BB-16)

USS New Jersey (BB-16) was the fourth of five Virginia-class battleships of the United States Navy, and the first ship to carry her name. She was laid down at the Fore River Shipbuilding Company in Quincy, Massachusetts in May 1902, launched in November 1904, and commissioned into the fleet in May 1906. The ship was armed with an offensive battery of four 12-inch (305 mm) guns and eight 8-inch (203 mm) guns, and she was capable of a top speed of 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph).

New Jersey spent her entire career in the Atlantic Fleet. In late 1906, she took part in the Second Occupation of Cuba, and she participated in the Jamestown Exposition in April – May 1907. At the end of the year, she joined the Great White Fleet for its circumnavigation of the globe, which lasted into 1909. The ship spent the following five years conducting peacetime training. In April 1914, New Jersey took part in the occupied Veracruz during the Mexican Revolution. During World War I, she was used as a training ship, and after the war, she was tasked with transporting American soldiers back from Europe. New Jersey was decommissioned in 1920 and slated for destruction in bombing tests in 1923. Martin NBS-1 bombers sank the ship on 5 September 1923 in a series of bomb attacks.

United States Marine Corps

The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines or U.S. Marines, is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations with the United States Navy as well as the Army and Air Force. The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the four armed service branches in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States.

The Marine Corps has been a component of the U.S. Department of the Navy since 30 June 1834, working closely with naval forces. The USMC operates installations on land and aboard sea-going amphibious warfare ships around the world. Additionally, several of the Marines' tactical aviation squadrons, primarily Marine Fighter Attack squadrons, are also embedded in Navy carrier air wings and operate from the aircraft carriers.The history of the Marine Corps began when two battalions of Continental Marines were formed on 10 November 1775 in Philadelphia as a service branch of infantry troops capable of fighting both at sea and on shore. In the Pacific theater of World War II the Corps took the lead in a massive campaign of amphibious warfare, advancing from island to island. As of 2017, the USMC has around 186,000 active duty members and some 38,500 personnel in reserve. It is the smallest U.S. military service within the DoD.

United States occupation of Cuba

The United States occupation of Cuba may refer to:

the United States Military Government in Cuba (1898–1902)

the Second Occupation of Cuba (1906–09)

the Sugar Intervention (1917-1922), a third occupation of Cuba

the continuing American presence at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base

Walter Newell Hill

Walter Newell Hill (September 29, 1881– June 29, 1955) was a highly decorated officer in the United States Marine Corps and a Medal of Honor recipient for his role in the United States occupation of Veracruz. He subsequently served in the Marine Corps for 37 years, including service in Haitian Campaign and World War II.

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