Tomás Estrada Palma
|1st President of Cuba|
20 May 1902 –28 September 1906
|Vice President||Luis Estévez Romero and Domingo Méndez Capote|
|Succeeded by|| William Howard Taft |
(as United States Provisional Governor)
José Miguel Gómez (as President of Cuba)
Tomás Estrada Palma
c. July 9, 1835
Bayamo, Spanish Cuba
|Died||November 4, 1908 73) (aged|
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
|Political party|| Cuban Revolutionary Party |
Republican Party of Havana
|Spouse(s)||Genoveva Guardiola Arbizú|
|Children||Jose M. Estrada-Palma Guardiola|
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.
Cubans or Cuban people, are the inhabitants, citizens of Cuba and people born in Cuba. Cuba is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds. As a result, some Cubans do not treat their nationality as an ethnicity but as a citizenship with various ethnicities and national origins comprising the "Cuban people." The majority of Cubans descend from Spaniards. Despite its multi-ethnic composition, the culture held in common by most Cubans is referred to as mainstream Cuban culture, a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of Western European migrants, beginning with the early Spanish settlers, along with other Europeans arriving later but in much smaller numbers, such as the English, French and Italians. There is a West African cultural component which has been somewhat influential, with many Afro-Cubans also being of Jamaican or other Afro-Caribbean origin.
A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.
The president of the Republic of Cuba, officially called president of the Council of State between 1976 and 2019, is the head of the Council of State of Cuba. The office in its current form was established under the Constitution of 2019. The president is the second most powerful position, after the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba.
He is remembered in Cuba for allowing the Platt Amendment to be enacted, which ensured American political and economic dominance over Cuba.
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.
He was born in Bayamo, Spanish Cuba, around July 9, 1835 to Andrés María Estrada y Oduardo and María Candelaria Palma Tamayo. His exact birth date is not known because of a fire in Bayamo Town Hall on January 19, 1869 that destroyed his birth records.What is known about his early life is his schooling in the private school of Toribio Hernández, Havana, and his attendance in the University of Havana in which he received a philosophy degree on July 19, 1854. He was taken out of the roster in the University of Seville on January 29 in 1857 for excessive absences. He withdrew on June 29, 1857, of the same year for personal reasons.
Bayamo is the capital city of the Granma Province of Cuba and one of the largest cities in the Oriente region.
The Captaincy General of Cuba was an administrative district of the Spanish Empire created in 1607 as part of Habsburg Spain's attempt to better defend the Caribbean against foreign powers, which also involved creating captaincies general in Puerto Rico, Guatemala and Yucatán. The restructuring of the Captaincy General in 1764 was the first example of the Bourbon Reforms in America. The changes included adding the provinces of Florida and Louisiana and granting more autonomy for these provinces. This later change was carried out by the Count of Floridablanca under Charles III to strengthen the Spanish position vis-a-vis the British in the Caribbean. A new governor-captain general based in Havana oversaw the administration of the new district. The local governors of the larger Captaincy General had previously been overseen in political and military matters by the president of the Audiencia of Santo Domingo. This audiencia retained oversight of judicial affairs until the establishment of new audiencias in Puerto Príncipe (1800) and Havana (1838). In 1825, as a result of the loss of the mainland possessions, the Spanish government granted the governors-captain generals of Cuba extraordinary powers in matters of administration, justice and the treasury and in the second half of the 19th century gave them the title of Governor General.
The University of Havana or UH is a university located in the Vedado district of Havana, the capital of the Republic of Cuba. Founded on January 5, 1728, the university is the oldest in Cuba, and one of the first to be founded in the Americas. Originally a religious institution, today the University of Havana has 15 faculties (colleges) at its Havana campus and distance learning centers throughout Cuba.
From 1857 to 1868, he returned to Bayamo and became an administrator and a local teacher.He continued to teach in Honduras and Orange County, New York.
Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, and to the north by the Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea.
Orange County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 372,813. The county seat is Goshen. This county was first created in 1683 and reorganized with its present boundaries in 1798.
Estrada Palma became the President of the Cuban Republic in Arms during the Ten Years' War.
The Ten Years' War (1868–1878), also known as the Great War and the War of '68, was part of Cuba's fight for independence from Spain. The uprising was led by Cuban-born planters and other wealthy natives. On October 10, 1868 sugar mill owner Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and his followers proclaimed independence, beginning the conflict. This was the first of three liberation wars that Cuba fought against Spain, the other two being the Little War (1879–1880) and the Cuban War of Independence (1895–1898). The final three months of the last conflict escalated with United States involvement, leading to the Spanish–American War.
Estrada Palma was captured by Spanish troops and sent into exile. While in exile, he traveled to New York City, where he worked with José Martí to gather political support for a political revolution in Cuba.
Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
José Julián Martí Pérez was a Cuban poet, essayist, journalist, translator, professor, and publisher, who is considered a Cuban national hero and an important figure in Latin American literature. He was very politically active, and is considered an important revolutionary philosopher and political theorist. Through his writings and political activity, he became a symbol of Cuba's bid for independence against Spain in the 19th century, and is referred to as the "Apostle of Cuban Independence." From adolescence, he dedicated his life to the promotion of liberty, political independence for Cuba, and intellectual independence for all Spanish Americans; his death was used as a cry for Cuban independence from Spain by both the Cuban revolutionaries and those Cubans previously reluctant to start a revolt.
After Martí's death, Estrada Palma became the new leader of the Cuban Revolutionary Party. His role in the party was to be its chief representative. With that authorization, he was able to have diplomatic relations with other countries, including the US.
After the Government in Arms was established, it sent Estrada Palma to Washington, DC, as its diplomat. He was largely successful. Estrada Palma received assistance from various individuals including an American banker who attempted to offer Spain $150 million to give up the island.
Estrada Palma was also assisted by William Randolph Hearst's newspapers to spread the cause of the Cuban Revolutionary Party by posting articles sympathetic to the Cuban revolutionaries. The newspapers assisted the revolutionaries in gaining materials, support, and popularity for the movement.
In a move that showed some real statesmanship and an ability to use media, Estrada Palma got the US Congress to pass a joint resolution on April 19, 1898. The resolution disavowed the Spanish colonization of Cuba and supported the independence of the Republic of Cuba. It also highlighted that the United States had no intention of occupying or annexing the island.(see Spanish–American War).
After the Spanish–American War, Estrada Palma dissolved one of the leading factions of the Cuban revolutionary armies: the Liberation Army, mostly black and rural. He gave more political power to the Assembly of Representatives, the allegedly more pragmatic white urban dwellers, neo-annexationists, and elitists.
He had effectively given power a chosen few of the former revolutionaries to achieve political dominance within Cuban politics. At the same time, he would attract US assistance in Cuba to rebuild the country.
After a few years of General Leonard Wood's rule in Cuba, elections were to be held on December 31, 1901.There were two political parties, the Republicans, who were conservative and wanted national autonomy, headed by José Miguel Gómez, and the National Liberals, who were a popular party that wanted Cuba to go toward local autonomy, headed by Alfredo Zayas. Voth supported Estrada Palma. However, he did not campaign but instead remained in the United States, where he was a citizen.
Estrada Palma's opponent, General Bartolomé Masó, withdrew his candidacy in protest against favoritism by the occupational government and the manipulation of the political machine by Estrada Palma's followers. Thus, Estrada Palma was left as the only candidate.On December 31, 1901, Estrada Palma was elected president.
To his credit, Estrada Palma did not want to have a presidency based on racial barriers. Like many other Cuban revolutionaries, he had seen the new nation as a nonracial republic in which Afro-Cubans would be equal to whites in society.Before his presidency, Estrada Palma assured that he would bring 100 public service jobs to Afro-Cubans and repeal American regulations that supported segregation in Cuba.
The Platt Amendment was signed in March 2, 1902. The amendment allowed the United States to interfere in the domestic policies of Cuba and to lease land for naval bases or coal stations.
American troops left after the Cuban government signed a bill lowering tariffs on American products and incorporated the Platt Amendment into its constitution. Many American companies came to do business in Cuba.
On February 16, 1903, Estrada Palma signed the Cuban-American Treaty of Relations, agreeing to lease the Guantanamo Bay area to the United States in perpetuity for use as a naval base and coaling station. That was a minor victory for the Estrada Palma administration for Washington had wanted five naval bases on the island. It is a testament to his diplomatic skills that Estrada Palma was able to obtain the reduction, even with American troops stationed in the island. His policies were also responsible for improvements in education, communications, and public health, which had suffered from the devastation created by the war. km of road in Cuba.As an example, land prices between 1902 and 1905 went up and he built over 328
Estrada Palma was re-elected unopposed in 1905. This time, there was violent opposition by the liberals. Each side claimed electoral fraud had affected the outcome. One story being that The National Labor Party used el copo, fraud to prevent minority victory in the first election.
The main issue in the second election was the equal representation of the Cuban provinces. Critics of Estrada Palma such as General Faustino Guerra Puente accused him of ignoring the constitution. Still, other politicians and generals, possibly even including Guerra Puente himself, recognized Estrada Palma as the only person able to lead Cuba.
The response to the opponents Alfredo Zayas was to have the force of the police and the rural guard to allow Estrada Palma to claim victory. Estrada Palma and the moderate camp appealed to the US for intervention, and in 1906, the US began the Second Occupation of Cuba and installed a provisional occupation government, which lasted from 1906 to 1909. Another pro-American government was established in Cuba under Charles Magoon.Finally, on September 28, 1906, Estrada Palma, by then 71 years old, resigned along with the rest of the executive branch, leaving Cuba without a successor president. This choice of action allowed the United States to take control under the Platt Amendment.
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Born in Bayamo, Cuba, Estrada Palma was the son of Andrés Duque de Estrada y Palma and wife and cousin María Candelaria de Palma y Tamayo. On May 15, 1881, he married Genoveva Guardiola Arbizú (1854–1926), daughter of General José Santos Guardiola, President of Honduras, Estrada Palma and his wife had six children.
Estrada Palma, an attorney, died in Santiago de Cuba.
Estrada Palma is known less for his accomplishments in education, revolution, and infrastructure than for being a part of the annexation agenda of and his subservience to the United States.
In 1903, a statue of Estrada Palma was erected in the Avenida de los Presidentes, in Havana. His statue was pulled down by Fidel Castro's revolutionaries, reportedly because they blamed Estrada Palma for starting the trend of US interventions in Cuba.The plinth, with a pair of shoes, remains.
Estrada Palma spent many years of his US exile in the town of Woodbury in Orange County, New York. Along a road that now bears his name (Estrada Road, in the hamlet of Central Valley), he ran a summer camp, which has since been abandoned. During his presidency, Estrada Palma kept an "T. Estrada Palma Fund" to buy prizes for academic achievements in Orange County.
The national flag of Cuba consists of five alternating stripes and a red equilateral triangle at the hoist, within which is a white five-pointed star. It was designed in 1849 and officially adopted May 20, 1902.
Federico Augusto Boyd López was acting President of Panama from October 1, 1910 to October 5, 1910. He belonged to the Liberal Party.
General Juan Rius Rivera, was the soldier and revolutionary leader from Puerto Rico to have reached the highest military rank in the Cuban Liberation Army and to hold Cuban ministerial offices after independence. In his later years he also became a successful businessperson in Honduras.
Charles Edward Magoon 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.
Jose Joaquin Palma was the author of the Guatemalan national anthem's lyrics.
Richard Reid Rogers was a prominent United States lawyer, specializing in transit law.
George Whitefield Davis was an engineer and Major General in the United States Army. He also served as a military Governor of Puerto Rico and as the first military Governor of the Panama Canal Zone.
Francis Butler Loomis served as the United States Ambassador to Venezuela from 1897 to 1901 and the United States Ambassador to Portugal from 1901 to 1902. He was the United States Assistant Secretary of State from 1903 to 1905 when he was appointed as the acting United States Secretary of State. His son was Major general Francis B. Loomis Jr.
John Barrett was a United States diplomat and one of the most influential early directors general of the Pan American Union. On his death, the New York Times commented that he had "done more than any other person of his generation to promote closer relations among the American republics".
Gustavo "Gus" Adolfo Mellander is a respected leader in the field of university and college administration in the United States. He served as dean of academic affairs at Inter American University of Puerto Rico,1966–69, dean of York College, 1969–72, president of Passaic County College in New Jersey from 1975 to 1985,(Sunday Star Ledger "President Turns College Around," May 29, 1977), president of Mission College, 1985, chancellor of the West Valley-Mission College District in California from 1985 to 1992,, and subsequently as Dean of a Graduate School at George Mason University. "The Washington Post. December 14, 1992. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012.("George Mason University named Gustavo A Mellander dean of the Graduate School of Education") Since 2000 he has been President of Academic Resources, an academic research company.
The Republican Party of Havana was a political party in Cuba. The party was founded in the end of 1899. It was led by Dr. Domingo Méndez Capote. Prominent party members included Mario García Menocal, Eugenio Sánchez Agramonte, Fernando Freyre de Andrade, Manuel María Coronado, Manuel Despaigne and Juan Gualberto Gómez.
Juan Gualberto Gómez Ferrer was an Afro-Cuban revolutionary leader in the Cuban War of Independence against Spain. He was a "close collaborator of [José] Martí's," and alongside him helped plan the uprising and unite the island's black population behind the rebellion. He was an activist for independence and a journalist who worked on and later founded several pivotal anti-royalist and pro-racial equality newspapers. He authored numerous works on liberty and racial justice in Latin America as well.
The Second Occupation of Cuba by United States military forces, officially the Provisional Government of Cuba, lasted from September 1906 to February 1909.
The First Republic of Cuba of 1902 to 1959, referred by the current Cuban government as the Neocolonial Republic, and as Free Cuba 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 Fidel Castro took power in 1959.
Bartolomé de Jesús Masó Márquez was a Cuban politician and military, patriot for Cuban independence from the colonial power of Spain, and later President of the República en Armas.
Pedro Betancourt Dávalos (1858–1933) was a doctor, a major general and Cuban revolutionary in the Cuban War of Independence, a diplomat, a secretary of agriculture, a politician and a father.
Genoveva Guardiola de Estrada Palma was the Honduran-born wife of the first President of Cuba, Tomás Estrada Palma, when the country gained its independence from Spain. Raised in Honduras, she moved with her husband to the United States in 1882 and assisted him with the bi-lingual school he established in Central Valley, New York. When her husband was elected as the first president of Cuba, after the country gained independence from Spain, she served as the inaugural First Lady. During her husband's second term in office, he resigned and she moved with him to the Cuban countryside to run an agricultural estate. Upon his death, she returned to the United States. Her image was depicted on a 1956 postage stamp issued by the Honduran Postal Service.
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