In this story, Cuba is the kid discovering their new independence and America is the strict parent setting the rules. The U.S. just kicked Spain out of Cuba, but America wanted to keep a tight grip on the island's people and precious, precious sugar and coal resources.
The Platt Amendment was a set of seven rules that Cuba was forced to follow, and most of the rules have to do with Cuba being closely watched and influenced by the U.S.
It's independence…but it's independence with seven very thick strings attached.
America saw a bit of itself in scrappy, rebellious Cuba, and created the Platt Amendment in order to protect and guide Cuba in the scary new world of independence.
America valued Cuba solely for its resources and its close location, and created the Platt Amendment in order to take advantage of the newly independent nation.
"A resource-rich island just off the coast of Florida is now independent? Yeah, we're going to have to set some rules for them." That's what Congress probably said right before writing the Platt Amendment, the official legislation that ended up placing Cuba's fate almost entirely in America's hands.
After a bit of rambling in the beginning, Congress gets to the point—well, seven points to be exact—telling Cuba what they can and can't do with their new independence. The basic idea of these rules can be boiled down to two themes:
As should be painfully obvious, the Platt Amendment's purpose was to completely restrict Cuba's actions on the world stage and let the U.S. control the island in almost every way.
Was America being a brutal bully or a wary caretaker? Only time would tell.
Too close and too full of resource goodies to be left alone, America sets seven restrictive rules for newly independent Cuba.