Cuba During World War One

The Republic of Cuba had maintained neutrality during much of World War I until German submarine warfare resumed on February 1, 1917. On April 7,

one day after the United States entered the war, Cuba declared war on Germany and began to support the Allied war effort. Cuba also declared war on Austria-Hungary later that year, on December 16.

A draft law was enacted, and 25,000 soldiers were ready for shipment to France when the armistice intervened.

A hospital unit of 100 Cuban doctors and nurses was equipped and sent to the Western Front (World War I).

After the declaration of war all German ships within Havana Harbor were seized.

Likewise Cuban ports opened to Allied warships.

Likewise, a bill was being drafted to authorize the offering of a contingent of 12,000 men to the United States. Internal politics were strengthened by the declaration as liberals, who agreed with the move, decided to stop criticizing the government.

In July 1917, the Menocal government suspended constitutional guarantees with the measure being claimed to be intended against German spies.

The Cuban government also agreed to the stationing of U.S. Marines on the island.

However the Americans, afraid that this would undermine the national and international position of the Menocal government, announced that the goal of the intervention was to support the sugar harvest as major war contribution of Cuba, thus becoming known as Sugar Intervention.

The Cuban Red Cross was also reorganized, established operations in Europe and supported the Allied forces on the Western Front.

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