|It was the year 1902, when the United States finally handed over control of the Cuban province to an elected Cuban government. The government had included a condition of the transfer that stated the mandatory implementation of the requirements in the Platt Amendment. This provision gave the US, the right to intervene with its forces if in any condition Cuba seeks its help.
US acquired much of the Cuban land which was roughly about three fourth of the sugar cane area which was the base of the country’s economy. Varadero and Havana became tourist resorts, and are now known for their casinos and strip-clubs. The Cuban population steadily recovered economic power from both Spanish and U.S. interests, and passed civil rights anti-discrimination legislation that ordered quotas for minimum employment for Cubans.
In 1902, Tomás Estrada Palma was elected as the first Cuban president of independent Cuba. Cuba also leased out Guantanamo Bay to the United States as part of the Platt Amendment. Isle of Pines was given over to the Cuban sovereignty in the year 1925. Estrada Palma, a local man, had ruled this island for four years, after which a revolt began. Then this island was handed over to the Cuban government after US interference. For almost over three decades, Cuba was led by former leaders who had fought for the country. However, they were not allowed to serve more than two constitutional terms. The Cuban presidential sequence was as follows: José Miguel Gomez (1908-1912); Mario Garcia Menocal (1913-1920); Alfredo Zayas (1921-25).
President Gerardo Machado was the first one to win by a popular vote in the year 1925, but he was not allowed for the second time. Until the year 1944, many presidents came to power and there were many small revolts in Cuba by the extremists but it was not until 1944 that the army handed the control to the elected government. Elections resumed when Carlos Prío Scares was selected as the president. He was then succeeded by Dr. Ramón Grau San Martin, a famous doctor, who had held the presidency in the 1933 revolutionary process for a short time.
Grau was then succeeded by President Carlos Prío Socarrás, who was elected by the democratic process for the first time. Later on, his government faced many corruption charges and violent episodes among political factions. Around the same time, the famous Fidel Castro had already become famous at the University of Havana. Eduardo Chibás who was the leader of the orthodox party of Cuba, the Partido Ortodoxo, was expected to win the next elections. Eduardo Chibás committed suicide before he could run for the presidency, and the opposition was left without its major leader.
After this, Batista, who was also running for presidency in the1952 elections, gained power with the help of army. The then President Prio could do nothing and had to leave the country. Due to the corruption of the past two administrations, the general public reaction to the coup was somewhat accepting at first. However, Batista was soon opposed by the public but he continued to rule suppressing the revolts firmly.