What Was the Purpose of the Platt Amendment?

The Platt Amendment was a 1903 treaty between the United States and Cuba designed to protect Cuban independence. It also permitted the United States' involvement in domestic and international affairs in Cuba in exchange for enforcing Cuba's independence.

The treaty stemmed from the United States' control of Cuba in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War and was an amendment to the 1901 Army Appropriations Bill. The treaty stipulated seven conditions for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Cuba at the war's end and made the United States dominant in Cuban affairs. Cuba amended its constitution in 1901 to include the Platt Amendment's terms.

Senator Orville Platt introduced the amendment, and it passed by a vote of 43 to 20. In addition to allowing the United States its say in Cuban affairs, it also dictated that Cuba lease or sell the U.S. lands for use as naval stations or for coaling, including the naval station located at Guantanamo Bay.

After the amendment was ratified, Cuban sugar was given preference on the market in the United States. Many of the provisions of the amendment were repealed during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt as part of his Good Neighbor Policy. The Castro government in Cuba has repeatedly denounced the treaty and called it a violation of the Vienna Convention.