Louis A. Pérez Jr. is J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of numerous books, most recently,
To Confront Impossible Odds
The chapter examines the Cuban war for independence (1895–98), analyzing the consequences of an insurgency that expanded from the remote eastern jurisdictions of the island into the rich sugar-producing regions of the western provinces. The expansion of the insurrection produced far-reaching realignments of social coalitions and political alliances, plunging the island into a crisis from which it would never recover. Spanish military operations wrought havoc on the economy, visited calamity on Spanish soldiers, and laid waste to communities of noncombatants. The prospects of a successful insurgency in which Cubans of color had assumed prominent command positions leading to independence revived the long-standing white fear of black ascendancy, thereupon to set the stage for the US intervention of 1898.