Correction: United States declared war upon Spain


By Pedro Campos



I am responding to the opinion article ‘Spain Declares War against the United States’ which contains a grave deception about the historical facts of the Spanish/American war.

It was the people of the United States and their representing Congress that demanded, voted and approved on the 20th of April 1898 to wage war upon Spain:

That proclamation -with a House vote of 324 to 19 and a Senate vote of 67 to 21- directed government to “empower the president to use the land and naval forces of the United States and call into service the U.S. militia” to intervene in a rebellion outside U.S. sovereignty (Congressional Records, 55th Congress-2nd Session). Once the act passed it was immediately sent to Stewart Woodford, U.S. Minister in Madrid, to have it imposed upon the Spanish government that very evening.

Even earlier, President McKinley himself presented a petition to the senate stating: “I ask the Congress to authorize and empower the President to take measures to secure a full and final termination of hostilities between the Government of Spain and the people of Cuba… and to use the military and naval forces of the United States as may be necessary for these purposes.” (Letter from Executive Mansion to Congress, April 11th, 1898).

That is the historical fact. The misrepresentation of that fact comes from the quoted Ray Setterfield article, which uses the “Black Legend” to belittle the history of Hispanics in this country. Just as the sleights we endure about the Columbian narrative, must we also now endure distortions about that war?

By Pedro Campos

This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper

This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper