Mikhail Khazin, a Russian economist who once ran the cultural section at Komsomolskaya Pravda, speaking in a 2008 Pravda interview of the need in troubled times to change the psychology of society, to unite it, said that “the Americans blew up their own battleship Maine.”
Eliades Acosta, a prominent Cuban historian, head of the Cuban Communist Party’s Committee on Culture and former director of the Jose Marti National Library in Havana, offered the standard Cuban interpretation of the sinking of the Maine: that the United States itself probably did it, in an interview to The New York Times. But Dr. Acosta adds that “Americans died for the freedom of Cuba, and that should be recognized. But others wanted to annex Cuba, and that should be criticized. If relations with the United States improve, all these things can be re-examined more fairly”.
Cuban officials argue that the U.S. may have deliberately sunk the ship to create a pretext for military action against Spain. The wording on the Maine monument in Havana describes Maine’s sailors as “victims sacrificed to the imperialist greed in its fervor to seize control of Cuba”, which “alludes to the theory that U.S. agents deliberately blew up their own ship to create a pretext for declaring war on Spain”. (The United States occupied Cuba between 1898 and 1902 and, as promised in the Teller Amendment, did not attempt to annex the island.)
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