Different independence movements

Independence movements

This essay has been written to compare to different independence movements, which are the Flemish Movement and the Cuban Independence Movement.

The Flemish Movement is a popular term used to describe the political movement for greater autonomy of the Belgian region of Flanders, for protection of the Dutch language in Flanders, and for protection of the Flemish culture. The movement is unique in that it is dominated by right-wing politics, whereas similar movements in Ireland, Basque, and Quebec are dominated by left-wing politics. The movement is currently composed of a militant wing, which is most often in political opposition, and a moderate wing, which is much more participative in local, regional, and federal governments.

The Flemish Movement's radical wing is dominated by right-wing extremist organizations such as Vlaams Belang, Voorpost, Nationalistische Studentenvereniging (Nationalist Students Union), and several others. The most radical group on the left side is the Brussels based Marxist-inspired and Flemish independentist organisation "Meervoud". The militant wing also still comprises several moderate groups such as the N-VA (Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie, New-Flemish Alliance), a relatively small party with representatives in the regional and federal parliament) and several extra-perliamentary organisations, many of which are represented in the OVV (Overlegcentrum van Vlaamse Verenigingen, Consultation Centre of Flemish Associations). The most important of these is the VVB (Vlaamse Volksbeweging, Flemish People's Movement).

The Flemish movement's moderate wing was dominated by the Volksunie ('People's Union' in English -- an important party that has greatly advanced the Flemish cause from its foundation in 1954 to its collapse in 2002). After the Volksunie's collapse, the party's representatives spread out over all Flemish parties, and nowadays nearly every Flemish party (except the Vlaams Blok and the N-VA) can be considered part of the moderate wing of the Flemish movement. The moderate wing has many ties with workers and employers organisations, especially with the VEV ('Vlaams Economisch Verbond' in Dutch, 'Flemish Economic Union' in English).

The Cuban Independence Movement began with the unsuccessfulTen Years' War(Guerra de los Diez Aos; 1868-78) and culminated in the U.S. intervention that ended the Spanish colonial presence in the Americas.

Dissatisfied with the corrupt and inefficient Spanish administration, lack of political representation, and high taxes, Cubans in the eastern provinces united under the wealthy planterCarlos Manuel de Cspedes, whose declaration ofindependencein October 1868, the Grito de Yara ("Cry of Yara"), signaled the beginning of the Ten Years' War, in which 200,000 lives were lost. Cspedes had the support of some landowners, whose main interest was economic and politicalindependencefrom Spain, whereas the farmers and labourers were more concerned with the immediateabolition of slaveryand greaterpolitical powerfor the common man.

In 1876 Spain sent GeneralArsenio Martnez Camposto crush the revolution. Lacking organization and significant outside support, the rebels agreed to an armistice in February 1878 (Pact of Zanjn), the terms of which promised amnesty andpolitical reform. A second uprising,La Guerra Chiquita("The Little War"), engineered by Calixto Garca, began in August 1879 but was quelled by superior Spanish forces in autumn 1880. Spain gaveCubarepresentation in the Cortes (parliament) and abolished slavery in 1886. Other promised reforms, however, never materialized.

In 1894 Spain canceled a trade pact betweenCubaand theUnited States. The imposition of more taxes and trade restrictions prodded the economically distressed Cubans in 1895 to launch the Cuban War ofIndependence, a resumption of the earlier struggle. Inspired by Jos Martpoet, journalist, and ideological spokesman of the revolutionand employing sophisticated guerrilla tactics under the leadership ofMximo GmezandAntonio Maceo, the revolutionary army took control of the eastern region, declared theRepublic of Cubain September 1895, and sent Maceo's forces to invade the western provinces.

By January 1896 rebel forces controlled most of the island, and the Spanish government replaced Martnez Campos with GeneralValeriano Weyler y Nicolau, who soon became known as El Carnicero ("The Butcher"). In order to deprive the revolutionaries of the rural support on which they depended, Weyler instituted a brutal program of "reconcentration," forcing hundreds of thousands of Cubans into camps in the towns and cities, where they died of starvation and disease by the tens of thousands.

In 1897 Spain recalled Weyler, offeredhome ruletoCuba, and, the next year, orderedthe end of reconcentration. All this failed to prevent the Spanish-American War. By the time of the American intervention in April 1898, Maceo had been killed and Spain had control of most of the urban areas, but the rebels still controlled about three-fourths of the island's area, and Cuban resistance to Spanish rule was virtually universal. The war was over by August 12, when the United States and Spain signed a preliminarypeace treaty. By the Treaty of Paris of Dec. 10, 1898, Spain withdrew fromCuba. A U.S. occupation force remained for over three years, until the Republic ofCubawas effected on May 20, 1902.

To conclude, we could say that these two movements are based on the same ideas. They differed on several different points. The first one is that there was a war for the Cuban Independence while for the Flemish Movement there has never been a military conflict. The second diversity is that the Flemish Movement is a national conflict. It is the separation of two regions in one country. Concerning the Cuban Independence Movement, it is an international conflict. It is the separation of what are now two different countries. The last difference that we can notice is the history of the movements. The Flemish Movement is a present-day country. Flemish people still want the independence of Flanders. About the Cuban Independence Movement, the conflict is now over. Cuba is an independent country.

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