In the 1850s, diplomats recommended to President Pierce that the U.S. should buy Cuba from Spain. Even president Buchannan attempted to strong-arm the Spanish into selling Cuba. He ultimately had to rescind his Ostend Manifesto.
1868-1878: Americans sympathized with Cubans who rebelled, unsuccessfully, against Cuba in their first war for independence
Marti organized resistance against Spain, in part by using guerilla warfare and deliberately destroying American-owned sugar plantations in hopes of provoking U.S. intervention to help Cuban rebels gain independence
Marti, however, feared that U.S. imperialists would replace the Spanish as imperial possessors of Cuba
Many Americans, not just businessmen who had invested in Cuba, sympathized with the Cuban rebels, taking on the cry of “Cuba Libre!” which was similar to Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death!”