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Friday, January 27, 2023

Ramon de Carranza in Washington

On February 15, 1898 american battleship I suffered a terrible burst in the port of Havana. The crew of the ship was 355 people, 261 sailors died in the accident. The press and North American officials immediately blamed Spain for what happened, and the explosion was the immediate precedent for the United States to intervene directly in Cuba. War for Spain.

The admiral of the Cuba station, Vicente Manterola, assigned the captain of the Peral y Caballero, brother of the submarine’s inventor, and the lieutenant of the Salas ship, to investigate a file on the above explosion. resulted in an accident I due to reasons internal to the ship, clearly and undoubtedly, and was completely abandoned Leaving the responsibility of the Spaniards. In contrast, American officials in Cuba and the press of billionaire Hearst directly accused Spain of sabotage.



lieutenant of the first class on the same dates ramon de carranza was appointed naval attache to Embassy of Spain in Washington. It was a very delicate destination, as the United States and Spain were on the brink of war and I made it almost inevitable. Carranza had an important intervention in the Cuban War as commander of a torpedo boat. gunner, for which he would be awarded the laureate of the San Fernando, the highest military decoration. He was number one in his propaganda, expert in torpedoes, and had perfect command of the English language.

marched to Madrid to receive from Cadiz Carranza government directive and the Minister of the Navy, Bermejo. War between Spain and the United States seemed imminent, although the government led by Sagasta made every effort to avoid it. Carranza received orders in advance to go to Havana and take Instructed on explosion of file I To hand it over to President McKinley’s government.

The naval attaché left Cadiz for Havana, where he arrived on 24 March. There Carranza spoke with several witnesses to the accident. I and with the file prepared by Peral y Salas he went washington to join at your destination.

On the same day of his arrival in the North American capital, 2 April, Carranza and the Spanish ambassador Polo de Bernabé handed over the file. Secretary of State, Sherman, The Spaniards insisted that Spain was not afraid of war, but that it was not responsible for the casualties that the Spaniards had suffered. I.

Meanwhile, massive demonstrations and calls for a declaration of war against Spain were taking place in the streets of Washington and New York. The motto of these demonstrations could not be clearer: “Remember I, Go to hell with Spain.”

United States Senate investigates what happened to her I. The ship’s commander, Captain Sigsbee, and attended by the American consul in Cuba, Lee, were fully assured that the explosion was a result of cowardice by the Spanish. ka ramen Carranza replied to these allegations in an open letter published in the New York Herald and reproduced by Spanish newspapers. In it, the Spanish naval attache refuted all the arguments put forward by the Americans and Sigsbee and accused Lee of lying.

But Karanja was not satisfied with that letter. He recognized that the allegations made by Sigsbee and Lee affected the honor of his colleagues stationed in Cuba, as he knew that not only had he had nothing to do with the explosion, but also that some Spanish sailors had killed the survivors. He had risked his life to help her. explosion. I. for all this he decided Challenge both Americans to a duel.

Ambassador, Polo de Barnabas, refused Carranza explicitly asked him to send the letter, letting him know that he was a member of a diplomatic legion and that he could not challenge any North American authority to a duel.

But Carranza’s stay in Washington would be very brief, as on April 19 Sagasta ordered Gov. Spanish legacy leaving the United States for Canada. President McKinley declared war on Spain, and the embassy finally left the United States on April 21.

But the Spanish sailors had not forgotten the accusations made by Sigsbee and Lee, and when they left Washington they sent him a letter challenging him to a duel and given that he would be in Toronto for eight days in case he accepted the challenge. The letters, reproduced and translated from English by the magazine Mundo Naval Ilustrado, read:

Al Gen. Fitzhugh Lee.

SIR: The newspapers have published that you stated before the Senate committee in charge of investigating the destruction of the battleship Maine that you had always been of the opinion that some Spanish officers of the Havana Arsenal were guilty of blowing up the ship. submarine mine, which, according to the American court, was the cause of the aforementioned disaster.

Released today from the sanctions imposed on me because of my official position in the Spanish League, I now want to tell you that in my opinion the only person who is capable of committing such hooliganism without proof is capable of committing it himself.

You have maliciously and collectively slandered the Spanish naval officers, as you say you intended to do, before going to Cuba to fight against my comrades, and if you are a man of honor, You will come to meet me as the representative of the body you have hurt.

Of the insults you have thrown at Spain, the Spanish and your army, I could answer, if I were you, at your country and your people; But in the first place I do not hold this man, whose majority I respect and honor, responsible for the sentiments of a minority, who has misguided and poisoned public opinion, and also because a gentleman His manner of conduct is always very different from his. Which you have considered appropriate to adopt.

I will be at your service in Toronto for eight days, my address:

Consulate of Spain in Toronto.

I have the honor of being ssqesm Ramón de Carranza. Lieutenant of the Royal Spanish Navy.

to the captain of the ship Sigsbee:

Sir: I read in the press that you expressed the opinion that “as there were many Spanish officers idle in Havana, one of them may very well have planted a torpedo or a mine that according to the American investigation destroyed the battleship Maine.” Gave.”

I beg you to inform me if you take responsibility for such an insulting statement to the Spanish authorities, in which case I will tell you that he who judges the honor of others without sufficient evidence as he himself there is no respect or owns very little, though it seems strange in a man belonging to a corps whose honor is known.

I’ll be at your disposal in Toronto eight days. My address: Consulate of Spain in Toronto. I have the honor of being the lieutenant of the ssqesm ship, the Ramon de Carranza Royal Spanish Navy.

spanish ship lieutenant waited in vain For those eight days in Toronto. Several North Americans responded to Carranza’s challenge, but none came to meet it. Finally, Ramon de Carranza will undertake a risky mission in Canada, which we already reported to the readers of Diario de Cádiz (August 14, 2022) and which has been the subject of study by some historians. Juan Escrígas Rodríguez has recently published a documented work on “Intelligence in Naval Operations of 1898” in which he gives a detailed account of Carranza’s daring mission in Canada and provides a number of official documents on the matter.

Carranza, after the end of the war with the United States i return to spain, first passing through England and France. In Paris he stayed on the Champs-Élysées, at the house of his political relative José Moreno de Mora, where he decided to leave the navy and devote himself to politics and his private affairs.

Many years later, US Admiral recover launched a detailed investigation into what happened in I coming to the conclusion that The accident was caused by internal causes only, As confirmed by the investigation by the Spanish.

World Nation News Desk
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