Cuba, after having been continuously in Spanish possession from its discovery, was by the peace preliminaries and by the definitive treaty signed by the Peace Commissioners at Paris, December 10, 1898, relinquished by Spain, and thus has the position of an independent nation. The direct armed interposition of the United States in the struggle against Spanish domination has, however, brought the island into close association with the United States Government. On November 5, 1900, a convention met to decide on a constitution, and on February 21, 1901, a constitution was adopted, under which the island has a republican form of government, with a president, a vice-president, a Senate, and a House of Eepresentatives. The United States legislature passed a law authorising the President of the United States to make over the government of the island to the Cuban people as soon as Cuba should undertake to make no treaty with any foreign power endangering its independence, to contract no debts for which the current revenue would not suffice, to concede to the United States Government a right of intervention, and also to grant to it the use of naval stations. On June 12, 1901, these conditions were accepted by Cuba, on February 24, 1902, the President and Vice-President of the Republic were elected, and on May 20 the control of the island was formally transferred to the new Cuban Government.
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