Valeriano Weyler

(1838-1930)

WHO S/HE WAS:

General Valeriano Weyler was a Spanish soldier and commander of Spanish forces in Cuba in the 1890s.

WHAT S/HE SAID:

The good die young.

WHY S/HE MATTERED:

Valeriano “The Butcher” Weyler was notorious for his “reconcentration” policies in Cuba which sought to strip Cuban rebels of their abilities to live off the land and camouflage themselves in groups of civilians. The strategy had disastrous consequences. Unlike many concentration camps in the twentieth century, the idea was to keep the Cuban civilians alive and protected until the Spanish were victorious. Unfortunately at least 30% perished from lack of proper food, sanitary conditions, and medicines. The policy generated severe anti-Spanish feeling in the United States which helped propel it into war in 1898.

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