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The Threatening Pro-Weyler Flyer

Circulated in Havana

Prior to the Loss of the MAINE

By Patrick McSherry

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After the Battleship MAINE arrived in Havana, Cuba and before its destruction, a threatening flyer was being circulated in the city. The flyer was apparently prepared by someone with pro-Weyler opinion, meaning they strongly supported the former Cuban governor-general, Valeriano Weyler. The copy shown below is the that was given to the MAINE's commander, Captain Charles Sigsbee by a news correspondent Sigsbee met while he was one his way to attend a bull fight. In the copy that Sigsbee received he pointed out that two words, "podrida escuadra", meaning "rotten squadron" were underlined for emphasis. Also, in the left margin was a mark that Sigsbee interpreted as a hand pointing to the paragraph on the American squadron and the MAINE.

The flyer was used to support the theory that the MAINE was destroyed by pro-Weyler forces, one of many theories regarding the ship's loss.


Pro-Weyler Flyer, 1898

The Translation:



What are you doing that you allow yourselves to be insulted in this way? Do you not see what they have done to us in withdrawing our brave and beloved Weyler, who at this very  time would have finished with this unworthy, rebellious rabble who are trampling on our flag and on our honor?

Autonomy is imposed on us to cast us aside and give places of honor and authority to those who initiated the rebellion, these low-bred autonomists, ungrateful sons of our beloved country !

And finally, these Yankee pigs who meddle in our affairs, humiliating us to the last degree, and, for a still greater taunt, order to us a man-of-war of their rotten squadron, after insulting us in their newspapers with articles sent from our own home!

Spaniards! The moment of action has arrived. Do not go to sleep! Let us teach these vile traitors that we have not yet lost our pride, and that we know how to protest with  the energy befitting a nation worthy and strong, as our Spain is, and always will be!

Death to the Americans! Death to autonomy!

Long live Spain! Long live Weyler!


Sigsbee, Charles Dwight, U.S.N.,  The "Maine"  - An Account of her Destruction in Havana Harbor. (New York: The Century Co., 1899) 35-37.

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