April 22, 1898: Proclamation Regarding Blockade of Cuba
By the President of the United States of America
Whereas by a joint resolution passed by the Congress and approved April 20, 1898, and communicated to the Government of Spain, it was demanded that said Government at once relinquish its authority and government in the island of Cuba and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters, and the President of the United States was directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces of the United States and to call into the actual service of the United States the militia of the several States to such extent as might be necessary to carry said resolution into effect; and
Whereas in carrying into effect said resolution the President of the United States deems it necessary to set on foot and maintain a blockade of the north coast of Cuba, including all ports on said coast between Cardenas and Bahia Honda, and the port of Cienfuegos, on the south coast of Cuba:
Now, therefore, I, William McKinley, President of the United States, in order to enforce the said resolution, do hereby declare and proclaim that the United States of America have instituted and will maintain a blockade of the north coast of Cuba, including ports on said coast between Cardenas and Bahia Honda, and the port of Cienfuegos, on the south coast of Cuba, aforesaid, in pursuance of the laws of the United States and the law of nations applicable to such cases. An efficient force will be posted so as to prevent the entrance and exit of vessels from the ports aforesaid. Any neutral vessel approaching any of said ports or attempting to leave the same without notice or knowledge of the establishment of such blockade will be duly warned by the commander of the blockading forces, who will indorse on her register the fact and the date of such warning, where such indorsement was made; and if the same vessel shall again attempt to enter any blockaded port she will be captured and sent to the nearest and convenient port for such proceedings against her and her cargo as prize as may be deemed advisable.
Neutral vessels lying in any of said ports at the time of the establishment of such blockade will be allowed thirty days to issue therefrom.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington, this 22d day of April, A.D., 1898, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twenty-second.
By the President:
Secretary of State.