On February 15 1898, an American warship blew up suddenly and sank. The USS Maine had been moored in Havana harbour, sent by President McKinley from Key West to protect American interests in Cuba. It's still unclear if Spanish colonial forces were in anyway responsible for the sinking of the USS Maine. What we know for certain is that the brief, bloody war that followed completely changed the world.
In the third and final programme of The Invention of Spain, Misha Glenny charts imperial decline, from the early independence of Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico, up to the 1898 war that saw Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines all break free. With contributrions from Cayetana Alvarez de Toledo, Sir John Elliott, and Samuel Moncada, historian and Venezuelan ambassador to London. "The point is why do they (the colonies) follow Spain so long ? That is the miracle, not independence."
Misha Glenny is a Sony award winning broadcaster. His previous collaborations with producer Miles Warde include The Invention of Germany,.