Relief only came during the brief ten-month occupation of the island by the British in 1762, and during the American Revolution when Yankee traders descended on the island. One must wonder why revolution did not break out in Cuba when the islanders knew perfectly well that prosperity would not return so long as it was a Spanish colony.
Several circumstances conspired to quash revolution in Cuba. Firstly, as other Spanish colonies won independence, loyalists emigrated to Cuba thereby greatly expanding that part of the population that favored Spanish rule. Secondly, the creole element in Cuba produced no Simon Bolivar or San Martin, revolutionary leaders who led other colonies to freedom. Finally, the lower clergy, an important element in revolutionary movements elsewhere, remained loyal to Spain. Their fortunes relied on the largess of their elder siblings who comprised the aristocracy in Spain.
When Thomas Jefferson took office, his attention as chief diplomat was focused on the Barbary Pirates who were harrying American merchants in the Mediterranean. However, Jefferson still found time to send a message to the creoles in Cuba: There would be no support for any revolutionary movement on the island. He and his Secretary of State, Albert Gallatin, were concerned that any transfer of power from Spain in Cuba would open the door to either French or English annexation of the island, and the United States would not tolerate either of them occupying such a strategic foothold on America's “front porch.” Thus, Jefferson supported Spain's claim to the island as far preferable to having a stronger European power to contend with.