According to Chapter 12 of A People's History of the United States, why were the Cuban rebel leaders shut out of the negotiations for peace?
Well...the part I got was because the American force had to leave Cuba due to diseases within the US force; hence worried officers asked President Teddy Roosevelt to draft request for the US Army to withdraw from Cuba. But I don't get why this excluded Cuban rebel leaders from negotiating peace; I mean how does US force withdrawing because of disease have to do with Cuban rebels? Please help me to expand my answer further. Thank you.
The part about disease really does not have anything to do with why the rebel leaders were excluded. I would not include that in my answer. Also, please note that Theodore Roosevelt was not president at this time.
When answering this question, what you need to think about is what Zinn's overall message in this book is. Basically, Zinn is arguing that everything that the US does is done for the sake of power and for the sake of the rich capitalists. That theme shows up in this chapter as well.
What Zinn is saying is that the Cubans were excluded from the negotiations so that US economic interests could come in and get rich. The US did not want the rebels interfering in that process. The following paragraph shows this idea well. (For more, start reading around Calixto Garcia's letter of protest to General Shafter and continue past this paragraph.)
Americans began taking over railroad, mine, and sugar properties when the war ended. In a few years, $30 million of American capital was invested. United Fruit moved into the Cuban sugar industry. It bought 1,900,000 acres of land for about twenty cents an acre. The American Tobacco Company arrived. By the end of the occupation, in 1901, Foner estimates that at least 80 percent of the export of Cuba's minerals were in American hands, mostly Bethlehem Steel.
With Zinn, remember that the message is always that the US government is acting in favor of the rich capitalists.