EUGENIO MARIA DE HOSTOS’S TEXTS WRITTEN in NEW YORK- INTERVIEWS WITH THE AMERICAN PRESS
- The Press, New York, July 27, 1898
Era of Prosperity for Puerto Rico
Eugenio M. Hostos Forecasts
Result of the War
Love for the Americans
People Who Live on the Island, He Says, Are in Favor of Annexation
From the Regular Correspondent of The Press.
WASHINGTON,july27.-EugenioM. Hostos, who, with Dr. E. Betances, now Cuban delegate in Paris, was the leader of the revolutionary movement in Puerto Rico until Spanish hostility compelled him to leave the island some years ago, arrived in Washington today. Mr. Hostos represents the political emigrants from Cuba and Puerto Rico, who now live in Caracas and several other South American cities, and is here to learn the probable status of both islands in the now certain event of American victory.
Perhaps no native Puerto Rican, with the possible exception of Dr. Betances, is more loved and respected by his countrymen than Mr. Hostos. He was born in Mayaguez, on the west coast of Puerto Rico, 69 years ago, and has spent the greater part of his life working for the liberty of Cuba and his native island. He is a man of broad ideas and liberal education, being a Ph.D. and the author of several books. He and Dr. Betances were comrades and now are great friends.
(1) SEEKS INFORMATION
In an interview today Mr. Hostos said he came to Washington to learn the actual condition of Puerto Rico and the results of the American invasion. Nothing could be said about the future of the Island, however, he asserted, until after the war. All that is to be done now is to wait until the United States has driven the Spaniards out of the island.
“In the meantime,” continued Mr. Hostos, “we see in the outcome of this war provoked by Spain a new and broader horizon for this truly great Republic as well as for Cuba and Puerto Rico.
“We must devote our thoughts and works to what will result in the higher glory and greater good of the United States and in the reconstruction of the new Antilles under the protection of the American eagle.
There is no doubt that Puerto Rico, under the protection of the United States, would become a political and economical force, because the United States will know how to develop resources which Spain has neglected.”
(2) GRATEFUL ALLIES
“It undoubtedly is better for the United States to have allies and grateful friends than territories and populations dependent upon it. We have seen that in war the United States is not to be overcome, and in peace it should be an even greater force and power. If the United States teach the Puerto Ricans all that Spain has not taught them, there is no doubt that the independence of the Island would be more to the advantage of the Republic than annexation. At the same time, however, I must repeat that a discussion of the future of the Island now is premature. We have a great love for this country and for Americans, and our people are willing to be your people.”