- LETTER TO PRESIDENT HORACIO VAZQUEZ
Mayagiiez, Puerto Rico, September 19, 1899
Don Horacio Vazquez, Santo Domingo, D. R.
Mr. President Vazquez: The satisfaction of being logical is not gained without sacrifice, and at times the sacrifices imposed can come to be al difficult as the one I presently have to make, resigning myself for now not to heed your most kind appeal, made in the name of your country and my students, in the cablegram my children will preserve as proof that not everything in their father’s well-intentioned life has been in vain.
To be worthy of the affection shown to me, my gratitude must not be spoken, nor even felt. It must be lived, as I propose to live it, upon re turning to Quisqueya.
The only obstacle to returning there that could have arisen-the reason why I expressly came from so far away and posed it to myself, committed to living by my duties as a Puerto Rican- is being lifted b) Puerto Rico.
My country is slipping through my fingers. Since my efforts for an entire year to hold on to her have been in vain, the best way to keep loving and serving her is to keep striving for the ideal which now, with Cuba independent and Quisqueya restored her liberty and republican dignity, is no longer just an ideal-the Antillean Confederation is sc much a part of historical reality. Borinquen will head toward it by a different road, since the majority of her sons want the Confederation, ever though her present generation does not understand that this is the indisputable future of the Antilles, and that from this moment the very noble people of the United States would agree to it, if we proved to them, as I wanted us to do, that the logical purpose of our life is, as it should be, to form a confederation of insular peoples who will help the continental peoples of our Western hemisphere to complete civilization, extend it and make it sound: to complete civilization by giving the Latin branch of America the legal strength the Anglo-American branch has, to extend it
. From El Nuevo Regimen, Santo Domingo, D. R., vol. I, no. 7, October 4, 1899. Pub. lished under the title Carta del Maestro (Letter from the Teacher).
by carrying it East, to make it sound by filling it with the youthful breath of new societies.
This noble purpose in the Antilles will be advanced by any Antillean who begins by loving all the islands as his own homeland, loving his country in all of them together, and fulfilling in each and everyone of the Antilles, with the same filial devotion and the same disinterest in all glory and all wealth, the duty of having the clear reason and firm conscience demanded of all of us by the dismal present and cloudy future of the Latin family throughout the Continent.
In the same way that twenty years ago we began the work there which now has begun to flourish, we could now begin what within another twenty years could be a completed work. You have already taken a great step forward in this work by giving the continent an example of a social movement which, thanks to the efficiency of the principles it has obeyed, has raised our Quisqueya from the weakest and most decrepit to the highest and most youthful of our Antillean societies. Striving for it will henceforth be like striving to give the Antillean Confederation one of its necessary bases-a Confederation that today seems unattainable, but which is a much more realizable ideal than its renegades believe.
By straying from the concrete purpose of this letter, I have involuntarily come back to it, since by unintentionally showing myself as I always was, I show how willing I am to help with the rebirth of my children’s beloved land and the flourishing of the civilization the Dominican youth and I had begun to create together; I show how much I stand by you, at the service of our good land.
Understand then, Mr. President of the government which reestablishes dignity, freedom, and rights, that I would like very much to go now and continue to help you accomplish the great work which will give such sound glory to the Dominican youth. But it must not be now. In the first place, now is the time for those who were persecuted; and as there is a General Gonzalez among them who has made true sacrifices for the people of his homeland, I should not allow any of the acclaim that belongs to him to. be distracted by me. Second, I can still do something here for my country by preparing what will keep the work already begun from being undermined. Third, you did not need me for now.
With the hope of soon being able to help you and the Republic, deeply appreciative greetings to you and the triumphant Dominican youth from everyone’s friend and yours,
- M. Hostos