VII. LE’ITER TO THE EDITOR OF “LA CORRESPONDENCIA DE PUERTO RICO”
Santo Domingo, October, 1900
Mr. Editor of La Correspondencia de Puerto Rico, San Juan.
No longer does patriotism alone oblige us to defend our country against whomever might jeopardize her, but conscience also orders us to do what is good, and currently the only good thing in Puerto Rico is the cause defended by the League of Patriots.
Nothing else is good: The North Americans’ work is evil, the Puerto.
Ricans’ work is evil. The North Americans; Impassively watching the Puerto Ricans die and kill each other, dying of hunger and killing out of envy, are acting so wrongly that they no longer seem like the saviors of human dignity who appeared in history: to save human dignity they also made liberty, the safeguard of dignity, human; they proceeded to live it out in the most natural way in the world; they showed the other peoples of the Earth how to do the same, and they became the most influential representatives of the human race.
Are these the same people who today, instead of helping Puerto Rico save her dignity and establish liberty, are watching with cold premeditation as the Puerto Ricans die and kill each other?
The true North Americans, the legitimate sons of the revolution for Independence, are not capable of that, but the ones who have gone to Puerto Rico are the descendents of those who, originally named “Normans,” men of the North, did many of the greatest things during the Middle Ages, albeit at the price of the greatest brutality. They are blind forces, and when moved in a direction they move implacably, trampling whatever may be trampled, and letting fall whomever may fall. Some admire this in past and present history: I do not believe brute force worthy of admiration whether I see it in everyday history or it is presented to me adorned, adulated, and admired in past history; however, I do believe worthy of greater attention and concern the obvious fact that the North Americans sent to Puerto Rico and the North Americans of the government that sends them are proceeding in Puerto Rico like a brute force. In which direction is that brute force headed? In the direction of extermination. It is not nor can it be a confessed intention, but it is an
unconfessed belief held by the barbarians who attempt to popularize conquest and imperialism from the Executive Branch of the United States, that to absorb Puerto Rico they must exterminate her; and naturally, they see hunger and envy exterminating Puerto Ricans as a fact that concurs with their design, and they cold-heartedly allow it to happen.
If they did not have the aim of empowering themselves forever, at any cost, of the body and soul of the Island, they would have heard her commissioners, who in December of 1898 made a series of propositions to the President of the United States. The series in its entirety constituted a plan for government, not simply as a plan, but rather conscientiously as the only plan for government that simultaneously corresponded to the historical spirit of the U. S. Federation, the true governmental doctrines, the hopes Puerto Ricans had in the United States, and the intellectual and moral responsibility the government in Washington had assumed when it imposed upon the United States the new foreign policy that was condemned from Washington as contrary to the moral destiny of their Federation.
Instead of a plan for government which would have Americanized Borinquen-insofar as Americanism is good-and which would have prepared her to effectively exercise her independence in everyday life with the other peoples of the Earth, McKinley and his partisans, who do not look beyond keeping the Republican Party in power, saw nothing in Puerto Rico but a field for exploitation they believed to be opening up to the avarice of their supporters or to the vain glory of the American masses. Is that good?
- M. de Hostos